| 27 May 2024, Monday |

Somalia’s president suspends PM Roble over corruption probe, following election spat

Somalia’s President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, said on Monday that he has suspended Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble until the completion of corruption investigations into the PM.

The action comes a day after the two men spat over the country’s long-delayed elections.

“The president decided to suspend Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and deprive him of his responsibilities since he was related to corruption,” the president’s office said in a statement, accusing the premier of meddling with an inquiry into a land grabbing case.

Relations between the president, known as Farmajo, and Roble have long been strained, with the newest development creating further concerns about Somalia’s stability as the country attempts to organize elections.

Roble accused the president of undermining the electoral process on Sunday, after Farmajo rescinded the prime minister’s authority to conduct the polls and asked for the formation of a new commission to “fix” the flaws.

Roble, who has yet to reply to Farmajo’s suspension notice, stated that Farmajo does not desire “a credible election in our nation.”

After Farmajo extended his tenure without conducting new elections, pro-government and opposition fighters opened fire in Mogadishu’s streets in April.

The constitutional crisis was only averted when Farmajo rescinded the term extension and Roble arranged for a voting timeline.

However, in the months following, a heated rivalry between the men has postponed the election once more, straining ties with Western friends who have long wished for the process to end peacefully.

Farmajo and Roble finally decided to bury the hatchet in October, when they issued a joint demand for the sluggish election process to be sped up.

All states have completed their elections for the upper house, while voting for the lower house began in early November.

According to analysts, the electoral standoff has diverted attention away from Somalia’s broader issues, most notably the deadly conflict.

  • AFP
  • Reuters