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A Somali MP Asked Regional President to Resign. Now State Wants to Prosecute Him

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Puntland leader Abdullahi Said Deni
   

Last week, during the opening of 45th session of Somalia’s Puntland regional parliament, a member criticised and asked the region’s president, Abdullahi Deni, what observers called ‘hard questions’ and called for his resignation.

And this week, Puntland’s deputy attorney-general Mohamed Farah wrote a letter to the parliament Speaker requesting him to strip MP Awil Hassan of his parliamentary immunity to face criminal charges for posing a question and using ‘abusive language’ against the regional leader.

“The office of the Attorney General requests the leadership of the House to lift the immunity of MP Awil Hassan so that the state can bring charges against him,” part of the letter, seen by The Frontier, read.

Mr. Awil has accused President Deni of being incompetent and failing to perform his duties as president. He also said the regional president failed to fulfill his presidential campaign promises and insinuated a bad working relationship between Deni and his deputy Ahmed Elmi Karash  , which he said derailed service delivery, urging both to resign if they cannot work together.

President Deni defended himself and his track record, saying his government regularly paid civil servants and the military, before walking out in anger.

Puntland MPs enjoy protection from prosecution for utterances made in the floor of the House. The move by Puntland state government is repressive, intolerant and unconstitutional.

The region’s parliament has 66 members, only one of whom is a woman. In the last parliament, there were only two women MPs. President Deni and his deputy were elected in January 2019.

Puntland is a semi-autonomous region in northeastern Somalia. It was established in 1998 following a clan conference in Garowe to end conflicts as a result of lawlessness that erupted after the overthrow of military president, Siyad Bare, in 1991. It is now one of the five federal member states of Somalia.

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Politics

Puntland forces block delegation waiting to receive Planning Minister Jamal Hassan in Garowe

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Puntland security forces reportedly under instructions from State President Abdullahi Deni barred a delegation which was to received Federal Planning Minister Jamal Hassan at Garowe Airport Thursday morning.

The minister who was on his way to his constituency in Dhahar, Sanaag region arrived at the airport but without a receiving delegation after his team on the ground was blocked from accessing the airport, sources at the airport said.

After he left the airport, sources said, a confrontation arose between his security team from Dhahar and Puntland forces. The team from Dhahar had come to pick him.

The government forces had reportedly attempted to bar him from leaving for Dhahar but he finally managed to leave.

Jamal, a close ally of President Mohamed Farmaajo does not see eye to eye with Deni whom sources said has attempted to derail his re-election.

Jamal will be seeking to be re-elected by his sub-clan in Dhahar in the upcoming Lower House elections.

Source: Hiiraan and Agencies

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Politics

Farmajo names committee of inquiry to investigate disappearance of former spy Ikran Tahlil

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Somali president Mohamed Farmajo has appointing a five-member committee to investigate the disappearance of former spy agent Ikran Tahlil.

“I hereby appoint a five-Member Commission of inquiry Chaired by the Attorney-General and deputized by Head of Military Court to expedite investigations on the case of IKRAN TAHLIL and to hand over the findings and evidence to responsible legal institutions for the execution of Justice.”

In the presidential decree, Farmajo appointed the Attorney-General to lead the fact-finding mission. The Armed Forces Court Attorney General is also a member of the committee. The three committee members will be nominated later by the Somali Police Force Commander, the Commander of the Somali National Army and Col. Yasin Abdulahi Mohamud, his new appointee Director-General of the National Intelligence and Security Agency.

The statement added that Ikran’s case was a “sensitive one that needs a thorough investigation.”

Farmajo instructed the commission to submit its investigative reports to the relevant authorities, although there will undoubtedly be demands to make the findings of any report public. There will also likely be apprehension to Somalia’s intelligence agency being a part of the investigation. Many lawmakers have called on an independent inquiry into Ikran’s murder.

Farmajo declared that the decree came into effect immediately after he signed it.

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Politics

Qorqor and Laftagareen try to bring Farmajo and Roble together

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The presidents of Galmudug, Ahmed Abdi Karie Qoor Qoor his South West State counterpart and Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed Laftagareen have taken the role of mediators to find a solution the wrangle between President Mohamed Farmajo and his Prime Minister Mohamed Roble.

The two  met with Farmajo and Roble separately, and urged both parties to refrain from further action that would escalate the tense situation.

Reports indicate that the president and the prime minister have accepted the mediation, although each has developed conditions attached to the talks.

Prime Minister Roble insisted that Commander Bashir Goobe was the commander of NISA, and President Farmajo emphasized that the steps taken by the Prime Minister were invalid.

The meeting is expected to continue on Friday. The two presidents are hopeful that the two top officials will finally be reconciled so that their differences do not affect the election process.

The intervention comes amidst heightened political tensions between Farmajo and Roble which could threaten the fragile security of the Horn of Africa nation.

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