|Puntland State of Somalia|
|Motto: "Star of the North"|
|Government||Autonomous presidential democracy|
|-||President||Abdirahman Mohamud Farole|
|-||Vice-President||Abdisamad Ali Shire|
|Autonomy within Somalia|
82,050 sq mi
|Currency||Somali shilling (
|Time zone||EAT (UTC+3)|
|-||Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC+3)|
|Calling code||+252 (Somalia)|
Puntland (Somali: Buntlaand, Arabic: أرض البنط ), officially the Puntland State of Somalia (Somali: Maamul Goboleedka Buntlaand ee Soomaaliya), is a region in northeastern Somalia, centred on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998.
A third of Somalia's population lives in the territory, which contains about a third of the nation's geographical area. Unlike neighbouring Somaliland, Puntland, as with all other regions in the country, does not seek outright independence from Somalia.
The name "Puntland" is derived from the Land of Punt mentioned by ancient Egyptian sources. The exact location of the fabled territory is still a mystery. Many studies suggest that the Land of Punt was located in present-day Somalia, while others propose that it was situated elsewhere.
Northern Sultanates 
The Warsangali Sultanate was an imperial ruling house centred in northeastern and in some parts of southeastern Somalia. It was one of the largest sultanates ever established in the territory, and, at the height of its power, included the Sanaag region and parts of the northeastern Bari region of the country, an area historically known as Maakhir or the Maakhir Coast. The Sultanate was founded in the late 13th century in northern Somalia by a group of Somalis from the Warsangali branch of the Darod clan, and was ruled by the descendants of the Gerad Dhidhin. In the late 19th century, the influential Sultan Mohamoud Ali Shire governed the Sultanate, assuming control during some of its most turbulent years.
The Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia) was founded in the mid-18th century. It rose to prominence the following century, under the reign of the resourceful Boqor (King) Osman Mahamuud. Centered in Aluula, it controlled much of northern and central Somalia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The polity maintained a robust trading network, entered into treaties with foreign powers, and exerted strong centralized authority on the domestic front.
The Majeerteen Sultanate was nearly destroyed in the mid-1800s by a power struggle between Boqor Osman and his ambitious cousin, Yusuf Ali Kenadid. After almost five years of battle, the young upstart was finally forced into exile in Yemen. A decade later, in the 1870s, Kenadid returned from the Arabian Peninsula with a band of Hadhrami musketeers and a group of devoted lieutenants. With their assistance, he managed to overpower the local Hawiye clans and establish the Sultanate of Hobyo in 1878.
In late 1889, Boqor Osman entered into a treaty with the Italians, making his realm an Italian protectorate. His rival Sultan Kenadid had signed a similar agreement vis-a-vis his own Sultanate the year before. Both rulers had signed the protectorate treaties to advance their own expansionist objectives, with Boqor Osman looking to use Italy's support in his ongoing power struggle with Kenadid over the Majeerteen Sultanate. Boqor Osman and Sultan Kenadid also hoped to exploit the conflicting interests among the European imperial powers that were then looking to control the Somali peninsula, so as to avoid direct occupation of their territories by force.
With the gradual extension into northern Somalia of European colonial rule, all three Kingdoms were eventually annexed to Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland in the early 20th century. Much of the northern sultanates' former domain is today coextensive with the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern Somalia.
Following the outbreak of the civil war in 1991, a homegrown constitutional conference was held in Garowe in 1998 over a period of three months. Attended by the area's political elite, traditional elders (Issims), members of the business community, intellectuals and other civil society representatives, the autonomous Puntland State of Somalia was subsequently officially established so as to deliver services to the population, offer security, facilitate trade, and interact with both domestic and international partners.
As stipulated in Article 1 of the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic, Puntland is a part of the Federal State of Somalia. As such, the region seeks the unity of the Somali people and adheres to a federal system of government. Unlike the secessionist region of Somaliland to its west, Puntland is not trying to obtain international recognition as a separate nation. However, both regions have one thing in common: they base their support upon clan elders and their organizational structure along lines based on clan relationships and kinship. Since 1998, Puntland has also been in territorial disputes with Somaliland over the Sool and Sanaag regions.
