On 23 July 1998 the political and traditional leaders of Somalia’s north eastern regions declared the autonomous Puntland State of Somalia under the presidency of former SSDF chairman, Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf. A nine-member cabinet was appointed and a 69-member parliament, including five seats reserved for women. According to its founding charter Puntland is a first step towards rebuilding a future united but federal Somalia.11 Even though it lacked the infrastructure and potential revenue sources of Somaliland, the administration’s first term did see the establishment of a police force and integration of former militia members into a new security force. In June 2001, however, the admin­istration’s three-year term expired and failure to agree a transfer of power led to a constitutional crisis which has now threatened the region’s security.