Somalia: Join the election campaign, Prime Minister Roble told Farmaajo

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Somalia: Join the election campaign, Prime Minister Roble told Farmaajo

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has called on outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo to step down immediately and focus on the election campaign as the country prepares for elections.

At his office on Monday after falling out with Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, Roble insisted he was still in charge of elections and security in the country, a day after Farmaajo allegedly suspended him from his post .

In a still rare jibe against President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, Roble insisted that he was only accountable to the Council of Ministers and not “former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo”. This was the first direct attack on Farmaajo by Roble.

Before issuing the statement, Roble’s office called Farmaajo an “immediate former president.” Roble described his blockage in the morning as an “attempted coup” echoing the words of former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who called it “an attempted military coup”.

The relationship between the two leaders has collapsed significantly over the past two months, with Roble insisting he is in charge of the elections. In addition, he added, the meeting with the National Advisory Board is still ongoing with Jubaland President Ahmed Islam Mohamed Madobe and Said Abdullahi Deni of Northeastern State all confirming their attendance.

However, Farmaajo’s ally in the Southwest state, Abdiasis Lafta Gareen, said he would only attend a meeting called by Farmaajo. Lafta-Gareen is one of the few leaders with direct access to Farmaajo in the country.

The escalation of exchanges between the two leaders prompted calls for reprieve from the international community and local leaders. The United States, Britain and Italy have since called for de-escalation and therefore have a host of local leaders.

After the completion of the lower house elections, the country is expected to hold presidential elections. Farmaajo is set to face, among others, former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as well as former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire.

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