Somalia’s Prime Minister Hussein Roble on Saturday fired the country’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdirizak, exactly a year after he had appointed him.
In a decree, Roble said he had replaced Abdirizak with Abdisaid Muse Ali, who until then had been the Chief of Staff in the Federal Government. The decision, which came as Somalia struggles to implement an election calendar, even surprised Mr Abdirizak himself, who said he had offered to quit weeks before the sack.
The decree said Mr Ali would take over immediately and said nothing about the fate of Mr Abdirizak, who had been Roble’s first Foreign Minister after he was appointed PM last year in September to replace sacked Hassan Khaire.
“The story of my replacement is a surprise to me, as much as everyone else but follows my offer of resignation a week ago. I will update everyone in due course but it has been a pleasure to serve the Somali nation and of course wish my replacement all the best,” Abdirizak said in a Twitter post on Saturday evening.
Abdirizak had been appointed on November 19, 2020 and had on Friday issued a brief statement on Twitter celebrating the first anniversary in office.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve my people. Thanks to our hardworking and dedicated diplomats our voice can be heard and we’re represented well internationally.”
The decision means the Foreign Ministry post has the busiest revolving door in Somalia under President Mohamed Farmaajo’s tenure. Since 2017, four different people have sat in the seat, three of those have left under controversy. Last year, Farmaajo fired then Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad for the wording of a public statement on Ethiopia which at the time was launching the law enforcement operation that has now become a regional crisis.
The immediate task ahead for Mr Ali, who commonly uses his middle name Muse, will be to argue through Somalia’s stance that African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) forces be replaced with a systematic capacity upgrade for local forces to take over Somalia’s security duties.
So far, the African Union has rejected that, proposing instead that the Amisom be replaced with a hybrid AU-UN mission with military and civilian components.