Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has issued a statement calling for the “utmost restraint” and “continued engagement” between Somalia’s prime minister and the country’s president, amid a deepening political crisis that has sparked widespread international alarm.
In recent days, heavily armed factions loyal to either party could be seen patrolling parts of the capital Mogadishu, raising fears that the tensions could erupt into violence.
On Tuesday, soldiers loyal to Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble took up positions near the presidential palace a day after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo, announced the suspension of the premier, who accused him of an “attempted coup”.
Relations between the pair have long been frosty, but the latest developments have sparked concerns for Somalia’s stability as the country struggles to hold long-delayed elections and fight a jihadist insurgency.
Faki said the African Union remained committed to scaling up its support for durable peace and political stability in Somalia.