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Beenta Farole(Puntland)

December 6, 2013 // News in English

Let us take as a starting point the speech he made on his first hundred days after being elected as President. In the words of the then President Farole, from his speech that is on public record.

“The Government will complete the democratization process so that Puntland can hold free and popular elections by 2013. The New Administration plans to allow the establishment of multiple political parties within the next two years in order to achieve the prospect of good governance and finalize the institution-building process.”

“The Puntland Charter guarantees the freedom of the press and the New Administration will ensure that the charter, which is currently under constitutional review, retains the clause upholding the freedom of the press. The independent media serves as the bridge between the public and the government, and the New Administration will continue to strengthen ties to the independent media to engender an environment of free expression with respect to local laws, human rights and good governance.”

“The New Administration fully understands and appreciates the value of peace and security.”

So the lying began!

Two main areas of concern for the people of Puntland being the Transparency and Accountabilityof the government and Mr Farole when it comes to financial dealings. Bearing in mind the input over the initial four years of funding by the International Community.

Perhaps at the top of the list being the financial management of the PMPF. It is documented that to operate the PMPF cost at least $50 MILLION a year. Transfer of funds being via Bankers Draft certainly not by ‘cash in a bag’! You would expect that the financial records would be held by the Puntland State Bank, under the control of the Minister of Finance Mr Farah Ali Jama .So perhaps there is an explanation regarding the lack of payment to the PMPF soldiers? I expect the person in charge was paid and also the South African ‘trainers’. Which also brings up the ‘humanitarian’ rescue after nearly three years of the crew of the MV Iceberg. Motivated by the reported $1.5 MILLION paid direct to Mr Farole! It is reported that $300,000 went to pay the wages of the PMPF, but the remaining balance?

Then we have the dealings with Oil Companies and the selling of licences to explore for oil! Sums of between $300,000 and $1 MILLION would not be unusual to be paid per block. This it would be expected to be paid into the Puntland State Bank. Again all recorded!

Such body’s as the European Union, which has donated $9.8 MILLION for education in Puntland, will expect that financial records are kept .No doubt the EU is provided with details of expenditure by the Puntland ‘Government’? In fact all financial dealings are expected to be fully transparent and accountable.

Although perhaps not all. The Puntland Development Research Centre who it is reported received around $20+ MILLION from Interpeace, a collection of donor organisations from the USA, Europe and Scandinavia; it seems the funding was asked for but with the stipulation of no questions asked. Seems rather an odd request bearing in mind the amount and accountability.

This funding was reported to have been used to also fund the Puntland Electoral Commission. To inform the people of Puntland about Mr Faroles ‘Democratization’ the Electoral Commission has reported that it has ‘reached’ over 1250 people! So many!! With a population reputed to be over 4 million people this does not seem value for money to say the least. As both are ‘Government Agency’s’ why could not they be funded by the ‘Government’?

From the above mentioned amounts you could expect to see visible signs of improvement in the infrastructure of Puntland?

Well there is the new ‘Government House’ in which Mr Farole can entertain visitors while pleading for more funding to assist in the ‘democracy process’! Then again there is the new house Mr Farole has in Australia bought for a reported $3 Million Dollars! But as that is not in Puntland are we expected to ignore such spending?

Another area of concern for the people of Puntland is that of Security.

Since the Farole family came to power there has been a decrease in security for the people of Puntland. Random killings have increased. The Police are lacking in support by the administration. Al Shabab has increased their activities even to the extent of launching an attack on the main prison at Bossaso.

Worst of all the people of Puntland are even attacked by those you would expect to be defending them from criminals and terrorist.

Any who speak out against the Farole family are thrown into prison for no other reason than having the democratic right to have an opinion. Nor are they safe when demonstrating in public the Farole security force under the direction the Farole family and senior members of his ‘administration’ are happy enough to open fire with live ammunition against unarmed women and children.

Mr Farole is on record with threatening any of his opponents with arrest and imprisonment. Also on record is the Minister for Security Colonel Khalif Isse Mudan stating that those opposing Mr Farole will be arrested and if resisting will be shot. Recently it was also reported that a senior PIS Officer, Colonel Saed Mohamud Ali (Saed Darsi), was attacked and severely wounded by Faroles guards after voicing his opinion about the administration of Abdirahman Farole. Colonel Mohamud Ali was last reported in a critical condition and being held under arrest in hospital.

