Somalia's Farmaajo appoints embattled spy chief as his security advisor

Wednesday September 08 2021
Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo.

Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo. PHOTO | AFP


Somalia’s President Mohamed Farmaajo has appointed embattled former intelligence chief Fahad Yasin as his senior national security advisor.

Mr Yasin, who was the head of the National Intelligence and Service Agency (NISA), is at the centre of a controversy surrounding the mysterious disappearance of a spy agent.


Farmaajo’s spokesman Abdirashid M Hashi on Tuesday said the President had “accepted” Mr Yasin’s resignation and redeployed him.

Yasin Abdullahi Mohamud, the head of NISA in Banadir region (the capital Mogadishu and surrounding areas), has been appointed acting director of NISA.

The decree did not refer to the missing agent Ikran Tahlil, but stated that, through the changes, the president was acting in the interest of developing and stabilising the security sector.


“As such, the president accepts the resignation by Fahad Yasin and praises the immense work done by the former NISA director.”

Mr Yasin is in the eye of the storm over the disappearance in June of Ms Tahlil, whom NISA last week said was abducted and killed by Al-Shabaab.

Her family rejected NISA’s explanation, and militants denied the accusations.

Prime Minister Hussein Roble on Saturday suspended Yasin. Hours later, Farmaajo overturned the suspension.


Following Mr Yasin’s resignation claim, Mr Roble on Wednesday accused Farmaajo of jeopardising the investigation into 25-year-old Tahlil’s disappearance.

Although the president’s spokesperson said Mr Yasin had resigned, PM Roble said he welcomes “the move by the president in accepting the suspension.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Somalia’s International Partners (SIP), a grouping of major multilateral organisations and a host of countries, expressed concern that the controversy over the disappearance of Ms Tahlil was creating political tensions that could affect the functioning of the Federal Government of Somalia and disrupt the electoral process.

SIP signatories to the letter include the African Union, United Nations, European Union, United Kingdom and the United States.

“We urge Somali leaders to de-escalate the political confrontation surrounding this investigation and, in particular, avoid any actions that could lead to violence,” the statement said. 

“We call on Somalia’s leaders to work together to advance the implementation of the 27 May [2021] agreement toward the holding of elections.”