Puntland deputy president fires two ministers amid rising tensions


GAROWE (Somaliguardian) – Puntland Vice President Ahmed Karash sacked on Tuesday two regional ministers following a decision to deny Somalia’s deputy speaker of parliament permission to visit the coastal town of Bosaso, that triggered deadly clashes on Monday.

A flight carrying humanitarian aid and the deputy speaker of Somali parliament Sa’diya Samatar was forced to return to Mogadishu with all those on board and relief shipment. Nearly 20 soldiers were killed in a fierce gunfight that followed the move after a counter-terrorism force attempted to step in and escort Sa’diya from the airport. read more

In response to the move, regional deputy president, who has long been in a power struggle with Puntland president Saeed Deni, fired the Ministers of Aviation Hussein Osman Lugator and Sea Transport Ahmed Yasin Salah.

Regional Ministers of Security and Interior told a press conference on Monday that authorities had not been informed about the flight carrying relief shipment and the deputy speaker of parliament, and called for joint efforts to prevent repeat of similar incidents.

Sa’diya said she had informed regional authorities about her trip before joining the flight carrying aid shipment, though some of the officials she had mentioned denied her assertion.

Tensions between the federal government and the regional state appear to have renewed since Puntland announced that it would cease cooperation with the administration of new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud after it had been irked by his decision to appoint Hamza Abdi Barre, who comes from Jubaland State, as his Prime Minister.

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