Soldiers in Puntland stage protests over unpaid salaries

Puntland regional state soldiers revolted on Wednesday morning in Garowe, the state’s administrative capital, over unpaid wages and allowances.

Demonstrating soldiers have blocked the road leading to Puntland’s presidency and ministries, thereby hindering people and vehicle movement. Military vehicles and stones barricaded the road.

The blocked road is vital route used daily by ministry employees, the Puntland presidency, business centers, and other institutions. The disgruntled protesters were

mostly soldiers assigned to guard the presidential palace, which houses Regional President Said Deni and other state officials. Some troops have expressed their discontent, citing lengthy period of salary arrears.

This was not the first time soldiers blocked vital routes, as in Bosaso, Puntland’s commercial capital, troops seized the main port and blocked several roads in what they called “unfair treatment” by the government.

Deni has been accused by critics of diverting resources to the recently concluded disputed local elections. President Deni has yet to respond to the grievances.

The Puntland elections were the first in more than half-century in the conflict-ridden, fragile Horn of Africa nation, excluding the unrecognized breakaway region of Somaliland, which considers itself an independent republic.

This unfolds as the rift between Puntland state leadership and Central government continues to widen . This was depicted by recent absence of the state’s leadership in recently concluded National Consultative Council meeting where significant and contentious decisions were crafted

including holding universal suffrage elections come 2026 and abolishment of Premiership post in government replacing it president, vice president model .For years, Somalia has been relying on the opaque clan-based model where leaders are chosen in boardrooms.

The powerful government of the semi-autonomous state of Puntland announced in a statement on Monday, January 9, that it is “now acting as an independent government. Tensions have been growing in recent months between Mogadishu and Puntland over the distribution of political,

judicial and security powers, the use of the ports of Bossaso and Berbera and natural resources, and the right to enter into foreign partnerships, especially for oil development. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has denied allegations of a growing rift between the Federal Government of

Somalia and the Federal Member States, during a recent townhall meeting where the president fielded questions from journalists and members of the public.



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