Letter: In Brief

Sir: You report that Puntland has declared independence from Somalia ("Bin Laden `plans base in Somalia' ", 30 April ). The democratically elected president of Puntland, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, is dedicated to establishing a federal system of government that will maintain the territorial integrity of the Somali Republic. The Puntland leaders have established the rule of law and an open, representative system of government and strive to develop a sound economy through the utilisation of the region's considerable national resources. Puntland is an oasis of peace in a desert of violence.

JOHN BEASANT

Shrivenham, Wiltshire

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