Somali PM Sacks Intelligence Chief over Unsolved Murder Case

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has ordered the dismissal of the country’s powerful intelligence chief over the unsolved murder case of a female intelligence operative.

In a report published on Somali news outlet Hiiraan Online, the premier decided the suspension of Fahad Yasin, the head of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), to restore the public’s confidence in the institution.

The murder of 24-year-old female NISA agent Ikran Tahlil Farah in June has sparked outrage in the war-torn African country of Somalia.

“The prime minister fired National Intelligence and Security Agency head Fahad Yasin and appointed Major Gen. Bashir Mohamed Gobe as the agency’s interim director,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement on Monday.

The move also highlights the growing political power struggle in the country, with analysts saying that Yasin’s dismissal could further destabilize Somalia that is already plagued by militant attacks and violence due to clan rivalries.

“This shows the rift between the president and the prime minister is fully in the open – something that had been bubbling beneath the surface for some time,” Mahmood Omar, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, told Reuters in an interview.

“This is a very serious issue,” Nairobi-based independent analyst Rashid Abdi said in a statement. “It will most likely sow serious divisions within the security services and result in the type of violence we saw in April between the fragmented security forces.”

Roble’s announcement regarding the dismissal of the spy chief came about 48 hours after holding discussions with key government officials, traditional leaders, and regional presidents.

President Mohamed Mohamed Abdullah described Yasin’s suspension as unconstitutional and urged the intelligence chief to “continue being the director of NISA.”

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