Nor are Faroles militia concerned about the safety or security of any presidential candidate. Although all presidential candidates are supposedly under the protection of the Puntland security forces, this has not stopped Faroles militia attacking a vehicle belonging to candidate Abdiweli Ali Gaas. One passenger being shot in the thigh and another escaping with minor injuries the driver kidnapped along with the vehicle being stolen.

Nor should we forget the attacks against the Traditional Elders from Bossaso and other respected citizens of Puntland who have and continue to suffer under Mr Farole and his followers.

Freedom of the Press. Well this is something that Mr Farole has never supported. A free press able to openly question him, his family and his administration can never be allowed. Hence the closure of any media outlet in Puntland that reports anything that he sees as against him. Reporters have been arrested and jailed without trial and they are perhaps the lucky ones when you consider the number of reporters murdered within Somalia as a whole.

The ‘media’ known as Garowe Online being owned and controlled by the Farole family. In fact it is even referred to as Farole Online. On the 1st of August 2013 in an article regarding the 15thanniversary celebrations, reference was made to the” Puntland based independent Radio Garowe”. Obviously someone has no understanding of the word ‘independent’!

On a recent visit to Garowe where he met ministers, parliamentarians and clan elders selected by Mr Farole, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SPSG) for Somalia Mr Nicholas Kay stated the following; “All presidential candidates will need to be assured freedom of movement, association, security and should enjoy equal access to media. These issues are largely the responsibility of the current government. Journalists should be free to do their work without interference, Kay told government and other stakeholders.”

Then again as we know Mr Farole suffers from severe deafness when it comes to listening to the International Community, unless money is involved.

Democracy. A word that can be heard often with regards to free and fair elections it can be confused with the word Dictatorship when people mention Puntland.

Democracy is not recognised by Mr Farole and his followers. To do so would mean an end to their power and their greed. They wish to stay in power not to benefit the people of Puntland but for their own personal gain.

Mr Farole lost the trust and support of the people of Puntland with his actions as a Dictator.

History shows us that when a Dictator feels threatened they will create external incidents so as to distract people from the real problems within the country.

Look at the recent happening regarding Sool/Khatumo. Puntland government media, Farole Online, has devoted three separate headlines to the same subject. According to the government line the VP General Abdisamad Ali Shire would seem to have been attacked, without any provocation, by an armed militia!

All very convenient for Mr Farole who is quick to state that this was; “organized and funded by failed politicians and external actors aiming to destabilize Puntland ahead of January 2014 elections”.

The only person wanting to destabilise the elections in Puntland is Mr Farole himself.

Mr Farole has a track record of being a “leader in conflict”, that is one who will create external problems to detract from his own shortcomings.

Was it not his own Puntland parliamentarians who vehemently rebuked the then President Farole for his covert opposition to talks between Puntland and Somaliland, stating that he had lost his political direction! All on public record.

Can it be that he is also opposed to a Federal State of Somalia? Yet claiming Puntland as part of such whilst receiving funding from donor nations under false pretences!

Puntland Elections.

Mr Farole has himself now appointed the committee responsible for the selection and vetting of the prospective members of parliament. The elected members of parliament will then be responsible for the selection of Puntlands next President.

The fact that Mr Farole is involved in this appointment brings to question the validity of a fair election.

Looking at Mr Faroles previous actions when it comes to ‘free and fair’ elections it is only natural that the people of Puntland are suspicious.

It was Mr Farole who decreed that all members of the Puntland Parliament, Civil Servants the Police and basically anyone directly employed by his government would be members of his own political party. In effect creating Puntland as a one party state. Remember Mr Farole is on record with threatening any of his opponents with arrest and imprisonment!

Mr Farole has previously avoided an election by increasing his initial mandate of four years by a further year. It should be remembered that the previous attempt at any form of ‘elections’ had the vetting committee again selected by Mr Farole. Also ballot boxes were found to be filled with ballot slips already filled out!

Does anyone expect a truly ‘free and fair election’?

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.

Now is the time for the good people of Puntland to stand against evil.

By: Daud Omar

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