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Africa
Somali PM quits over dispute
Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke says he has resigned to avoid plunging the country deeper into political instability.
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2010 15:41 GMT
Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke resigned after weeks of tension with the president [EPA]

Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, Somalia's prime minister, has resigned after a prolonged dispute with Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the country's president.

Sharmarke said on Tuesday he "resigned as the prime minister of the transitional federal government of Somalia after being unable to work with the president".

  Abdi Aynte discusses Sharmarke's resignation

"After considering the political crisis in the government and increasing insecurity in Somalia, I have decided to resign from my post as prime minister," Sharmarke said.

Ahmed said he welcomed Sharmarke's decision to quit and said he would nominate a new prime minister as soon as possible.

Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow, reporting from Nairobi, the capital of neighbouring Kenya, said the resignation followed "pressure that had been building up on the prime minister for the past few months".

He said the resignation will surprise few Somalis and that many had little hope in Sharmarke as head of government to restore peace and security.

"This is the third prime minister to leave office ever since the transitional federal government was created in 2004 in Nairobi," our correspondent said.

No surprise

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"If you look at the perception the people of Somalia have about this government, it won't be anything big in terms of news. 

"It's not going to worry many people because many Somalis have already lost all hope that this transitional federal government will be the one that will bring their country peace and security.

"So not much, I would say, of a reaction in terms of surprise or people feeling bad that prime minister Sharmarke  has resigned."

The federal government has failed to end a three-year insurgency by hardline Muslim fighters who now control much of the capital and huge chunks of south and central Somalia. 

Some analysts say that a beleaguered Ahmed has been looking for a scapegoat as he tries to reassert his authority over a brittle administration and a disillusioned nation.

Parliament had been due to hold a vote of confidence on Sharmarke's leadership on Saturday but there were insufficient legislators to form a quorum and the session was postponed.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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