Somalia: Farmaajo clashes with PM Roble over US $ 9.6million seizure from UAE

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Somalia: Farmaajo clashes with PM Roble over US $ 9.6million seizure from UAE

MOGADISHU, Somalia – A conflict has once again emerged between besieged President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, just weeks after the two opposed an election that nearly plunged the country into chaos.

Farmaajo has been accused of organizing elections in his favor, sparking a fierce rebellion from members of the opposition, who want the exercise to be repeated in several constituencies across the country.

But these are the $ 9.6 million seized from the United Arab Emirates [UAE] which appears to be the source of the current conflict, with Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble now ordering the money to be returned to the UAE, years after it was seized by authorities in Mogadishu.

The money was seized in 2018 at Aden Adde International Airport, Somali officials claiming the money was meant to “destabilize” the country, but the UAE claimed it was the salary of the Somali army as part of its efforts to strengthen the army.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Mohamed Hussein Roble pledged to return the money to the UAE. Roble made the announcement after receiving food aid from the United Arab Emirates today to designate a population affected by the drought, which has left dozens dead.

But in a quick response, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo ordered the central bank governor not to release the money seized from the United Arab Emirates in April 2018. In a letter, Farmaajo said how the 10 million of dollars had been introduced into Somalia was not in question. in line with the government’s financial system.

The statement means the president disagreed with Prime Minister Roble. Throughout his tenure, Farmaajo has had strained relations with the United Arab Emirates, choosing instead Qatar as the Gulf partner on issues of economic recovery and development.

Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are fighting for dominance in Somalia, but the administration of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo seems to favor Qatar. Doha has been accused by the opposition of destabilizing Somalia.

So far, Somali opposition leaders and at least one federal member state, Northeastern State, have so far praised Mohamed Hussein Roble’s efforts to restore relations with the UAE. It is unclear how Roble intended to get the money back to the UAE.

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