US Pledges ‘All Available Tools’ to Support Somalia’s Farmaajo as Term Extension Bid Crumbles

Africa

The African Horn nation of Somalia has large mineral and hydrocarbon reserves, including petroleum and uranium, but decades of brutal war and civil war have largely blocked multinational firms from extracting them until fairly recently, when the pro-US government began signing offshore gas exploration deals.

After the lower house of the Somali parliament voted earlier this month to settle an ongoing dispute over election rules and extend President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s term by two years, dissident groups have moved to oppose him, taking up positions around the capital city.

One commander and potential election challenger to Farmaajo, Abdulkadkir Mohamed Warsame, told Agence France-Presse the president “is a dictator” who “wants to stay in power with force.”

The news outlet reported that the soldiers were directing residents in certain communities of the capital to leave town ahead of likely fighting. After gunshots rang out the previous night and three security officers were killed, many families had already arrived at the same decision.

Roble decried the violence and has called for calm, urging security forces “not to mingle with politics,” although he also endorsed a joint statement by two of Somalia’s five federal states – Galmudug and Hirshabelle – calling for a cancellation of Farmaajo’s term extension and preparations for a new election to be held.

Deadlock Over Election Rules

The parliament’s lower house voted…

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