Somali Prime Minister Rejects Deal Calling for Resignation

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed rejected an agreement between the country’s president and speaker of parliament that calls for him to step down and said he would seek a vote of confidence from lawmakers.

“I would resign only after the Somali parliament and Somali people decide to take my post,” Mohamed told reporters today in Mogadishu, the capital. “I will ask the parliament for a confidence vote.”

On June 9, Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan deferred elections in the war-torn country for 12 months to allow more time for a political transition. The accord called for the appointment of a new prime minister within 30 days. The deal followed months of disputes between Somalia’s executive and legislative branches over when their terms should end and the date for elections.

The United Nations Security Council threatened cuts in donor aid unless the squabbling stopped. Somalia has been mired in a civil war for two decades and hasn’t had a functioning central government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. Most of the southern and central parts of the Horn of African nation have been seized by the Islamic insurgency movement, al-Shabaab.

The government, backed by African Union troops, has claimed recent victories against the rebels in Mogadishu, the capital, and along the border with Kenya.

Supporters of Mohamed have protested in the streets of Mogadishu since the agreement was announced, leading to arrests by the country’s security forces of civilians and journalists, Abwan Osman Guure, director of Kulmiye Radio, a broadcaster based in the city, said in an interview today.

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