The legal structure of Puntland consists of the judiciary, legislative (House of Representatives) and the executive (the President and his nominated council of Ministries) branches of government. Though relatively peaceful, the region briefly experienced political unrest in 2001 when then President of Puntland, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, one of the founding fathers of the Puntland State and its first president, wanted his term extended. Ahmed and Jama Ali Jama fought for control of the region, with Ahmed emerging victorious the following year. Ahmed served his second term as president until October 2004, when he was elected President of Somalia. He was succeeded in office by Mohamed Abdi Hashi, who served until January 2005 when he lost a re-election bid in parliament to General Mohamud Muse Hersi "Adde".
Muse administration 
In March 2005, then incumbent President Muse began an ambitious plan to build an airport in Puntland's commercial capital of Bosaso, a project which is now complete and referred to as Bender Qassim International Airport.
In April 2007, Muse held meetings with Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, where the two leaders signed an agreement on a deal for setting up of a dedicated livestock quarantine facility to facilitate the import of livestock from Somalia to the UAE. In October 2008, Muse also signed a Dh170 million agreement with Dubai's Lootah Group to support the construction of an airport, seaport and free zone in the coastal city of Bosaso. Muse indicated that "I believe that when we finish all these projects our people will benefit by getting good health services, education and overall prosperity."
Farole administration 
The President of Puntland is Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, a former PhD candidate in the history department at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Farole was a cabinet member in Puntland's government until a falling out with then president Muse over a deal with the Australian oil company, Range Resources, which led to his departure as Planning Minister in 2006. Farole expressed doubts with regard to the agreement's legality, as Muse had reportedly awarded the contract without consulting the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, the nation's capital, and engaged in a process that Farole described as far from transparent. Shortly following, gunmen from a militia loyal to Farole entered the parliament building, and two militiamen and a civilian were reportedly killed nearby. According to the BBC, the "overnight siege and the clashes may be linked to Monday's deadline for MPs to approve or reject a new cabinet." Farole left the country soon afterwards to pursue post-graduate studies in Australia. After having reportedly turned down requests from his fellow countrymen to run for office in the past, and with the assurance of support from various political factions, Farole returned to Somalia in 2008 to present himself as a candidate in the Puntland region's 2008–2009 presidential elections. In January 2009, he won 49 of the 66 votes cast by parliament members, defeating the nine other candidates including incumbent President Muse, to become the fourth President of Puntland. Despite weeks of political tension prior to the vote, the election itself was also reportedly peaceful, prompting one U.S.-based observer to suggest that the "success of the Puntland elections can begin to provide a model for the whole of Somalia." In an effort to improve transparency, the new president also issued a first-ever "100 Days in Office report". The regional parliament in Puntland unanimously passed the 2009 budget after six days of negotiations. In addition, Farole has since revisited Puntland's oil deal with Range Resources, delivering a policy update in which he stated, among other things, that while he acknowledges the contracts that had already been signed under a great deal of controversy, it is important to "make sure that they are benefiting the people and are within the laws of Puntland." Range Resources, for its part, responded by indicating that it "looks forward to establishing a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship with the new Puntland government and its president".
Maakhir factor 
In July 2007, Maakhir was declared a regional state to represent the political will of members of the Warsangali branch of the Somali Darod clan from both the northern and southern portions of federal Somalia. Maakhir is the traditional territory of the Warsangali, a member (along with the Majeerteen, Dhulbahante and Dashiishe) of the Harti confederation of Darod clans whom in 1998 created the macro region of Puntland in a grand meeting in Garowe.
The Maakhirians were one of the principal actors in Puntland politics. However, some of the clan's members felt that they had been increasingly marginalized, as the Majeerteen clan assumed an increasingly hegemonic role in the state.
In August 2008, General Abdullahi Ahmed Jama ‘Ilkajir’ arrived back in Maakhir with the promise of running and winning the Puntland presidential election and consequently improve the role of Maakhirians in Puntland politics. He received a huge welcome throughout Maakhir's cities, and is credited with having brought Maakhir back into the Puntland fold.
Following the dissolution of the Maakhir administration, General Ilkajir subsequently became the de facto leader of Maakhir. He then assigned himself the duty of building up the sub-region's security structure, and to extend the local authorities' capacity to defend, serve and protect the region's inhabitants from external disruptions like piracy, charcoal profiteering and separatist adventures.
After the election in Puntland in which General Abdullahi Ilkajir ran and lost, he has joined the Puntland cabinet as the Interior Minister. In his new position, General Ilkajir is responsible for the establishment of local district governors across Puntland of which Maakhir territory is a part.
Speakers of the Puntland Parliament 
|Yusuf Haji Sa'id||1998–2004|
|Ahmed Ali Hashi||2004–2009|
|Abdirashid Mohamed Hersi||2009 – present|
New flag 
Puntland's new regional flag consists of three colours: white, blue and green.
- Top: the blue stripe with the white star in the centre symbolizes the Flag of Somalia
- Center: the white stripe in the center represents peace and stability in the region
- Bottom: the green stripe symbolizes the natural wealth of the Puntland State of Somalia
Democratisation process 
On 15 June 2009, the Farole administration passed a new regional draft constitution, representing a significant step toward the eventual introduction of a multi-party political system to the region for the first time.
On 15 April 2012, the Puntland government opened a four-day constitutional convention officially inaugurating the new state constitution. Overseen by the Puntland Electoral Commission (PEC), the constitution represented the final step in the extant regional democratization process and was scheduled to be followed by the formation of political parties.
On 12 September 2012, the Puntland Election Commission announced that the registration process for political parties in Puntland was now open. This came after the passing of the Political Association Law, the Referendum Act, the District Elections Law and the inauguration of the state constitution. With District Council elections slated for early 2013, the three political organizations that have earned the most seats across 21 demarcated districts will then constitute the region's official parties. They will also be challengers in the next elections, scheduled for January 2014.
On 12 November 2012, Members of the Puntland State Parliament amended the Puntland Electoral Law after convening in the regional capital of Garowe. The amendment lowers the minimum required number of votes that each political association must secure per province from 500 to 300. It also stipulates that parties should have bureaus open in all of Puntland's eight regions.
On 14 November 2012, Farole announced the launching of his new political party, Horseed. The association counts over 200 members and represents the incumbent Puntland government, including Vice President Abdisamad Ali Shire and the state Ministers. It is the first prospective party to register for an application with the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC). According to Farole, the general public will be eligible for membership in the organization once it is selected as an official political party.
On 4 December 2012, a second political party was later established in Bosaso, the commercial capital of Puntland. Named the Union of the People of the Regions or UPR (Ururka Gobolada Umadaha Bahoobey or UGUB), it is led by the former Governor of Sanaag, Mohamed Saeed Nuur Dabeyl. A day later, the third pary was established, the Development and Justice Party or DJP (Xisbiga Horumarinta iyo Cadaalada or Hor-Cad) was announced in Bosaso. It is chaired by Sanaag businessman Abdikadir Ahmed Du’ale.
On 11 December 2012, a Fourth political party was declared in Puntland. Named the Unity Party (Midnimo), it is led by the historian Professor Sadik Ennow.
As stipulated in Article 3 of the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic, Puntland consists of the following regions:
The regions of Sool and Sanaag are said to be under dispute, as these territories were claimed by the secessionist northwestern Somaliland macro region of Somalia. Beginning in 2003, Puntland troops entered and occupied the eastern parts of the Sool region. Fighting between the two forces led to casualties and captured prisoners, who were later exchanged.
Both the Sool and Sanaag regions have declared themselves autonomous parts of Somalia as Northland State (2008) and Maakhir State (2007), respectively, but Maakhir has rejoined Puntland after the arrival of General Abdullahi Ahmed Jama Ilkajir in 2008.
Prior naming this new region, the previous government of Puntland have created three regions, all have been carved from the existing regions, Karkaar was carved from Bari, Haylaan was also carved from Sanaag and Ayn was carved from Togdheer region.
Largest cities 
Largest cities or towns of Puntland
Puntland is geographically situated in the northeastern portion of Somalia. It is bordered by the Somaliland region of Somalia to its west, the Gulf of Aden in the north, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, the central Galmudug region of Somalia in the south, and Ethiopia in the southwest. Puntland occupies a total land area of 212,510 km2 or roughly one-third of Somalia's geographical area.
The region is semi-arid, with a warm climate and average daily temperatures ranging from 27 °C (80.6 °F) to 37 °C (98.6 °F). These climatic conditions favor pastoralism as the most effective use of land in most parts of the region. The most valuable grazing land includes the Hawd region in the high plateau to the west of the Mudug and Sool regions of Somalia, and into Ethiopia and the low Nugaal valley. Mild temperatures, by contrast, are experienced only along the high mountain ranges of Bari. In all other areas, Puntland is generally characterized by tropical desert heat.
Rainfall is sparse and variable, with no single area receiving more than 400 mm (15.7 in) of rain annually. Nomads primarily rely on wells as a source of water rather than surface water. There are four main seasons around which pastoral and agricultural life revolve, and these are dictated by shifts in the wind patterns. Puntland's seasons are:
- Jilal – from January to March; the harshest dry season of the year.
- Gu – from April to June; the main rainy season.
- Xagaa – from July to September; the second dry season.
- Deyr – from October to December; the shorter and less reliable rainy season.
Following the outbreak of the civil war in Somalia, numerous problems arose with regard to access to education in rural areas and along gender lines, quality of educational provisions, responsiveness of school curricula, educational standards and controls, management and planning capacity, and financing. To address these concerns, the Puntland government is in the process of developing an educational policy to guide the region's scholastic process as it embarks on the path of reconstruction and economic development. The latter includes a gender sensitive national education policy compliant with world standards, such as those outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Examples of this and other educational measures at work are the government's enactment of legislation aimed at securing the educational interests of girls, promoting the growth of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) program designed to reach parents and care-givers in their homes as well as in the ECD centers for 0- to 5-year-old children, and introducing incentive packages to encourage teachers to work in remote rural areas.
Within the Puntland government, the Ministry of Education is responsible for developing and managing the region's educational needs. It is headed by the Minister Mohamud Bile Dubbe, under whom a Vice Minister and Director General help oversee a Post-Primary Education Division (PPED) and a Basic Education Directorate (BED), among other boards.
The educational system of Puntland comprises two years of Early Childhood Development (ECD), eight years of primary education (four years of lower primary and four years of upper primary) and four years of secondary education. Tertiary education comprises an average of four years, with the region currently counting seven major universities: Puntland State University in Garowe, Puntland State University in Galkacyo, Bosaso College in Bosaso, East Somalia University in Qardhowhich has since joined with East Africa University, Mogadishu University (Puntland branch) in Bosaso, East Africa University in Bosaso, Maakhir University in Badhan, Sanaag, and Nugaal University in Las Anod. Thus, it is a 2-4-4-4 system. Puntland's Ministry of Education also recognizes non-formal education (NFE) and technical/vocational education and training (TVET) as integral parts of the region's educational system.
From 2005/2006 to 2006/2007, there was a significant increase in the number of schools in Puntland, up 137 institutions from just one year prior. During the same period, the number of classes in the region increased by 504, with 762 more teachers also offering their services. Total student enrollment increased by 27% over the previous year, with girls lagging only slightly behind boys in attendance in most regions. The highest class enrollment was observed in the northernmost Bari region, and the lowest was observed in the under-populated Ayn region. The distribution of classrooms was almost evenly split between urban and rural areas, with marginally more pupils attending and instructors teaching classes in urban areas.
Demographics and religion 
The region's population growth rate is quite high due in part to an influx of people from southern Somalia and from neighboring countries. Currently, 30% of Puntland's residents live in the fast growing towns of Bosaso, Gardo, Garowe and Galkayo. Approximately 70% of the population is also below the age of 30.
In terms of public transportation, bus services operate in Bosaso, Garowe, Las Anod, Galkacyo and Qardho. Shuttle services between the region's major towns and adjacent hamlets are also available via different types of vehicles, such as 4 wheel drives and light goods vehicles (LGV).
Puntland is traversed by a 750 km north–south highway. It connects major cities in the northern part of Somalia, such as Garowe, Bosaso and Galkayo, with townships in the south. In 2012, the Puntland Highway Authority completed rehabilitation work on the central artery linking Garowe with Galkayo. The transportation body also started an upgrade and repair project in June 2012 on the large thoroughfare between the regional capital and Bosaso. Additionally, renovations began in October 2012 on the freeway linking Bosaso with Qardho. Plans are also in the works to construct new roads connecting littoral towns in the region to the main highway.
For air transportation, local airlines offer flights to various domestic and international locations, such as Djibouti, Addis Ababa, Dubai and Jeddah; they also provide flights for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. The most prominent airlines in Puntland are Jubba Airways, Osob Air and Daallo Airlines, which operate from Bender Qassim International Airport in Bosaso and Abdullahi Yusuf International Airport (formerly Galkacyo Airport) in Galkacyo, among other places. In 2008, the Puntland government signed a multi-million dollar deal with Dubai's Lootah Group, a regional industrial group operating in the Middle East and Africa. According to the agreement, the first phase of the investment is worth Dhs 170m and will see a set of new companies established to operate, manage and build Bosaso's free trade zone and sea and airport facilities. The Bosaso Airport Company is slated to develop the airport complex to meet international standards, including a new 3.4 km runway, main and auxiliary buildings, taxi and apron areas, and security perimeters.
The Puntland Security Force (PSF) comprises the armed forces of the autonomous Puntland region. Commanders and senior officials of the military are appointed by a qualified panel approved by the Council of Ministers. The Puntland security apparatus also has an independent military judiciary.
The Puntland Intelligence Agency (PIA) is the intelligence bureau of Puntland's military. It was officially established in 2001 as the Puntland Intelligence Service during the rule of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, with help from the United States.
The Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) is a locally recruited, professional maritime security force. It is primarily aimed at preventing, detecting and eradicating piracy, illegal fishing, and other illicit activity off of the coast of Somalia, as well as generally safeguarding the nation's marine resources. In addition, the Force provides civic support, including repairing wells, rehabilitating hospitals and clinics, and refurbishing roads, airports and other infrastructure. It also offers skills training programs to local communities.
Puntland has 1600 km of coastline, which is abundant with fish and other natural marine resources. However, after the collapse of the Somali central government in 1991, the coast was left unguarded against foreign intruders. As a result, many ships equipped with heavy trawls and other unlawful fishing equipment have occupied in Puntland's territorial waters. These ships violate catch regulations, including some which keep their catch alive and stock them in waters where fishing has been depleted. Puntland's coastal authorities continue to receive complaints from local fishermen about the damage being done by these outsiders.
In Las Khorey, there is a medium size fish processing plant that produces and processes great quantities of tuna fish. The fish factory's products are of commercial quality, and its tuna is consumed throughout Puntland and also outside the region. Another fish processing plant is also being constructed in Habo, which locals hope will reduce poverty and unemployment and improve the area's economy.
Oil exploration 
Puntland signed a deal with Consort Private Ltd for exclusive oil exploration rights in the territory, interpreted in the original agreement as including the Bari, Nugaal, Mudug, Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions. Consort then sold a controlling share (50.1%) to Range Resources of Perth, Western Australia to carry out the actual exploration.
Canmex Minerals (later Africa Oil) of Canada signed an agreement with Range Resources for Canmex to open oil production on 80% of any oil discovered. In return, Canmex footed the bill for exploration, amounting to up to $70 million, plus a $5 million signing bonus for Range. On 23 August 2006, Canmex changed its name to Africa Oil Corp. The company continues to be based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
In July 2006, Range Resources made a presentation to both the Puntland government, which was then headed by Mohamud Muse Hersi, and the Transitional Federal Government led by former President of Somalia Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, on its activities in relation to the development of Puntland and the proposed strategy with respect to the ground Range retained as had previously been announced. Range also met with local clan leaders and government officials and presented a cheque for $250,000 USD to the government as a contribution to the upgrade of the Garowe Airport. The upgrade was intended to assist both Range and Puntland by way of allowing a much greater variety of aircraft to land when compared to the then existing arrangements of a dirt airstrip 40 km out of town.
In 2012, the Puntland government gave the green light to the first official oil exploration project in Puntland and Somalia at large. Led by the Canadian oil company Africa Oil and its partner Range Resources, initial drilling in the Shabeel-1 well on Puntland's Dharoor Block in March of the year successfully yielded oil.
Puntland has its own television channel and studios (SBC TV, radio & website and ETN TV), as well as radio stations. Established in 2004, Radio Garowe is a community radio station based in Garowe, the capital of Puntland. The station broadcasts daily from Somalia on shortwave 89.8 FM, covering all the latest headlines in Somali news, politics and society. It also broadcasts other special programming on Garowe Online, its online sister website.
LaasqorayNET is another privately owned website based in Badhan, Bosaso, Dubai and London. The website features articles written in Somali and English. In addition, the website hosts some audio, though the latter is not regularly updated.
Horseed Media was established in 2002 by a group of Somali intellectuals in the Netherlands and Finland. The station broadcasts from Bosaso and has a listening audience of about 80,000 people, with a reach of 150 km2. It also operates a website that counts over 10,000 daily visitors.
Based in Garowe, Puntland Post was established in 2001 by Somali expatriates in Denmark. Its website publishes daily domestic and international news reports and analysis in both Somali and English, with an emphasis on Puntland affairs.
Other media organizations include Raxanreeb Online (RBC Radio). Launched in 2006, RBC presents Somali news to a global audience in both Somali and English. With direct sources based in Somalia, it covers local politics and society.
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