Somalia’s PM to bring the perpetrators of Spy’s murder to justice

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Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble on Sunday thanked the international community for their decision in “demanding credible investigation” into the murder of a female spy Ikrah Tahlil, after he had secured the backing of the United Nations and other members of the Horn of Africa country’s international partners in his pursuit of justice in one of the country’s most controversial probes in recent history.

It came a day after talks with the president at the presidential palace in Mogadishu on Saturday failed to reach consensus, after each of the two leaders insisted on their position over a number of key sticking points. The Premier insisted on proceeding with the investigation into the murder while the president has been reluctant to approve Roble’s recent moves.

On Sunday, in an attempt to further tighten noose on Farmajo and his allies, Roble ordered the Ministry of Finance that it should not make any payments without his authorization. State media also began to broadcast events at the president’s office, days after it had taken sides in dispute between the country’s leaders and stopped airing statements from Farmajo’s office and his key allies.

As wrangling heats up, international partners called on Somali leaders to avoid actions that may lead to conflict and deflect attention from the long-delayed elections. The country’s parliamentary polls scheduled to be held this month have been pushed back, marking another delay that is feared to trigger further tensions.

Speaking at meeting with a UN delegation led by the Deputy Secretary-General in Mogadishu on Sunday, the Premier said he was determined to pursue justice for a slain female spy and her family, asking for removal of impediments to reaching that ambition.

“On Ikran Tahlil’s disappearance, which as you may have heard has attracted a lot of public interest, it is my principle decision that credible investigation in this case is necessary and that all obstructions to getting justice for Ikran and her family must be removed,” Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said, addressing a meeting with UN officials and the country’s regional presidents.

On her part, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohamed said the rule of law and access to justice are critical to protection from violence and are the right of all women.

Tensions have been running high since Somalia’s two most powerful leaders picked different men to head the national spy agency and efforts to break the deadlock have to come to no avail. In an attempt to turn the tide against the Premier as the President and his allies are on a loosing streak, the speaker of parliament Mohamed Mursal had called a “closed-door emergency session”, in what the opposition leaders billed as an unconstitutional, warning that the potential move may slide the country back to a civil war. 

In his first appearance on media, the father of missing female spy – whose death had been reported by the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) – Tahlil Farah, accused Farmajo of obstructing efforts to find justice for his daughter and made clear that his family will not accept a settlement, including payment of blood money over the murder case. 

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