Somalia: UN report blasts Puntland leader for security failures, corruption

Somalia: UN report blasts Puntland leader for security failures, corruption

(Garowe Online)-United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea has blamed the President of Puntland Government, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali for failing to go after Al Shabaab militants and curb illicit sale of fishing licenses to foreign clients, Garowe Online reports.

The UN investigators said, they are concerned about the exodus of militants fleeing onslaught in central and southern Somalia northwards towards the relatively stable Puntland.

Al Shabaab militants grip on hideouts along Golis Mountain Ranges is unlikely to wane, with fresh migrants planning to keep communication line open to impoverished Yemen and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

UN monitors disclosed the increasing presence of terror elements and unprecedented upsurge in pre-planned operations, largely in the Gulf of Aden port city of Bossaso in its previous report.

“The monitoring group expects the intensity of the Galgala insurgency to increase as fleeing militants head north,” read the report dated, October 19, 2015.

The deterioration of security environment has in partly been fuelled by continually delayed pays or lack of salaries for security forces, UN report said.

Puntland Defence Forces (PDFs) are now in control of agriculture-rich village of Galgala, not surrounding villages.

“In particular the sacking in February 2015 by the President of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, of two senior security forces officials, including the head of the Puntland Intelligence Service, has created an alarming rift between the President and his security forces”.

Supported by aerial reconnaissance and US military personnel, Puntland Defence Forces pressed ahead with renewed military offensives to take back new areas from militants in early October, 2014. Despite military gains on the ground, the anti-militant push remains stalled in the rugged terrain of Galgala.

UN monitors learned that senior Al Shabaab official, Fuad Mohamed Khalaf (Shongole) arrived in Galgala in mid-March this year to coordinate terror operations inside Puntland via a new base.

The killing of four staffers with United Nations Children’s Fund on April 20, 2015 highlighted how Al Shabaab skillfully seized ‘rising internal tensions’ in Puntland according to UN report.

Experts pointed to the influx of arms and ammunition being smuggled from Yemen to Somalia-with the possibility that armed groups could be in possession of surface to air missiles among other destructive weapons.