Somalia: Attorney General visiting Puntland


Garowe (Somali Commentator) Somalia-Attorney General Ahmed Ali Dahir and the Chief of Custodial Corps Gen. Bashir Mohamed Jama (Gobe) are on visit to Puntland amid strained ties.

Ahmed Ali Dahir Somali Attorney General
Ahmed Ali Dahir Somali Attorney General

The two—who were welcomed to Puntland—reportedly arrived to attend detention conditions training by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), and raised questions on whether there is a thaw in relations more recently soured by the adoption of controversial election model for 2016 elections.

Puntland Justice Minister, Salah Habib, has however denied that political motives are behind their stay during Saturday’s interview on Puntland-based independent station, Radio Garowe.

He also insisted that the trip is not political but a normal itinerary only limited to trainings on prison systems, which was conducted under the auspices of UNDOC.

When asked about reports of prison programmes blocked by the Attorney General, Habib said, he has no knowledge about the move: “We will be looking for evidences, if confirmed, then we will hold him accountable for.”

Puntland officials discussed the even distribution of international assistance received in the name of Somalia with Dahir.

The Attorney General is accused of writing to UNDOC, asking for Puntland UNDOC programmes to be allotted in Mogadishu in advance. Well informed sources say, the letter led to aid wrangle with the head of the UN programme to combat drugs and organized crimes Alan Cole, who finally agreed to invite Dahir to almost every conference on maritime crimes.

Dahir, who travelled to many countries for key meetings, is said to have backed down from his position on UNDOC’s activities in Puntland following the compromise.

Relations between Mogadishu and Garowe have largely remained suspended over disputes regarding Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC), 2016 election proposal and international aid.