PRESS RELEASE: Somalia: UK, Norway Delegations Visit Puntland
2 April 2011
Somalia: UK, Norway Delegations Visit Puntland
Delegations from the governments of the United Kingdom and Norway visited Puntland State of Somalia during the last week of March, 2011. Both delegations were welcomed at the airport in Garowe, capital of Puntland, by senior officials of the Puntland Government.
The UK’s Senior Representative for Somalia, Hon. Matt Baugh, led three-member delegation to Garowe.
The President of Puntland, H.E. Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole), Vice President H.E. Gen. Abdisamad Ali Shire, and members of the Cabinet formally met with the UK delegation at the State House in Garowe.
Discussions included the UK’s assistance to Somalia, Puntland’s position vis-vis the end of the TFG transitional period, and Somaliland s military aggression in parts of Puntland.
The Puntland leadership condemned Somaliland’s military aggression against local clans in Buhodle district, part of Puntland’s Ayn region. The UK delegation also met with traditional elders (Issims) from Ayn region who expressed strong opposition to Somaliland’s military aggression.
The UK delegation paid a field visit to Puntland Marine Force (PMF) soldiers who are delivering water by truck to remote villages and districts in different parts of Puntland, as part of the government’s ongoing drought mitigation efforts.
Separately, a Norwegian delegation led by Hon. Hans Jacob Frydenlynd, Deputy Director-General at Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, visited Puntland. The six-member Norwegian delegation included H.E. Peter Raeder, Ambassador Special from Oslo.
President Farole, Vice President Shire and members of Puntland’s Cabinet received the Norwegian delegation at the State House. Discussions were centered around strengthening relations between the two sides, anti-piracy efforts off the Somali coast, and Norway’s humanitarian assistance to Somalia.
The Puntland leadership shared with the visiting delegation the government’s ongoing efforts to combat piracy on land. Currently, there are over 240 pirates in Puntland jails who are convicted or awaiting trail.
Both delegations toured a number of government ministries, including Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, and also attended a Somali Women s Conference being hosted by the Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs.
An honorary dinner was held for the Norway delegation at Rugsan Bar and Restaurant before the delegation’s departure from Puntland.