5 April 2014

Somalia: President Gaas Sacks Puntland Marine Forces Director

The President of Somalia's Puntland Government Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas has revoked the Director's position from Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) Director Mohamed Abdirahman Farole in the latest move of unseating key officials within his administration, Garowe Online reports.

Presidency sources on Saturday confirmed to GO that President Gaas fired Farole by presidential decree that has not been disclosed to the media.

Abdinasir Bihi Sofe, a businessman who comes from the same clan as Puntland leader would replace the outgoing Farole as the Director General of Puntland Marine Forces.

The coastal police forces were established in 2010 following series of requests that were dispatched to the International Community by former Puntland President Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed Farole. The Maritime security forces battled pirates on the ground, deterring the local threats and securing commercial maritime routes off Puntland coast.

PMPF receives financial support from the United Arab Emirates. Besides maritime security operations, Puntland Marine Forces played a vital role in delivering relief and medical supplies at the height of deadly cyclonic storm in late 2013.

President Gaas, who was elected Puntland's new president in a narrow victory margin of 33-to-32 parliamentary vote on January 8, 2014 has launched what is being considered as pre-planned shakeup.

Last Thursday, he fired the governor of Nugal region of northeastern Somalia over undisclosed reasons by in turn naming a close aide and presidential campaigner to the post.

Under the Incumbency of Mr. Mohamed Farole, the professional security unit operating in territorial waters freed MV Iceberg 1; a vessel owned by a Dubai-based shipping company and was hijacked on March 2010, around 10 nautical miles off the coast of Aden, Yemen in December 2012.

In 2010, Puntland government enacted Somalia's first-ever Anti-Piracy Law and instituted the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF), which has bases along Puntland coast and has been renowned for actively fighting against piracy, smuggling activities, and illegal fishing.


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