In a surprise move, the Prime Minister of Federal Somalia, Mohamed Hussein Rooble, booted out his foreign minister, Ahmed Issa Awad, Thursday.
The Prime Minister neither justified nor hinted at what he found amiss with the relatively long-serving minister.
More surprisingly, the ousted Minister’s replacement, Mohamed Abdirizak Mohamoud – one of the many advisors of President Farmajo – was announced.
Reliable sources, however, put the blame on a letter which carried the official emblem and title of the government’s own ministry of foreign affairs which surfaced Wednesday on social media.
The letter unconditionally supported the government of Ethiopia under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed indirectly condemning the right of the Tigray people to revolt against the status quo.
“Somalia reaffirms its solidarity with Ethiopia under the leadership of prime minister Abiy Ahmed in keeping the constitutional order and respecting the territorial integrity of Ethiopia,” the MOFA letter dated 18 November said.
Soon after it was posted, the Ministry disowned it without denying its authenticity. Instead, it shunted ‘views’ to an un-named source – perhaps, another way of saying it was the Minister’s own.
“This is to clarify that there is no official statement from
@MofaSomalia regarding the situation in #Ethiopia. The statement making rounds does not represent the views of the Federal Government of Somalia, and therefore is not valid,” the Minister, Amb. Ahmed Awad, posted on his official Twitter account.
This is to clarify that there is no official statement from @MofaSomalia regarding the situation in #Ethiopia. The statement making rounds does not represent the views of the Federal Government of Somalia, and therefore is not valid.
— Amb. Ahmed Awad (@MinisterMOFA) November 18, 2020
The Minister’s expulsion was read out on the government’s own television channel – the SNTV by the Minister of Information, Osman Dubbe, who said the Minister was to go to an unspecified ambassadorial responsibility.
Awad declined the offer, later.
In the light of recent op-eds and photos of President Farmajo and Abiy Ahmed playing chummy-chummy with one another, the denial of the Ethiopia support is as mysterious as the expulsion itself.
Ethiopia maintains some 4000 troops in Somalia under the AMISOM peace-keeping mandate and a greater number that stay under no known, formal agreement who had often been termed as Abiy’s gift to Farmajo to keep him in power where he is not wanted.