Deal forces Somali PM out of office

Prime minister resigns following understanding between country's president and parliamentary speaker.

     Protests erupted in Mogadishu after Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed resigned [Reuters]

    Somalia's prime minister has resigned, giving in to pressure from the country's president and the parliamentary speaker.

    Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's resignation follows a deal between the president and the speaker to oust him while extending the troubled administration's term.

    "Considering the interest of the Somali people and the current situation in Somalia, I have decided to leave my office," Mohamed told reporters in the capital, Mogadishu, on Sunday.

    Protests in support of Mohamed erupted in Mogadishu as the word of his resignation got out. Hundreds marched through the streets saying that Mohamed was the only honest politician in the government.

    Reports suggest some soldiers also joined the protests and abandoned their posts.

    Deal suspected

    Earlier this month, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, the Somalian president, and Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden, the speaker, agreed to dismiss Mohamed after only eight months as prime minister as part of their deal to extend the transitional government.

    Some analysts believe members of the ethnic Darood tribe from the Puntland region pressured the president and the speaker to replace the prime minister, an ethnic Ogadeni, with one of their own. Others suggest the speaker wants to replace Mohamed with a close associate. The president went along in order to keep his own job.

    Mohamed initially rejected the deal and threatened to call people to the streets. Some analysts believe Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan president, played a role in bringing about his eventual resignation.

    With several thousand Ugandan peacekeepers guarding Somalian officials, the Ugandan government is influential in shaping Somalia's internal politics.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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