Somalia President, PM embroiled in power struggle over sacking of Intelligence chief

Somalia’s President Mohamed Farmaajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Roble/ FILE

Somalia’s President Mohamed Farmaajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Roble are embroiled in a power struggle over the sacking of the Intelligence chief.

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.

It all started on June 26 when Tahlil, a young female intelligence officer, went missing and the family accused NISA. The 24-year-old was abducted on the same day near her home in Mogadishu’s Abdulaziz district, which is close to the NISA headquarters.

The Intelligence agency accused Al-Shabaab of the killing, claims the terror group denied.

Consequently, Prime Minister Roble asked the NISA chief for an explanation in 48 hours.

The power struggle has triggered a debate on the constitutionality of Roble’s action, with some arguing he has no powers to appoint and fire the intelligence boss.

Yasin was appointed by President Farmaajo in August 2019 in a major shake up of the security apparatus.

But Roble cites Farmaajo’s directive transferring election and security responsibilities to him.

The infighting comes at a time the country Is readying itself for the delayed October elections, which have also divided the security forces in Somalia.

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