Somalia President Farmaajo, PM Roble mend fences
Friday October 22 2021
Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and his Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble have agreed to normalise their relations, ending months of uncertainty on the stability of the government.
It came after two days of talks that ended on Thursday, mediated by the regional President of Somalia’s South West State Abdiaziz Mohamed Laftagaren.
The two leaders who have been at loggerheads over the past three months talked their differences over, officials said on Thursday night.
In a statement read by the government spokesman Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimu, the two sides agreed on several thorny issues, including the legitimacy of Abdullahi Mohamed Nur, whose nomination by PM Roble as Internal Security minister was rejected by Farmaajo.
According to the agreement, Mr Nur will keep his job, while General Bashir Mohamed Jama aka Gobe, who PM Roble had unilaterally appointed as acting director of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), will now become the State Minister of Internal Security.
At the same time, Yasin Abdullahi Mohamud alias Farey, appointed by Farmaajo as the chief of the spy agency NISA to replace its former head Fahad Yasin Haji Dahir, will keep his position in an acting capacity.
“Yasin Abdullahi Mohamud alias Farey will stay as acting NISA director until a person is officially appointed,” Mr Moalimu noted.
The spokesman stated that both sides have closely examined the delay in the elections and agreed that the electoral processes would be accelerated.
“Both sides agreed to closely collaborate to enhance the security of the election against acts from terrorists,” Mr Moalimu said, adding the case of the killing of Ikran Tahlil Farah, a government spy, will be left to the judiciary.
The power struggle between the President and the PM emanated from disagreement over how to investigate the alleged kidnap and murder of Tahlil. PM Roble opted for a military court, which President Farmaajo overruled and appointed a five-member committee. The spat them moved to elections and politics.
Somalia was expected to complete the election of 54 senators to the Upper House and 275 legislators of the Lower house by early October and conduct the presidential election on October 10. However, the election of senators is yet to be completed, let alone the MPs of the Lower House.
Some observers say the fence-mending will help the country focus on completing the elections.