The Puntland government has issued a directive to authorities in the contested regions of Sanaag and Haylaan, instructing them not to allow students to sit for upcoming examinations administered by Somaliland.
The move comes as tensions continue to simmer between the two regions, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict in the Sool region.
In a letter from the Ministry of Education, the governors of Sanaag and Haylaan were directed to stop any conduct of exams, noting that all students in Puntland territories had already completed their exams.
“Therefore any other exams other than that conducted by the government of Puntland in these areas is prohibited,” the letter read in part.
The Somaliland National Examination Board had previously announced that exams would commence on June 17, but this directive now prohibits their administration in the contested regions. The Ministry of Education separately stated that 3,200 students from the conflict-affected Sool region would be assessed based on their previous tests due to fighting in the area preventing the administration of exams.
The directive highlights the ongoing political and social tensions in the region, particularly in light of the conflict in Laas’anod town in the Sool region, which has claimed hundreds of lives since it began last December.
It also has implications for the education and future of students in the contested regions, who may now be unable to sit for the exams they were preparing for.
As the situation continues to develop, it remains to be seen how the Puntland government, the authorities in the contested regions, and Somaliland will respond to this directive.
The impact on students and the wider community is of great concern, and the ongoing conflict in the Sool region only adds to the complexity of the situation.