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Somali President Suspends PM Over Election and Mismanagement 


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

The president of Somalia has suspended the country’s prime minister over alleged corruption in the latest fight over who will lead the country and the nation’s delayed elections. Critics of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmaajo, say he is looking to stay in power by any means necessary. As Mohammed Kahiye reports from Mogadishu, Somalia, the two men recently disagreed on the electoral process.

In a press briefing, embattled Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said he will carry on his constitutional mandate to conduct the electoral process for a peaceful transfer of power.

The prime minister termed the move by the head of state to relieve him of his duties as an attempted coup.

He said, “The decision by the former President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo are a clear attempted coup, violation of the constitution and laws of the country.”

He added, “Apart from violation of the country’s law Farmajo using security agencies to attack the office of the prime minister and that of the cabinet to try and halt their national duties.”

Residents of the capital like Abdiwahid Hussein say they are concerned political upheaval could spark violence similar to clashes in April between forces allied to opposition and government troops that rocked the capital, Mogadishu.

He said, “The difference between the president and prime minister is very unfortunate because it could lead to violence and create insecurity that will displace people and destroy investment.”

Omar Yusuf is a political analyst and lecturer on international relations at SIMAD University in Mogadishu. He says the country’s leaders need to show restraint, amid reports security forces have been deployed around Roble’s offices.

“When the disagreements translate to violence and the use of the armed forces, it will be a difficult environment to conduct elections and thus the process could stall again, and once the elections are over, it will pose a significant threat to the state-building process in Somalia, which has been recovering for the past two decades. In order to avoid that destruction, both sides must refrain from using security agencies and instead start dialogue in holding transparent elections,” he said.

The U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu strongly urged Somali leaders to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions and refrain from provocative actions.

Somalia’s parliamentary elections were supposed to conclude before the end of the year but are nowhere near complete with just over 50 members of parliament out of 275 selected so far by tribal delegates.