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Puntland (Somali: Puntlaand, Arabic: is a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe (Nugaal region), whose leaders declared it an autonomous state in 1998. A third of Somalia's population lives in the province, which likewise represents about a third of the nation's geographical area Unlike neighbouring Somaliland, Puntland does not seek outright independence from Somalia. The name "Puntland" is derived from the Land of Punt mentioned by ancient Egyptian sources. The exact location of the Land of Punt is still a mystery and is the subject of academic debate and controversy. Some studies suggest that the land of Punt was located in Somalia, whereas others propose that it was located elsewhere
The Puntland State of Somalia was established in August 1998 after a decision made by local political and traditional leaders following several failed national reconciliation efforts in the wake of the Somali Civil War. Originally, the administration derived its legitimacy from a series of locally sponsored conferences in which the traditional council of elders (Isimada) played a key rol
As stipulated in Article 1 of the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic, Puntland is a part of the Federal State of Somalia. As such, the region seeks the unity of the Somali people and adheres to a federal system of government. Unlike the secessionist region of Somaliland to its west, Puntland is not trying to obtain international recognition as a separate nationHowever, both regions have one thing in common: they base their support upon clan elders and their way of organization along lines based on clan relationships and kinship.HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-8" Since 1998, Puntland has also been in territorial disputes with Somaliland over the Sool and Sanaag regions.
The legal structure of Puntland consists of the Judiciary, Legislative (House of Representatives) and the Executive (the President and his nominated council of Ministries) branches of government. Though relatively peaceful, the region briefly experienced political unrest in 2001 when then President of Puntland, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, one of the founding fathers of the Puntland State and its first president, wanted his term extended. Ahmed and Jama Ali Jama fought for control of the region, with Ahmed emerging victorious the following year. Ahmed served his second term as president until October 2004, when he was elected President of Somalia. He was succeeded in office by Mohamed
GEN:Abdulahi Yusuf Abdi Hashi, who served until January 2005 when he lost a re-election bid in parliament to General Mohamud Muse Hersi "Adde".
In March 2005, then incumbent President Muse began an ambitious plan to build an airport in Puntland's commercial capital of Bosaso, a project which is now complete and referred to as Bender Qassim International Airport.HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-10"
On April 2007, Muse held meetings with Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, where the two leaders signed an agreement on a deal for setting up of a dedicated livestock quarantine facility to facilitate the import of livestock from Somalia to the UAE. On October 2008, Muse also signed a Dh170 million agreement with Dubai's Lootah Group to support the construction of an airport, seaport and free zone in the coastal city of Bosaso. Muse indicated that "I believe that when we finish all these projects our people will benefit by getting good health services, education and overall prosperity."
The newly elected President of Puntland is Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, a former PhD candidate in the history department at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Farole was a cabinet member in Puntland's government until a falling out with then president Muse over a deal with the Australian oil company, Range Resources, which led to his departure as Planning Minister in 2006.HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-NewPres-15" Farole expressed doubts with regard to the agreement's legality, as Muse had reportedly awarded the contract without consulting the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, the nation's capital, and engaged in a process that Farole described as far from transparent. Shortly following, gunmen from a militia loyal to Farole entered the parliament building, and two militiamen and a civilian were reportedly killed nearby. According to the BBC, the "overnight siege and the clashes may be linked to Monday's deadline for MPs to approve or reject a new cabinet."HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-16" Farole left the country soon afterwards to pursue post-graduate studies in Australia HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-17" After having reportedly turned down requests from his fellow countrymen to run for office in the past, and with the assurance of support from various political factions, Farole returned to Somalia in 2008 to present himself as a candidate in the Puntland region's 2008-2009 presidential elections. In January 2009, he won 49 of the 66 votes cast by parliament members, defeating the nine other candidates including incumbent President Muse, to become the fourth President of Puntland.HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-NewPres-15" Despite weeks of political tension prior to the vote, the election itself was also reportedly peaceful, prompting one U.S.-based observer to suggest that the "success of the Puntland elections can begin to provide a model for the whole of Somalia." In an effort to improve transparency, the new president also issued a first-ever "100 Days in Office report". The regional parliament in Puntland unanimously passed the 2009 budget after six days of negotiations. In addition, Farole has since revisited Puntland's oil deal with Range Resources, delivering a policy update in which he stated, among other things, that while he acknowledges the contracts that had already been signed under a great deal of controversy, it is important to "make sure that they are benefiting the people and are within the laws of Puntland." Range Resources, for its part, responded by indicating that it "looks forward to establishing a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship with the new Puntland government and its president".
