The north-eastern part of Somalia, which declared itself a self-governing republic on 23 July 1998. The capital is at Garowe.
Unlike Somaliland, the north-western part, formerly the colony of British Somaliland, Puntland does not seek full independence; it foresees rejoining Somalia once a credible national government is in place.
The original idea was that the Puntland region could be a haven of peace away from the battles between warlords that had destroyed the rest of Somalia. It is inhabited by the Darod clans.
However it has its own rifts. The founding president Cabdullaahi Yuusuf Axmed (Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad) was replaced on 1 July 2001, though he refused to relinquish office. On 14 November 2001 Jama Ali Jama was elected president of Puntland and installed, but on 21 November gunmen loyal to former president Cabdullaahi seized Garowe. Jama retreated to the commercial centre of Bosaso, vowing to retake the capital. Ethiopia denied reports that its troops had entered in support of Abdullahi. Fighting continued; and on 8 May 2002 Cabdullaahi finally took power again.
Puntland's semi-secession was followed shortly after by that of Jubaland.
In October 2004 at a conference of all the clans held in Nairobi, Cabdullaahi was elected President of Somalia. He has not yet moved to Mogadishu, but this might be the best chance for a national government since the fall of Siyaad Barre in 1991. He was succeeded as President of Puntland by Maxamed Cabdi Xaashi (Mohammed Abdi Hashi). In January 2005 General Mohamud Muse Hersi, known as "Adde", was elected president.