The power struggle between Somalia President Mohamed Farmaajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Hoble has further escalated over the latter’s dismissal of the country’s intelligence chief.
President Farmaajo on Monday declared the decision by Prime Minister Roble as illegal and unconstitutional.
“The Commander of the National Security and Intelligence Agency, Mr. Fahad Yassin Haji Dahir, is instructed to remain serving as the leader the National Security and Intelligence Agency, in accordance with the Constitution and the Presidential Decree,” a statement by Villa Somalia said.
Roble on Sunday night suspended national intelligence chief Fahad Yasin over the death of female intel officer Ikran Tahlil and appointed former NISA chief Major General Bashir Mohamed Jama as acting intelligence director.
Roble accused Yasin of intransigence in sending a clear report on the killing of Tahlil and mixing politics and security.
But moments later, President Farmaajo defended Yasin, and told him to continue with his work, contradicting the Prime Minister.
Tahlil, a young female intelligence officer, went missing on June 26 and the family accused NISA of being behind her disapperance.
The 24-year-old was abducted her home in Mogadishu’s Abdulaziz district, which is close to the NISA headquarters.
The President also ordered that the National Security and Intelligence Agency submits before the National Security Council meeting the expected detailed report at the time of the first meeting of the National Security Council.
“Finally, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia instructs the Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and the Council of Ministers to effectively fulfill their responsibility to complete the electoral process,” the statement said.
But Somalia analysts warn that the fresh infighting could affect the slow-moving elections.
Roble has, however, gained support from various leaders, among them two former leaders of Somalia.
Two-time PM Omar Sharmarke tweeted, “On grounds of defiance and contempt, the PM within his constitutional powers can dismiss a cabinet minister, down the line, to heads of the Security agencies. Instead triggering crisis, the outgoing President should have met the family of Ikran Tahlil and assure them a due process”.
Former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said the Prime Minister is responsible for all law enforcement agencies in the country, including the security forces.
Somalia’s Jubaland state also became the first region to support Prime Minister Roble’s decision to suspend the Intel chief.
The state condemned President Farmaajo ’s “irresponsible” move to “undermine” Roble’s decision.