Puntland is geographically situated in the northeastern portion of Somalia. It is bordered by the Somaliland region of Somalia to its west, the Gulf of Aden in the north, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, the central Galmudug region of Somalia in the south, and Ethiopia in the southwest. Puntland occupies a total land area of 212,510 km2 or roughly one-third of Somalia's geographical area.
The region is semi-arid, with a warm climate and average daily temperatures ranging from 27 °C (81 °F) to 37 °C (99 °F). These climatic conditions favor pastoralism as the most effective use of land in most parts of the region. The most valuable grazing land includes the Hawd region in the high plateau to the west of the Mudug and Sool regions of Somalia, and into Ethiopia and the low Nugaal valley. Mild temperatures, by contrast, are experienced only along the high mountain ranges of Bari. In all other areas, Puntland is generally characterized by tropical desert heat.
Rainfall is sparse and variable, with no one area receiving more than 400mm of rain annually. Nomads primarily rely on wells as a source of water rather than surface water. There are four main seasons around which pastoral and agricultural life revolve, and these are dictated by shifts in the wind patterns. Puntland's seasons are:
Jilal – from January to March; the harshest dry season of the year.
Gu – from April to June; the main rainy season.
Xagaa – from July to September; the second dry season.
Deyr – from October to December; the shortest and less reliable rainy season
Following the outbreak of the civil war in Somalia, numerous problems arose with regard to access to education in rural areas and along gender lines, quality of educational provisions, responsiveness of school curricula, educational standards and controls, management and planning capacity, and financing. To address these concerns, the Puntland government is in the process of developing an educational policy to guide the region's scholastic process as it embarks on the path of reconstruction and economic development. The latter includes a gender sensitive national education policy compliant with world standards, such as those outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Examples of this and other educational measures at work are the government's enactment of legislation aimed at securing the educational interests of girls, promoting the growth of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) program designed to reach parents and care-givers in their homes as well as in the ECD centers for 0-5 year old children, and introducing incentive packages to encourage teachers to work in remote rural areas.
Within the Puntland government, the Ministry of Education is responsible for developing and managing the region's educational needs. It is headed by the Minister Mohamud Bile Dubbe, under whom a Vice Minister and Director General help oversee a Post-Primary Education Division (PPED) and a Basic Education Directorate (BED), among other boards.
The educational system of Puntland comprises two years of Early Childhood Development (ECD), eight years of primary education (four years of lower primary and four years of upper primary) and four years of secondary education. Tertiary education comprises an average of four years, with the region currently counting for major universities: East Africa University in Bosaso, Puntland State University in Garowe, Puntland State University in Galkacyo, and Nugal University in Las Anod. Thus, it is a 2-4-4-4 system. Puntland's Ministry of Education also recognizes non-formal education (NFE) and technical/vocational education and training (TVET) as integral parts of the region's educational system.
From 2005/2006 to 2006/2007, there was a significant increase in the number of schools in Puntland, up 137 institutions from just one year prior. During the same period, the number of classes in the region increased by 504, with 762 more teachers also offering their services. Total student enrollment increased by 27% over the previous year, with girls lagging only slightly behind boys in attendance in most regions. The highest class enrollment was observed in the northernmost Bari region, and the lowest was observed in the under-populated Ayn region. The distribution of classrooms was almost evenly split between urban and rural areas, with marginally more pupils attending and instructors teaching classes in urban areas
Demographics and religion
As of 2006, the population of Puntland is estimated at 3.9 million inhabitants, 52% of whom are nomads.
The region's population growth rate is quite high due to in part to an influx of people from southern Somalia and from neighboring countries. Currently, 30% of Puntland's residents live in the fast growing towns of Bosaso, Gardo, Garowe and Galkacyo. Approximately 70% of the population is also below the age of 30.
The population density in Puntland is estimated at about 18 persons per km2.
As with the rest of Somalia, Islam is the main religion of the Puntland region. With few exceptions, all residents of Puntland are Muslims.[