Somalia PM Roble suspends withdrawal of funds from Central Bank

Somali PM Mohamed Hussein Roble in deadlock with Farmajo over NISA control [File Photo]

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has suspended withdrawal of funds from the Central Bank, a move which comes amid his tussle with President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, whose term expired early this year.

Farmaajo has been at loggerheads with the PM, who is seemingly popular among several stakeholders including the opposition, over the recent abduction and subsequent assassination of Ikran Tahlil Farah, a young spy chief who worked with the National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA].

In a letter leaked from the office of the Prime Minister, Roble suspended withdrawal of funds from the Central Bank, a move is seen as a measure to regulate spending amid an ongoing transition in the Horn of Africa nation, which is struggling with instability.

Roble, who assumed office in October 2020, also asked the Ministry of Finance not to withdraw funds disbursed by International Monetary Fund [IMF] through SDR allocations without his approval, a measure taken to improve transparency.

Somalia has for several years struggled with transparency issues, with donors at times suspending monetary aid to the country due to the escalation of corruption cases in the federal government. The government has often defended itself from the allegations.

The move also comes amid an ongoing electoral exercise which is set to culminate in December after the election of the president of the country. The nation was set to go to the polls in December 2020 but due to political wrangles, there were massive delays.

According to multiple sources, funds donated by the IMF and the World Bank to Somalia are said to be used by the top Federal Government of Somali leaders for the meddling in the Federal States' elections. Elections of Lower House members are set to start soon.

On Sunday, PM Mohamed Hussein Roble thanked the United Nations and the international community for their "decision in demanding a credible investigation into the case". The meeting comes a day after the Roble-Farmajo talks which ended in failure.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed visited the country on Sunday. The Horn of Africa nation depends on donors to fund its expanding budget and has struggled to generate local revenue due to the Al-Shabaab menace.


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