Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on Monday overturned the suspension of a top spy, just hours after Prime Minister Hussein Roble gave him marching orders. Fahad Yassin, a former Al-Jazeera journalist, was shown the door over the weekend for mishandling the recent disappearance of a spy agent, who the National Intelligence and Security Agency (Nisa) later admitted was murdered by Al-Shabaab militants.
But in a statement on Monday morning, Farmaajo cancelled the PM’s order, and reinstated Yassin, whose full name is Fahad Yassin Haji Dahir.
Yassin had been suspended as director-general of Nisa and replaced with his deputy Bashir Mohamed Jama alias Bashir Gobe.
“In reference to the prime minister’s notice XRW/314/9/2021 which suspends the Nisa director from his position and appoints an interim director for the agency, President Farmaajo considers such a move as against the laws and the provisional constitution,” Villa Somalia, Farmaajo’s official residence said.
The presidency asked the spy boss to continue leading the agency as per the presidential decree through which he was appointed.
Farmaajo concluded his letter by saying: “I urge the Premier and the Executive to focus on completion of the electoral process.”
The apparent disagreement between President Farmaajo and PM Roble is centred on the reported kidnapping and killing of a Nisa agent, Ms Ikram Tahlil Farah, by Al-Shabaab, which Nisa revealed on Thursday.
On Saturday, PM Roble, expressed dissatisfaction with the spy agency’s findings that she had died at the hands of the terror group, and asked Nisa to deliver to his office a full report on the case.
The case attracted even more attention when Al-Shabaab released a statement in which the jihadist group distanced itself from Ms Farah’s killing.
The incident is the second time in a month that PM Roble has publicly differed with his boss.
In August, the premier defied Farmaajo’s decree banning any government agreements with foreign entities until after elections. Mr Roble countered by saying the executive arm of government must continue working even during elections.
He later made a trip to Kenya where he agreed to normalise relations with Nairobi by activating the Joint Commission on Cooperation.
On May 1, President Farmaajo delegated PM Roble to lead the election process and its related security matters.