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Sacking of Mogadishu Mayor Generates Controversy

Somali President Abdulahi Yusuf Ahmed has set up a special committee that would elect a new mayor of the capital, Mogadishu after sacking the controversial former mayor Mohammed Dheere. The sacking of the divisive mayor is generating controversy as many warlords are reportedly expressing their disapproval of the sacking of Mohamed Dheere. The committee is expected to organize what is being described as a consultative council, which is expected to elect the mayor of Mogadishu as well as the governor of Banadir region within 15 days.

The members of the committee are, however, barred from standing for the election. Djibril Ahmed is a Somali political analyst. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Mogadishu that the sacking of the mayor was unanimous.

"The latest development today as you know, both the president and the prime minister announced new commissioners to run Mogadishu and Banadir regions. They sacked Mr. Mohammed Dheere and all the officers serving under him. This commission looks politically like it is in the middle because these new people are kind of people who can serve in the Islamic side and in the government side. The people forming the committee that was announced are more neutral," Ahmed noted.

He said there was need to have neutral people to serve in government.

"As you know in Somalia, our problem is the same thing as in the United States. There is the left side and there is the right side. There is nothing in the middle and now with the political situation, we are trying to get people who would at least make sure that Somalis see them as fair people," he said.

Ahmed said although the warlords might not be happy with the sacking of the mayor of Mogadishu, there is very little they can do.

"There is that possibility of them causing trouble, but as you know politically, things are changing. The warlords had their time and they didn't take advantage of the political situation at that time and it looks like the time for the warlords is fading," Ahmed pointed out.

The former mayor has expressed his desire to support the president's move, saying he would welcome with open arms the new mayor of Mogadishu. Mohammed Dheere has already said that he will stand in any election for the leadership of the Somali capital.

Ahmed said the former mayor had promised to throw his weight behind the next mayor.

"Mohammed Dheere spoke tonight from his house in Mogadishu saying that he is a Somali and that the job is for all Somalis. And that he doesn't mind if another Somali takes the position and as long as it is fair. And he (Dheere) is playing his cards I think because deep down he is thinking of running whenever there is an opportunity politically," he said.

Ahmed described the former Mogadishu mayor as a political animal who might make a political come back.

"If you know the history of Mohammed Dheere, you would know that politics is his life. He does not know any other job, and I think as long as he lives he would try to run some kind of an office. That is how the man is although I don't know he has the capability or not (to run any administration), but that is all that he knows," Ahmed noted.