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Somali President Appoints Commission to Investigate Death of Female Spy

FILE - Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed speaks in Mogadishu, Somalia, May 27, 2021.

Somalia's president is forming a committee to investigate the case of a missing spy, declared dead by the country’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), though the time and circumstances of her demise remain unknown.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s security agency said earlier this month that intelligence agent Ikran Tahlil Farah, who went missing in June, was abducted and killed by al-Shabab militants.

However, al-Shabab has denied responsibility for Farah’s fate, while Farah’s mother blames NISA for her daughter’s reported death.

The mother, Qali Mohamud Guhad, rejected the president’s committee, which will include a representative from the intelligence agency.

“It’s nonsense, it’s obsolete,” Guhad told VOA Somali on Tuesday. “This is something he has not said a word about for the three months, I have been weeping. … It’s not something I accept.”

Guhad said she put her confidence in a military court investigating Farah’s disappearance.

Political analyst Abdimalik Abdullahi said only the military can handle such a case, arguing that other Somali courts cannot be neutral and will not deliver justice.

“It is only the military court that can handle mysterious and high-profile cases such as the one of Tahlil, who herself was a senior government official,” he told VOA.

The president, however, is pressing ahead with his committee. The head of state directed the five-member team to present a report after the investigation to ensure what he called the delivery of justice.

The press director for the president’s office, Abdirashid Hashi, said the commission of inquiry will be chaired by the attorney general, deputized by the chief military courts prosecutor, and will include representatives from the army, NISA and the police.

Harun Maruf of VOA’s Somali Service contributed to this report.