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Somalia's Prime Minister Rejects Dismissal


Somalia's Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein is rejecting his dismissal by the president, setting up a power struggle at the top of the embattled government.

Mr. Hussein, also known as Nur Adde, said Sunday the move to dismiss him was unlawful, and that he will continue to serve as prime minister. He said parliament should decide his fate.

Earlier Sunday, in the parliament seat of Baidoa, President Abdullahi Yusuf said he will nominate a replacement within three days, in an effort to end what he described as corruption and inefficiency. The two leaders have been at odds over the makeup of a new cabinet.

In other news, a spokesman for the al-Shabab insurgent group, Sheik Muktar Robow, told journalists in the capital, Mogadishu, that they will never accept a power-sharing deal. He said the Islamists, who have been gaining territory in recent months, want to impose Islamic law in Somalia.

Fighting over the last two years, involving Ethiopian-backed government forces and a variety of Islamist groups, has killed thousands of Somalis and displaced at least a million others.

President Yusuf acknowledged last month that the government controls only two major cities - the capital, Mogadishu, and the parliament seat, Baidoa.

Somalia has not had a stable central government since 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.