SOMALIA: President Mohammed Abdullahi picking a new intelligence chief widens the rift between him and Prime Minster Roble

Somalia’s president appoints a new NISA chief deepening the rift between him and prime minister Roble. [Image:@abdullahimohamed/Twitter]
MOGADISHU, Somalia—President Mohamed Abdullahi has appointed a new head of intelligence, noted his office on Tuesday, intensifying the quarrel between him and the prime minister who had appointed another person for the role.

The division between the two heads of Somalia threatens to derail an indirect election of lawmakers and the president.

Fahad Yasin, the director of the National Intelligence Service was suspended by Prime minister Roble on Monday, saying his report on the murder of one of its agents had been unsatisfactory, setting off the row.

Mohammed who called the prime minister’s move unconstitutional designated Yasin Abdullahi Mohammed as the new acting head of the agency. He said Yasin had been appointed as his security advisor.

Roble accused the president of interfering with the investigation of the unsolved murder of the agent, adding that he was concerned by his move to name a new caretaker intelligence chief.

Earlier, Roble had given Yasin 48 hours to issue a comprehensive report on the death, which has caused ripples in the country. But moments later Yasin responded by asking Farmajo to convene an emergency National security council in what seemed to be defiant to Prime Minister Roble.

In a statement issued by Villa Somalia, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo defended Yasin insisting that “I have full confidence in you, it’s my humble request that you continue discharging your duties as the Director NISA that is my correct position.”

However, the Somali law dictates that though Fahad Yasin is appointed by the president, he could be dismissed by the prime minister or cabinet subject to an investigation because he is not an army chief, one observer argued.

After the purported suspension of Fahad Yasin, Roble too had appointed his preferred, a former chief of NISA, lieutenant General Bashir Mohamed Jama as the caretaker intelligence director. He insisted that Yasin should take responsibility for the death of the junior officer.