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Somali Activist Calls for Leader’s Resignation over Security Losses

  • Peter Clottey

The chairman of the Somali concerned group, an advocacy organization based in London has demanded the resignation of President Sheik Sharif Sheikh Ahmed after accusing the beleaguered leader of failing to meet the aspirations of Somalis.

Mohamud Gure, a former lecture at the Somalia National University said the government has failed to live up to its constitutional mandate to protect ordinary unarmed Somalis by losing ground to hard line Islamist insurgents such as al-Shabab.

“The TFG (Transitional Federal Government) ship has already sunk and there is no future for it. So, the prime minister has to resign and, I think, what the Somalis want to see (is for) the president (to) also resign, to see the country (saved) from the catastrophic takeover by Islamists,” he said.

President Ahmed appointed Abdiwahid Elmi Gonjeh as acting Prime Minister after he accepted the resignation of Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.

President Ahmed and former Prime Minister Sharmarke have disagreed over the process of ratifying the country’s draft constitution. President Ahmed fired Mr. Sharmarke, but was forced to reverse his decision after consulting lawyers in the administration.

Professor Gure said the resignation of Sharmarke will not resolve the worsening security situation in Somalia.

“The government has already failed and the power struggle we saw in the last few months between the president and the prime minister was basically for each to find a scapegoat route where (they were) playing the blame game about who was responsible for the failure of the TFG.”

He also said that the “failure and weakness” of the government has conspired to strengthen the hard-line Islamic insurgents.

The insurgents continue to battle almost daily with African Union troops (AMISOM), as well as government forces. They have also vowed to overthrow the Somali administration and implement the strictest form of the Sharia Law.

Described by Washington as a terrorist organization with strong links to al- Qaeda, al-Shabab rebels control large portions of the capital, Mogadishu, as well as other parts of the country.