Somalia’s President Exploring Ways to End Rift with PM


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is exploring ways to end a rift with the prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, days after a decree he had issued to block the premier from signing an agreement with Kenya exposed a new bout of internal wrangling between Somali leaders, Caasimada Online news website reported on Wednesday.

Farmajo, in a phone call, told the premier that he was eager for a swift end to their rift – due to fears that the new dispute may imperil his re-election chances – in what Mr Roble rebuffed as a political trap set up by the president, with only a few months to go before the presidential vote is due to be conducted in October.

The premier’s response over a decree barring him from signing local and international agreements was a surprise to the president, who now fears that Mr Roble could take steps including the dismissal of military, police and intelligence chiefs, and ministers allied with him, Caasimada Online quoted sources as saying.

Mr Roble, who had been assigned with efforts to hold free and fair elections after violence over delayed polls and an extension of the president’s term racked the capital in April, sent warning messages to key allies of the president, including members of cabinet and security officials shortly after the rift surfaced this week, heaping pressure on Farmajo.

The outgoing president’s biggest fears are about a possibility that Roble might forge a close friendship with members of an Alliance of Presidential Candidates, a conglomerate of opposition parties, some of whose members met him after reports about the dispute came to public attention.

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