President mobilizes troops to depose PM

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Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is mobilising troops in an attempt to depose his Prime Minister Mohamed Husein Roble. Several opposition politicians warned against military preparations made by the president after he had failed to challenge a meeting of the National Consultative Council, which has kicked off in Mogadishu this week under the support of Somalia’s Int’l Partners. Hundreds of special forces, who had been transported to the presidential palace by vehicles belonging to senior officials, were supplied with weapons and were seen at the gates of the palace. They were disguised as people visiting the president’s residence. Some threatened earlier that they would advance on the President’s residence to dislodge him, saying that would be the only way to bring an end to months-long standoff on elections. Some of the military vehicles deployed outside the Prime Minister’s office were fitted with artillery weapons, according to Reuters news agency. Armed forces chiefs warned last week that the country’s security and defense forces must not exceed their mandate and meddle in politics as a power struggle between Farmajo and Roble appears to be escalating. At a meeting of the National Consultative Council in Mogadishu, Roble on Thursday proposed that he would take full charge of security, arguing that in doing so he would prevent the President, who is also running for re-election, from using the armed forces in attempts to hijack or undermine elections. But regional presidents allied with Farmajo walked of the summit, expressing anger at Roble’s proposal, which has won the support of opposition leaders, and Puntland and Jubaland presidents.

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