The escalation of the political crisis in Somalia .. The Prime Minister calls on the army to take orders from him instead of the president

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Robley on Monday ordered the army and security forces to take orders directly from him instead of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, while the United States and European countries called on Somali leaders to reduce tension and avoid violence.

Earlier, Robley rejected President Farmajo’s decision to suspend his powers until the completion of investigations into corruption charges against him, and confirmed that he would continue to carry out his duties, thus renewing the crisis between the two heads of power in the country.

Robley said that what the president had done was a violation of the constitution and the laws of the country, and held him responsible and the consequences of that.

The Prime Minister also affirmed that he will proceed to perform his duties in accordance with the constitution in order to lead the country to elections that lead to a peaceful transfer of power, accusing the President of seeking, through the decree he issued today, to obstruct the elections.

The Prime Minister in his office

In the context, the Undersecretary of the Somali Ministry of Information said that the Prime Minister is in his office and starting his work, and thanked the National Army for its rejection of what he described as the coup.

Videos broadcast on social media showed the moments of Robley’s arrival at his office, surrounded by a guard of the army and a number of government personnel.

The pictures also showed the Prime Minister meeting with a number of his government in the Prime Minister’s Office in the capital, Mogadishu.

The Cabinet had issued a statement denouncing the attempt to militarily control Robley’s office, noting that the latter was performing his duties normally.

Earlier today, President Farmajo announced, for the second time in less than 4 months, the suspension of Robley’s duties until the completion of investigations into corruption charges against him.

The presidency said – in a statement – that Farmajo issued the decree suspending Robley’s duties after confirming that the latter was accused of assaulting army lands, and the statement indicated that the General Command of the Armed Forces had opened investigations into this file.

The presidential statement added that Robley made a cabinet reshuffle yesterday that included exchanging the defense and justice portfolios, before the investigations into his “aggression” against state property were completed.

In another decree, Farmajo ordered Chief of Staff Oduwa Youssef Ragi to stop the work of the Commander of the Naval Forces, Abdel Hamid Mohamed Dreyer, who in turn faces accusations of assaulting state property.

Western demands

The renewed differences between the Somali president and his prime minister has raised the world’s concern. The US State Department has called for the completion of the parliamentary and presidential elections in Somalia, in a comprehensive, transparent and credible manner.

The US State Department spokesman confirmed that Washington supports the call to hold a meeting of the National Consultative Council this week, to speed up the electoral process.

“We strongly urge Somalia’s leaders to take immediate steps to defuse tensions in the capital, refrain from provocative actions and avoid violence,” the US embassy in Mogadishu said in a tweet.

The British Ambassador to Somalia Kate Foster also invited the parties to the conflict to attend the meeting of the National Coordination Committee, and to participate constructively in the talks.

“We urge Somalia’s leaders to take immediate steps to defuse tensions in the capital,” she said in a tweet, stressing that violence was unacceptable.

The EU Ambassador to Somalia said that peaceful elections are the key to Somalia’s future.

In turn, the Italian embassy warned against being drawn into violence in Somalia, and called on all parties to de-escalate the tension.

Crisis wallpapers

The political crisis in Somalia deepened after the commander of the navy, Abdul Hamid Mohamed, accused last week of the prime minister of confiscating and building land belonging to the Somali navy.

This led the Somali Defense Minister, Hassan Hussein, to open investigations into these accusations, and the matter developed until the Prime Minister made a partial cabinet reshuffle in which the Ministers of Defense and Justice exchanged their positions, which required President Farmajo to issue a decision to suspend the Prime Minister from work.

Somalia has entered the worst political crisis since last April, when the president extended his term, which ended last February, for two years, which led to the outbreak of clashes in the capital, Mogadishu.

However, Farmajo reversed his decision, under international and local pressure, and assigned his consensus prime minister to resolve the situation and continue efforts to hold elections as soon as possible, in agreement with the opposition.

Since then, there have been many disputes between Robley and Farmajo regarding their respective powers, and the two parties have recently exchanged accusations of being responsible for the failure of the parliamentary elections process, which will be followed by the election of the head of state, according to the complex indirect electoral system of Somalia.

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