Maakhir was a self-proclaimed state that represented the political will of the Warsangali Darod within federal Somalia. The Warsangali were one of the principal actors in the creation of the Puntland State as a successor to the Harti Sultanates after the collapse of the central government in Somalia in 1991. However, since the proclamation of an autonomous Puntland in 1998, some Warsangali felt that they were sidelined while the Majeerteen clan assumed a hegemonic role in the state. Maakhir was brought back into the Puntland fold by General Abdullahi Ahmed Jama ("Ilkajir"), who contested the Puntland election. General Ilkajir became the de facto leader of Maakhir following the dissolution of the Maakhir administration.
Maakhir built institutions such as civil society, law enforcement, xeer (customary law), and Shariah-based district courts. It also established a local military and naval establishment that protects the region's marine and land resources and which provides safety and access to the flow and supply of humanitarian aid, the normal operation of international and local NGOs, as well as the implementation of programs of the United Nations Development Programme. Maakhir's other stated aim was to provide much-needed public services by opening up a treasury office in Badhan, to ensure governance structures for the safety and maintenance of Laasqoray Port, and the protection of private local enterprises whose operational management and ownership fall under the guidance of the private sector of Maakhir state. A third objective was to manage the complex local conflicts by strengthening the already existing traditional mechanisms, which will be consolidated and run by the Department of Justice.
On 25–26 February 2008, a Somaliland-aligned, well armed force laid siege to Hadaftimo, causing a brief state of emergency before the force withdrew back to western Erigavo. Maakhir authority responded with a military buildup in the Maakhir-controlled part of Erigavo.
The disputed status between Puntland has also meant that Sanaag as a whole may not have received all the available and apportioned aid from UN non-governmental organizations (NGO)s and aid agencies. The newly established Maakhir government has made this issue one of their first priorities, and appealed to the Warsangali Diaspora for assistance.