"Puntland Mediation Efforts Fail."
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
Puntland President Jama Ali Jama
"The failure of these talks is likely to lead to more instability and insecurity in Puntland."
An effort by Ethiopian leaders to mediate between the current and former leaders of the self-declared autonomous Puntland have been unsuccessful. The current President of Puntland, Jama Ali Jama, and former leader, Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf, had been invited to Ethiopia by the government to meet for talks with the hope that peace could be brought to the region.
Usman Mahmud, an adviser to Jama, stated that "the President was disappointed that nothing positive emerged from the mediation." Jama and his advisors blamed Abdullahi Yusuf for the failure of the talks.
Sources in Puntland reported that the Ethiopians proposed that the two opposing sides enter into a power-sharing arrangement, with Abdullahi Yusuf as president and Jama as prime minister. This was rejected by Jama as "unworkable", the sources said.
Usman Mahmud told IRIN that Jama's Puntland administration "will not undertake any military action against anyone, but is ready and willing to defend itself".
It has been expressed by supporters of both Jama and Yusuf an overwhelming desire for peace. The people of the Puntland region are frustrated with the continual power struggle that exists between both sides and the majority of people want to get on with their lives.
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