8 January 2013

Somalia: Puntland Politicians 'Interviewed On Al Shabaab Radio'

Garowe — Somali media outlets have reported that two politicians from Puntland region in northern Somalia have been 'interviewed' on a radio station owned by Al Shabaab terrorist group, Garowe Online reports.

Somali media picked up on the interviews after the two radio interviews appeared on SomaliMemo.net and Radioalfurqan.com, two Somali websites affiliated to Al Shabaab.

In one interview, recorded on Jan. 5, former Puntland security minister Gen. Abdullahi Said Samatar claims that the Puntland government's term in office ends on Jan. 8 and says he intends to 'declare a new government' in Puntland.

In Bossaso, on the night of Jan. 8, Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole attended an event celebrating the 4th anniversary since the president's election.

The anniversary event was attended by Puntland government leaders, traditional elders (Issimo), Islamic clergy, businesspeople, women and youth groups, and representatives from registered political associations in Puntland.

In the second interview, which appeared on Radioalfurqan.com, Abdirahman Mohamed Gablah claims that President Farole's term ends on Jan. 8 and says that a 'new government will be declared in Puntland'.

The interviewer asks Mr. Gablah unconventional questions such as, 'wh at plans does your [Gablah] group have and how do you i ntend to overthrow [President] Farole?' and the like.

Gen. Samatar and Mr. Gablah, a U.S. citizen, have publicly opposed the Puntland constitution and rejected Puntland's trajectory towards multiparty political system.

The source of the two audio recordings could not be independently verified, but the recordings initially appeared on websites affiliated to Al Shabaab terrorist group.

Last week, Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage (Ali Dheere) threatened to destroy Puntland in a new recording. Puntland Security Minister Khalif Issa Mudan responded by vowing to defend the security and stability of Puntland.

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