State crisis worsens: Somali President dismisses prime minister

Status: 12/27/2021 12:00 p.m.

In Somalia, the dispute between Prime Minister Roble and President Farmajo has escalated. The reason is the repeated elections. Roble accused the president of sabotage – and has now been fired by him.

In East African Somalia, President Abdullah Farmajo dismissed the prime minister and thus triggered a government crisis. Farmajo accused Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble of corruption and abuse of office that night. Robles’ office denied the allegations.

In the morning, the Presidential Guard surrounded the prime minister’s office in the capital, Mogadishu. Roble has confiscated land belonging to the Somali army for personal use, Farmajo said, according to a statement.

A power struggle has been raging between the two for a long time. In view of the latest developments, observers fear that the East African country will slide further into instability.

Postponed elections cause controversy

The background to the recent dispute between Roble and Farmajo is the repeatedly postponed elections. Yesterday Roble accused the president of sabotaging the electoral process. The head of state does not want a “credible election in this country,” he said.

Farmajo had previously withdrawn the Prime Minister’s mandate to organize the elections. He justified the move with an alleged influence of Robles on an investigation into a land grabbing scandal.

No date for presidential election

Farmajo extended his term as president in April without an election. In Mogadishu, street fighting broke out between pro-government and opposition fighters. The constitutional crisis ended for the time being after Farmajo revoked the extension of his term and Roble negotiated a schedule for holding elections.

In the following months, however, the power struggle between the two men at the top of the state intensified – the elections were postponed again. In the meantime, votes have been held across the country on the occupation of the upper house, the lower house election has been running since the beginning of November. There is still no date for the presidential election.

Experts fear increased security problems

The crisis is also affecting Somalia’s relations with Western countries. The US expressed “deep concern” about the “ongoing postponements” in the election and the “irregularities” in the electoral process.

Experts warn that the political crisis in Somalia could fuel the massive security problems in the country. Large parts of the country are controlled by the Al-Shabaab militia, which is allied with the extremist network Al-Qaeda. The militia fights against the internationally recognized government in Mogadishu and repeatedly carries out attacks there.

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