An interview with the Puntland Governor of Mudug.
Puntland Governor of Mudug is based in North Galka’yo. Puntland Post Reporter Abdirahman Isse Omar interviewed Governor Ahmed Musse Nur by telephone several week ago. Following is an edited and English translation of the interview to appear March issue of Puntland Post Monthly webzine.
Puntland Post: How is the situation in Mudug now?
Governor: The situation is calm. There are talks to start in Ballibusle. Puntland negotiators are already at Ballibusle; negotiators from the other side [Galmudug State] will be arriving at the venue today as agreed. We hope solutions will be found to the conflict. Both administrations have been collaborating for quite some time. Politically motivated exaggeration of the conflict has come to an end. From time to time some people commit crimes, or ambush cars. What is being looked at is how a customary law on these crimes can be enacted by both sides so people in the region can co-exist peacefully.
Puntland Post: There are reports that the Federal Government plans to deploy troops in Mudug to beef up security of the region. Are you aware of the plan?
Governor: I heard of the plan but it is not aimed at improving the security in the region. We do not need their support. The Federal Government troops operate at borders when there are inter-state hostilities in line with the federal system. Each administration has a duty to secure its districts. As you know for the last 21 years Puntland has been securing territories under its jurisdiction, and on several occasions Puntland was at war with terrorist groups. We never had a need to seek assistance from another side. We are up to the task of securing our regions. The plan of the Federal Government to deploy troops in Mudug is not dissimilar to the deployment of troops in Gedo to destabilise peaceful regions and to overthrow the existing administration. The plan is to deploy troops in Mudug in March. I warn them against such a move. Mudug is not where they can deploy troops at will. No one can do what people do not want. People are armed here. Only when people and the administration collaborate can something get done. Puntland is self-reliant and consults with its people. It relies on its security forces. It does not seek any assistance from anyone. Any group that tries to attack us we will view as occupiers. People protecting themselves against occupiers and people seeking promotion by attacking another region are not the same. I warn them against the plan [ to deploy troops in Mudug] and not to fan hostility and cause bloodshed among Somalis. Their aim in Gedo is to take over the region from the [Jubaland] administration. The information we have indicates they are arming themselves to attack Mudug in the same manner as they did Gedo.
Puntland Post: How possible is it for the weak Federal Government to launch an attack and destabilise Mudug?
Governor: They have deployed troops in three Gedo districts and appointed new commanders. Mudug is different. In Gedo they may have some supporters due to clan connection. Mudug is different from Gedo; they have no supporters here. We will defend the regions should they attack Mudug.
Puntland Post: Has the Federal Government communicated with Puntland State about the deployment plan?
Governor: They have not communicated with us about it. There is no need for deployment of troops. We have enough troops. More training and coordination is what the Federal Government could contribute. If they have our country’s interest at heart they would cooperate with us on making our troops more professional through training and help with remuneration.
Puntland Post: As you know the Federal Government said that it had formed a new administration for Galmudug. What is the position of Puntland on the “three presidents” of Galmudug?
Governor: Puntland welcomes what people of Galmudug collectively support. We have not supported or financed any of the contenders. It is our interest and the national interest to have a peaceful and strong Galmudug as our neighbour to cooperate on different challenges. Galmudug conference was organised by the Federal Government and last seven months. We see the outcome of the conference. Different clans live in Galmudug. They deserve to have an inclusive administration.
© Puntland Post Monthly, 2020