Garowe Online (Garowe)

12 October 2013

Somalia: Puntland Govt and Telecom Company At Loggerheads Over Message Dissemination

Garowe — Puntland government in northern Somalia and the largest telecommunications operator in the region, Golis are now at loggerheads over the dissemination of what the government called ‘political messages’ to mobile subscribers, Garowe Online reports.

The message, which was part of other three text messages and sent via mobile phones to Puntland people, sparked feud between Puntland government and Golis Telecom as Media Association of Puntland (MAP) and local journalists previously expressed their displeasure with the messages, which were transferred to Puntland by the Somali Federal Government in Mogadishu and finally declared in statement that media houses would not broadcast the messages.

Sources close to Puntland government said that both sides are currently negotiating about the motives behind the dissemination of the political messages.

The disputes have sparked two days after, Ali Haji Warsame the General Manager of Golis officially departed his post and rumors are indicating that he will join Puntland presidential candidates who would take part the upcoming elections that is slated for 8th of January 2014.

The bilateral relations between Somalia Federal Government and Puntland have been worsening and Puntland suspended cooperation with Mogadishu-based government in early August.

Golis company apology

Golis company's general manager, Mr Aden Sheikhdon, told a telephone press conference Saturday afternoon that Golis company "apologizes for the text messages and Golis does not tolerate any issue that threatens the security and political stability of Puntland".

Mr. Sheikhdon said the text messages were sent as an International SMS and that Golis officers were in talks with Puntland government officials, to prevent future mishaps.

Last week, radio messages were sent by Somali Federal Government to Puntland media houses. Puntland media organizations and Media Association of Puntland (MAP) held consultations about the messages and rejected broadcasting "public incitement messages" sent by Mogadishu officials to Puntland regions.

The text messages delivered via Golis mobile network in Puntland came after the radio messages were jointly rejected by media organizations, MAP and Puntland's Ministry of Information.

Puntland officials accuse the Federal Government leadership in Mogadishu of funding activities to destabilize Puntland, following Puntland's suspension of relations on Aug. 5.

This report has been updated since first published - AllAfrica editors.

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