Somalia PM’s Allies Tighten Control of Spy Agency Headquarters amid Standoff


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Troops loyal to Somalia’s prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble on Wednesday tightened control on the headquarters of the national intelligence and security agency, preventing president’s ally named to serve as new acting spy boss from taking office.

The move triggered a standoff on Wednesday and footage circulated online showed Eritrea-trained troops escorting a friend of Somali president Yasin Farey, who was appointed in an overnight decree on Tuesday, outside the agency headquarters.

The man is to replace Fahad Yasin, whom the president said had resigned from the post and was then picked as the national security advisor. It came after the prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble dimssed him a day earlier on the grounds of involvement in the murder of a staffer and meddling in elections.

Critics say the new boss of the agency too was implicated in the mysterious disappearance of Ikran Tahlil and his appointment is part of an attempt to stage a cover-up on the young female spy’s murder.

Dozens of military vehicles could be seen outside the headquarters of the intelligence agency, popularly known as NISA, hours after Fahad Yasin handed responsibilities to the new head picked by the president in a Zoom meeting.

It was not possible for the ex-spy boss to transfer responsibilities to Yasin Farey in person after the guards outside the agency compound barred them from entering inside, local officials said.

Tensions have been brewing since Tuesday after the prime minister rebuffed president’s demands that he abandon an investigation into Ikran Tahlil’s death if he is to agree to the dismissal of Fahad Yasin, the former spy chief, who has been an indispensable ally for Farmajo since he was rose to power in 2017.

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