Somalia: Fallout looms between Farmaajo and PM as Fahad Yasin reinstates sacked NISA officials
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A bitter fallout between outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble is looming in Somalia, following the reinstatement of sacked spy agency officials, in what now showcases divisions in the government.
Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble had sacked National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA] deputy director Abdullahi Kulane and Abdiwahab Sheikh, the spy in charge of Adan Adde International Airport, in what he termed as "disrespect" to civilians.
But in an unprecedented turn out of events, spy Chief Fahad Yasin, the "untouchable" bureaucrat in the administration of Farmaajo, reinstated the two albeit in different capacities but within NISA, something which could anger Roble.
Kulane, the former NISA Deputy Director, is now the Political and Security assistant within NISA in changes that were made by Fahad Yasin. On the other hand, Abdiwahab Sheikh was named director of planning and technology at NISA.
The changes come at the time Roble is in London for official duties. While it's not clear if Roble was briefed about the changes, Yasin takes instructions from Farmaajo, who is said to be embroiled in a tussle with his PM, who was appointed in October 2020.
Fahad's move discloses the rivalry between the two highest offices in the country, which would be in the process of escalating. Roble is trying to stamp authority on matters of elections where the opposition had rejected the inclusion of Farmaajo in the rigorous process for fear of rigging.
The dismissal of the two officials was, however, expected given the recent warning by Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who insisted all citizens have rights to travel across the country. The NISA agents are accused of harassing and intimidating opposition leaders in the past.
In a statement, the office of the Prime Minister accused the duo of disrespecting the Prime Minister having blocked senior officials from travelling to the Gedo region, where Roble is in charge of the upcoming elections in the Horn of Africa nation.
"Following the unauthorized prevention of citizens who were due to depart from Aden Ade International Airport, Somali PM H.E Mohamed Roble has relieved of their duties NISA’s HR Director Abdullahi Kullane and NISA Chief of Intelligence at Aden Adde Airport, Abdiwahab Sh Ali," the PM office said.
Abdullahi Kulane, a close associate of outgoing President Mohamed Farmaajo, was accused of blocking opposition candidates seeking elective seats in Gedo, Jubaland from accessing their respective constituencies. The PM had previously warned officials from preventing candidates to visit and campaign in parts of Somalia.
A government spokesman says the move to fire the spy chiefs was necessitated by the illegal move to stop citizens from flying out of the Mogadishu airport. Sources close to Villa Somalia say outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo is unhappy about the move and will be seeking to reinstate the officials.
Garowe Online established that the administration tried to block former Gedo Governor Osman Mo'alimu, departing from Mogadishu airport en route to Garbaharey, a region where elections have bothered both federal and states officials.
Mo'alimu accused Abdullahi Kulane, Deputy Director of NISA of being behind the incident and sent calls to PM Mohamed Roble as he sent similar calls last month stating that he's stranded in Mogadishu and barred from leaving by NISA agents.
In the latest changes, Fahad Yasin also elevated Abbas Yacqub to the post of NISA deputy director which was initially held by Abdullahi Kulane. He will also be in charge of human resources within the controversial agency.