Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on Monday overturned the suspension of a top spy chief, hours after Prime Minister Hussein Roble had given him marching orders.
Mr Fahad Yassin, a former Al-Jazeera journalist, had been shown the door for mishandling the disappearance of a spy agent who the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) later announced had been murdered by Al-Shabaab militants.
But in a statement on Monday morning, Farmaajo cancelled the PM’s order and reinstated Mr Yassin, whose full name is Fahad Yasin Haji Dahir.
Yassin had been suspended as Director General of the spy agency and replaced with his deputy Bashir Mohamed Jama alias Bashir Gobe.
“In reference to the prime minister’s notice XRW/314/9/2021 which suspends the NISA director from his position and appoints an interim director for the agency, President Farmaajo considers such a move as against the laws and the provisional constitution,” Villa Somalia, Farmaajo’s official residence, said.
The presidency asked the spy boss to continue leading the agency as per (the presidential) decree through which he was appointed.
The apparent disagreement between President Farmaajo and PM Roble is centred on a report released by NISA on the kidnapping and killing of its agent, Ms Ikram Tahlil Farah, by Al-Shabaab militants.
On Saturday, PM Roble, expressed dissatisfaction with NISA’s findings that she fell into the hands of Al-Shabaab and asked the spy agency to deliver to his office a full report on the case of Ms Farah within 48 hours.
The case attracted more attention when Al-Shabaab released a statement through its media outlets in which the jihadist group distanced itself from the kidnapping and killing of Ms Farah.
However, the director of NISA sent a letter to PM Roble and copied to Farmaajo and others asking to be given an opportunity to present the report on Ms Farah to a full meeting of the National Security Council (NSC).
“NISA is hereby instructed to present its report on the case to the meeting of the National Security Council when it is convened,” Farmaajo then stated.
It is the second time in a month that Roble and his boss have publicly differed.
In August, Roble defied Farmaajo’s decree banning any government agreements with foreign entities until after elections.
Mr Roble countered by saying the executive arm of government must continue working even during elections. He made a trip to Kenya where he committed to normalising relations between the two countries through activating the Joint Commission on Cooperation.