Sunday, December 14, 2008

US-backed Somali Prime Minister Says President Can't Fire Him

Somali PM: President can't fire me

Somalia's president says he has fired prime minister for failing to do his job

PM Hussein has reportedly been at loggerheads with Yusuf over peace efforts

Fighting in African nations has forced more than a million from their homes

BAIDOA, Somalia (CNN) -- Somalia's president said Sunday he has dismissed his prime minister for failing to do his job, a move that could threaten peace efforts in the the violence-ravaged African nation.

Nur Hassan Hussein took office 13 months ago.

Abdullahi Yusuf said he would nominate a replacement for Nur Hassan Hussein within three days.

But Hussein rejected the move saying the president had no power with out the consent of a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

Hussein, a former Red Crescent official appointed 13 months ago, has reportedly been at loggerheads with Yusuf over efforts to reach a reconciliation agreement with an Islamist-led opposition.

Under the constitution of Somalia's U.N.-backed government, Yusuf would need parliamentary approval for dismissing the prime minister, news reports said.

Somalia's government, backed by Ethiopian forces, continues to battle Islamic militias with the fighting concentrated in the capital, Mogadishu. Ethiopian forces have refused to withdraw, as required under a recent cease-fire deal.

Heavy fighting across Somalia has driven more than a million people from their homes. The lawlessness has also spilled onto the seas off the Horn of Africa, where international vessels are routinely hijacked by suspected Somali pirates.

Somalia has had a United Nations-backed transitional government -- now based in the town of Baidoa -- since the Ethiopian troops expelled Islamist forces from Mogadishu in December 2006.

No comments: