Deputy Finance Minister Accuses Puntland President of Personal Vendetta Against Federal Government

Somalia’s Deputy Finance Minister, Abdiqafar Hassan Hange, has accused Puntland President Deni of having a personal vendetta against the federal government. He claimed that Deni’s opposition to the federal government stems from his failure to become Prime Minister.

Hange made these allegations during an exclusive interview with Dalsan TV in Mogadishu, stating that Deni had been overlooked for the Prime Minister’s job under Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, which caused resentment.

Deni publicly backed Mohamud during the final round of the national presidential elections last year, which resulted in Mohamud defeating the incumbent President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.

Deni had been tipped to take over as Prime Minister under Mohamud, but this did not happen. According to Hange, after not receiving the Prime Minister job, Deni began sowing seeds of discord between Puntland and the central government.

The Deputy Finance Minister emphasized that Deni had made it clear to international bodies and Somalia’s debt relief agencies that there was no cooperation agreement in place with the central government. He added that the people of Puntland viewed Deni’s conflict with the central government as a personal issue, not a federal dispute.

In a related event, former Puntland Finance Minister Hassan Shire Abgaal called on President Deni to either amend the Constitution or refrain from postponing the 2024 presidential election. Speaking at a press conference in Garowe, Abgaal warned that Deni would face repercussions that could endanger the 2024 election if he failed to address the country’s debt relief issues forthrightly.

Recently, Prime Minister Hamze Abdi Barre preemptively placed the blame for any potential hiccups in Somalia’s debt relief program squarely on President Deni. He warned that the federal government would not tolerate failures in the crucial debt forgiveness process.

Barre also appealed to Deni to stop politicizing the matter and to address Puntland’s issues forthrightly.

The allegations against President Deni have put into question his motivations and intensified the existing conflict between Puntland and the federal government.

The accusations raise concerns about personal ambition overriding the interests of the Somali people and draw attention to the importance of ending the political wrangling to focus on issues affecting the country’s stability and progress.

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