Mogadishu Police Chief Fired After Suspending Parliament Session

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Mogadishu police chief Sadak Jon has been fired on Monday after ordering parliament session, during which MPs were expected to extend the mandate of Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, to close, citing concerns over possible violence.

In televised remarks, Sadak stressed that as a police chief on whose shoulders falls the responsibility for the security of the capital, would not accept a “power grab” or “term extension” that might slide the country back to a civil war. He urged MPs, whose mandate expired several months ago, to return to their constituencies and seek reelection.

He urged those involved in a dispute over the elections, including president Farmajo and regional state leaders, to respect the rule of law and end their tiff through dialogue.

In what many have described as a “mini-coup attempt”, the police commander urged Somali prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble to take over responsibility for the country and lead the country to inclusive elections.

“I call upon the Somali prime minister to take over responsibility for the country and send disputing sides back to the [Afisyoni] tent to reach a deal,” Banadir police chief had said, shortly before he was fired.

“You should not sit around and take dictations, you should be dictating. The PM must answer my call.”

Somali police chief Abdi Hassan Hijar said in a statement issued shortly after Sadak’s remarks that he had fired Mogadishu’s police commander and replaced him with Farhan Qarole, a former Al-Shabaab fighter and the commander of Turkish-trained Haram’ad special police unit.

The police unit has recently been much loathed following attacks on opposition leaders and a peaceful rally against president Farmajo. The opposition had earlier called on Turkey’s government not to send arms to Haram’ad, citing fears that the weapons might be used to suppress critics and hijack the upcoming elections.

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