President of Somalia’s northeastern of Puntland state, has spoken to the local media on Wednesday, shortly after his arrival to Bossaso Airport where he was received by government officials and members of the civil society, Garowe Online reports. In the press conference, President Abdiwali Mohamed Ali Gaas rejected allegation made recently by a member of Puntland Parliament over grants diversion close to $4 Million received from Federal government, which was a part of foreign aid support to Somalia and regional states.
President Ali described the allegations as “baseless” and “unfounded”, and called the Federal government to shed light on the claims of the financial support. “I would like to take this opportunity to respond, I saw a member of parliament who spoke to the media, made false accusations from falsified documents, that Puntland had received grants from Federal government and diverted the grants, the Federal government needs to clarify it, whom it was given to, how it was received and to which account it was wired to,” said Ali. He later added that Puntland government hasn’t received any financial assistance from Federal government.
On the other hand, Ali has spoken about the recapture of port town Qandala by factions linked to Islamists State in Somalia (ISIS) last week, whereas many residents have fled the town for fear being targeted from the militant group. Ali said that ISIS group is not capable of holding Qandala town or other territories in Puntland region and stressed that their presence will not last for long. “Daish (ISIS) can’t keep control of Qandala town and it will not stay in Puntland, they are not capable of either stay nor hold territories, we will carry out counter operations,” added Ali.
However, this coincides with reports of missiles strikes on Qandala town in the past days from navy ships in the territorial waters but not confirmed whether the ships are belonging to foreign forces or Puntland maritime forces. Qandala town, a strategic ancient port town, is located 75 km east of Bossaso town, many residents were reported displaced and have fled from the town and nearby villages for fears of clashes between militants and Puntland forces.