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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Puntland reportedly blocks Somali elders from attending UN sponsored talks


June 26, 2011

Traditional elders from various towns in Puntland and Somaliland have held a meeting in which they accused the Puntland Administration and particularly the presidency of blocking them from travelling to Kampala. The elders have been invited to a meeting of Somali elders organized by the United Nations which is being held in Kampala.

The traditional elders met in Garoowe and said the Puntland Administration has barred them from leaving the region despite a special flight chartered by the United Nations arriving at the town's airport. The elders said Puntland Administration has banned anyone claiming to represent it from attending the talks and that the plane had to be sent back by the administration after the elders were barred from travelling.

Khalif Aw Ali, the chairman of traditional elders in Puntland Region said they were invited by the United Nations Political Office for Somalia which organized the meeting also being attended by other traditional elders from various part of Somalia. Khalif said he does not understand what prompted the Puntland Administration to reject the talks which he said were to discuss the future of the country and nothing more.

The administration has so far not commented on its reasons for blocking the elders from attending the UN talks. There are reports that the administration is angered by the fact that they have not been consulted about the elder's invitation to the talks.



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