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LATEST: President and PM remain on collision course as each issue conflicting directives

Wednesday September 8, 2021

Mogadishu (HOL) - The cracks in Somalia's national executive continue to widen on Tuesday as both the PM and President issued new competing directives and appointments.

On Tuesday, it seemed that the constitutional crisis was resolved when reports began to emerge that President Farmajo would capitulate to Prime Minister's order that Fahad Yasin is suspended from his role as Director-General of Somalia's intelligence agency.

Fahad Yasin was the architect of President Farmajo's stunning electoral victory in 2017 and is a close ally and confidante of Villa Somalia.

However, early Tuesday morning, President Farmajo announced a shake-up in his administration through a statement released by his Directorate of Communications and posted on Villa Somalia's official social media handles. This latest directive appointed Fahad Yasin as his new National Security Adviser. In a move that directly rebuffs PM Roble's decree, Farmajo announced that Col. Yasin Abdulahi Mohamud - the current head of the Benadir Regional Intelligence Service - would replace Fahad Yasin as Somalia's top spy chief.

Hours later, the PM's office released a press statement through Somalia's state-owned media network. The statement welcomed Farmajo's acceptance of Yasin's dismissal and ordered the new spy chief, Brig. Gen Bashir Mohamed Jama (Gobe) to "immediately start his duty."

The statement added that the orders issued by Farmajo since the onset of this latest constitutional crisis directly contradict the power vested to the PM to organize elections and that his decision will jeopardize the ongoing investigation into Ikran's kidnapping and murder.

"The Prime Minister informs Somali people that the two statements from the President in the last two days (6th and 7th of September) expose that he intends to claim the election and security responsibilities that he has already transferred to the Prime minister. Also, the Prime Minister is concerned that the President's actions are obstructing the effective investigation of Ikran Tahlil Farah's case; in the same way, justice and the rule of law agencies have been previously barred from exercising a full investigation."

PM Roble added that the politicization of Ikran Tahlil's case is a "dangerous existential threat" to Somalia's governance.

The PM did not mention President Farmajo's latest decree or his latest appointment in his statement.

HOL has learned that the Ministry of Information has instructed official government media platforms not to publicize the President's decrees.

The PM has received support for his audacious move from opposition figures, Hawiye clan elders and the regional administrations of Jubaland and Puntland.

Analysts interpret the move as a way for Villa Somalia to shelter Fahad Yasin as Somalia pushes through a turbulent election year. Observers argue that appointing Yasin as his special advisor would ostensibly place him out of reach from the Prime Minister and his powers.


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