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Somalis Displeased With President Yusuf


Somalis are expressing their displeasure about the apparent breakdown of the United Nations-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) after President Abdallahi Yusuf recently fired Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein. The move is believed to have incurred the displeasure of the international community, which led Kenya to impose sanctions on President Yusuf Tuesday. Somalis blame him for the breakdown of the government, sharply criticizing him for not stamping out Islamist terrorists as well as arresting the pirates proliferating in the country. Djibril Ahmed is a Somali political analyst. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Mogadishu that President Yusuf should be made aware that he is not above the law.

"As you know, the Somali government has a constitution and the parliament elects the president and the prime minister. There was some dispute between the president and the prime minister over the last couple of months. The president spoke over the last two days and he announced that there was no longer a prime minister. And he said that if the parliament approves the prime minister, then he would with it. But the parliamentarians voted for the prime minister, and they approved of the prime minister's job. But it looks like the president was a soldier, and he is still a soldier, so he thinks that he can dictate do whatever he wants… But this time the president is wrong," Ahmed noted.

He said the transitional government seems to be powerless against the Islamist terrorists.

"On the ground, this government does not have any power. Most of the power and control seem to be in the hands of the Islamists. The president or the government is controlled by Islamists in Baidoa and sometimes in Mogadishu. So it is false that the government has power. The prime minister is trying to ensure that maybe one day there would be good government representing everybody," he said.

Ahmed said Kenya did the right ting by imposing sanctions on President Yusuf, who Nairobi sees as undermining the work of the transitional government.

"Kenya did what is right because as you know, Kenya went through a tough time with their recent election and they are saying if Yusuf doesn't go along with the international community, then there would be consequences. Today the foreign minister of Kenya spoke, saying if President Abdullahi Yusuf doesn't go according to the plans of the IGAD (The Intergovernmental Authority on Development), then he would be lacking support from the regional and international body," Ahmed pointed out.

He said there is a strong possibility the Somali leaderwould pay little heed to Nairobi's stern warning.

"On this situation, Abdullahi Yusuf is bound to follow the same old order, because in actual fact, it is not a one man show. But it looks like on this one Yusuf is making a big mistake, and he may lose his power. And it looks like this is going to be the end of Yusuf," he said.

Ahmed said if the president loses his power, parliament would have to elect a new president to succeed him.

"If he loses his power and is no longer the president, parliament would hold another meeting to elect a new president. [He] should know he is not above the law, and he should follow the constitution. But this government looks like it is breaking," Ahmed noted.

He said it looks likely that Somalis would demand a new president if President Yusuf fails to amend his ways.

"Yes, if he fails to follow the laws, then Somalis all over the world would be demanding his removal and for a new president to be elected by parliament. At least now we follow democracy instead of using bullets to talk like it was previously done," he said.

Meanwhile, the United States Tuesday expressed its disappointment with President Yusuf, saying the removal of Prime Minister Nur basically undermines the transitional national government's efforts to promote peace and stability in the region.

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