Garowe-Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland has condemned Al-Shabab militant group which banned the usage of the Somali 1000 banknote from traders in the central and southern regions including parts of Puntland. Businesses in Beledweyn, Abudwak and Galkayo have been brought to standstill by the ban as locals staged violent demonstrations against the business premises who rejected trading with the shilling.
In a statement, Puntland Cabinet of the Ministers said the militant group is aiming to devalue the Somali shilling and destroy the economy.
“Al-Shabab is the enemy of the Somali people. They are attempting to harm the economy by devaluing Somali shilling and empowering the foreign currency.” Said the statement released later on Thursday.
Authorities warned local business community from following Al-Shabab orders as the ban on the Shilling now affected Galkayo town.
“Puntland government warns business owners in Puntland against following the ban on the Somali shillings. Anybody found complying Al-Shabab ban will be considered as a member of them and will face consequences.” warned the statement.
The ban on the Somali Shilling came following huge influx of counterfeit banknotes printed in Puntland affecting the livelihood of people in many parts of the country.
BOSASSO CURRENCY PRINTING
Sources in Puntland said billions of new countering currency printed in Bosasso has been recently released in circulation by Puntland officials floating the exchange rate between dollars and Somali shilling.
In a recent interview with local TV station, Puntland’s Deputy Minister of Finance Ahmed Yassin admitted that his administration has a currency printing machines in Bosasso saying that it was needed to fill the currency gap in Somalia.
“Money printing is important since there is a shortage of the current Somali banknotes in circulation. We have controlled a lot, but later we have noticed that it caused inflation in the exchange markets.” The Deputy Minister said.
In a report in November last year, the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (UNSEMG) slammed Puntland President Abdiweli Ali Gaas for establishing the economy by printing counterfeit currencies.