United States Congress (Washington, DC)
Somalia: Abusive Behavior in Puntland
Congressman Donald Payne

Press Release

WASHINGTON, 21 November 2009 (Somalilandpress) — In late October, the Puntland government arrested five men of Ogadeni origin. These men came to Puntland using Somali travel documents provided by Somali authorities in Yemen.

Puntland and Ethiopian security personnel, invited by Puntland authorities, interrogated the prisoners. One of the prisoners, Abdi Mohamed Hassan also known as “Abdi Teerso” was handed over to Ethiopian security. Another prisoner died while in custody. An elderly man from Puntland was arrested by Puntland authorities after he publicly criticized the government.

This is not the first time Puntland authorities have harassed, tortured, killed, and handed over men of Ogadeni origin to Ethiopian security. Over a year ago, two senior members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) were handed over to Ethiopian security by a Puntland minister. They came, with the permission of Puntland authorities, to discuss the murder of an elder.

In June 2009, I invited President Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole) of Puntland to testify before my Subcommittee on Somalia. After the hearing, I discussed a number of issues with him, including the targeting and the handing over of Ogadenis to Ethiopian authorities. I was assured then that this would not happen again and that the government would reach out to this community.
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In an effort to resolve the recent detention of the five men, I called the President of Puntland to discuss my concerns and strongly urged him to release them without delay. I even proposed that the men be sent to another country where they will be safe. A week passed and nothing happened.

In mid-November, I met again with the President of Puntland and his Interior Minister in Kenya to urge them to release the three men still in detention in Puntland. Again, he pledged to find ways to pardon the prisoners. In fact, Puntland authorities are now threatening non-Puntland Somalis to leave some areas within 48 hours.

I strongly condemn this abusive and dictatorial behavior and demand the immediate release of the prisoners. I also call for those responsible for the killing of the prisoner and intimidation of Ogadenis to be held accountable, including senior officials who authorized these measures. Failure to act quickly on this matter will have serious consequences.


  1. Time to teach unforgettable lesson to the governor of the piracy infested enclave who can’t even ensure the security of his own people.

    Once the piracy proceedings dry out; and the generous fund from Western countries for fughting piracy is over and NGOs desert his governship, then the reality will sink in and will be confronted by the burned and barren hills of his province.

    He will know that he is presiding over a parasite region devoid of any significant natural or human resources. A region which not only has been subsidized by other regions of Somalia but has actually enjoyed more than their fair share in political and economic power since 1960.

    Lately, it has become common in Somali politicians to compete the favours of Ethiopia, but Ethiopia is no substitute to the baby-sitting they accustomed to from Somalia.

    Ethiopia neither has economic means to bail them out from economic harship (and why so?)nor it will naievely spoon-feed them at the expense of its own people as the case was with Somalia.

      • whos walking the walk? Ethiopians? hahahahaha dont kil me with your jokes, they are more hungry then us Somalis, if all Somalis stop hatting on each other, we will be kings of Africa again

  2. Congressman, were you not the one who pump up this corrupt regime by inviting them as a legit authority to Washington?
    So please, blame yourself and your advice Mr.Dagne for the crime pugland is committing now.

  3. it a disgrace to see our people killing each other and all for what , and at the same time the Ethiopians are taking advantage.

    you have wake up people and take control of your destiny.