Somalia President, PM at Loggerheads


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and his prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble have been locked in a bitter row over the past days after the two squabbled over Kenyan and Ethiopian khat imports.


On Saturday night, the president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo issued a decree barring the prime minister from signing new agreements, after reports emerged of his plan to lift a ban on Kenyan khat imports to the war-scarred Horn of Africa nation.

Hours later on Sunday morning, Kenya’s foreign minister Raychelle Omamo landed at Adan Adde airport in the capital Mogadishu and held meeting with the prime minister, in the course of which she gave Mr Roble an invitation letter from Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta urging him to pay an official state visit to Kenya.

The president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, whose term expired in February, had allowed Ethiopia’s khat in the country after imposing a ban on the imports of the Kenyan Miraa, in what analysts say was a political gesture with the intention of garnering the support of Ethiopian government in his re-election bid.

Roble, on the other hand, is trying to move ahead with efforts to further improve ties with Kenya, adding tinder to an already raging row and in a statement on Sunday rebuked the president for the move. He boasted about achievements made during his term in office, including defusing tensions over delayed polls in the capital and ending months-long election stalemate.

The president and his prime minister are also at the loggerheads over planned dismissal of the national intelligence chief, though Farmajo had vetoed the decision, raising fear that it could torpedo his campaign efforts as presidential vote looms.

Mohamed Hussein Roble is due to visit the Kenyan capital, Nairobi where he is due to meet with Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss bilateral issues, including lifting ban on Miraa Khat imports to Somalia.

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