Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has declared that he has suspended Prime Minister Hussein Roble’s powers, he also accused the prime minister of an “indirect coup” amid a protracted feud that has seen both leaders trade allegations over the holding up of parliamentary elections. This move by Mohamed has intensified a months-long constitutional crisis and raised fears of violence, prompting the United States to call for calm.
“The president decided to suspend the prime minister and stop his powers since he was linked with corruption,” the office of the president said in a statement, accusing Roble of interfering with an investigation into a land grabbing case.
The statement added that the marine forces had also been suspended as he was the commander and was also under investigation for corruption.
In response to this accusation, Roble’s office called the statement “outrageous”, saying on Twitter the attempt to “militarily take over” the office of the prime minister was in breach of the law.
In a separate post, it also stated that Roble remained “fully committed to fulfilling his national responsibility to conduct an acceptable electoral process that culminates in a peaceful transition of power.” Roble later also added that he was ordering all security forces to take orders directly from him, potentially deepening the ongoing dispute with the president.
Assistant Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf Omar Adala very boldly called the president’s decision an ‘indirect coup’. “What is going on this morning is an indirect coup but it will not win,” Adala stated on Facebook, also that the deployment of security forces around Roble’s office would not prevent the prime minister from carrying out his duties.
The US embassy in Somalia wrote on Twitter that it “strongly” urged Somalia’s leaders “to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions in Mogadishu, refrain from provocative actions, and avoid violence”