Home LATEST NEWS Political crisis in Somalia: tension mounts in Mogadishu

Political crisis in Somalia: tension mounts in Mogadishu

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Soldiers loyal to Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble took up positions around the presidential palace, the day after his dismissal was announced by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, alias Farmajo.

A fragile country

Tensions between the two men are recurrent, but this new escalation raises fears for the stability of this fragile country in the Horn of Africa.

The soldiers are not far from the main checkpoints surrounding the presidential palace, they are equipped with heavy machine guns and rocket launchers., said Tuesday to theFrance Media Agency Saido Mumin, a resident of the presidential quarter, about these gunmen.

Another resident of the neighborhood, Abdukadir Ahmed, said that although the situation was calm, he was very worried as for a possible explosion of violence.

Politicians and traditional leaders have tried to calm the situation.

Some politicians and traditional leaders have started talking to both sides to defuse the crisis, but efforts are still ongoing., told theFrance Media Agency on condition of anonymity, an official in the presidential office.

Begun several months ago, the standoff between the president and his prime minister has hardened in recent days.

President's portrait

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, in Parliament, Mogadishu

Photo: Reuters / FEISAL OMAR

Farmajo first on Saturday withdrew from his prime minister the responsibility of organizing the elections expected since the beginning of the year, then he suspended Monday by accusing him of being involved in a corruption case.

Roble responded on Monday, accusing the president of seeking to commit a coup against the government, constitution and laws of the land.

A coalition of opposition presidential candidates on Tuesday called on the head of state to step down immediately and demanded an urgent investigation and legal action against Farmajo and anyone who helped him mount the blow.

This failed coup was an attempt to destroy the country’s constitutional bodies, she said in a statement.

Somalia’s allies – missionUnited Nations Organization in Somalia Amisom, United States, European Union andUnited Nations Organization in particular – expressed their deep concern Monday evening in a joint press release.

We call on the Somali leaders to put the interests of their country first, to promote a de-escalation of political tensions, to avoid any provocation or any use of force that could undermine peace and stability., underlines their press release.

The Africa section of the US State Department said on Monday that Washington was ready to intervene against those who obstruct the path to peace in Somalia.

The attempted suspension of Mohamed HRoble is worrying and we support his efforts for quick and credible elections, the US State Department added on Twitter, calling all parties to avoid escalation in their actions and statements.

President since 2017, Farmajo saw his term expire on February 8 after failing to organize an election.

The announcement in mid-April of the extension of his mandate for two years had provoked armed clashes in Mogadishu.

In a gesture of appeasement, Farmajo had tasked Roble with organizing the elections. But in the months that followed, tensions between the two men continued.

According to Somalia’s complex electoral system, the assemblies of the country’s five states and delegates invested by a myriad of clans and sub-clans choose lawmakers who in turn appoint the president.

Elections for the upper house have concluded in all states except Galmudug, and votes began in early November for the lower house.

Many observers believe that the crisis at the top of the state and the electoral stalemate are distracting attention from more important issues in Somalia, such as the jihadist Shebab insurgency that has rocked the country since 2007.

You have all the energies that are focused on the internal struggles and less on the shebab, it always benefits them. They are also very adept at exploiting these political tensions., told theFrance Media Agency Omar Mahmood, analyst at the International Crisis Group (ICG).

Although ousted from Mogadishu by force from the African Union (Amisom) in 2011, the shebab still control large rural areas and regularly carry out attacks in the capital.

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