Seeking to ease concerns of armed conflict amid Somalia’s political gridlock, the country’s military, police, and spy agency heads said that they will not get involved in politics or be used as political tools.
Somali police chief Abdi Hassan Mohamed late Thursday said the police will stay out of the political conflict and focus on overall security and the nation’s parliamentary elections, which began on Nov. 1 but have yet to be completed.
The National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), which has been accused of entanglement with the country’s politics, issued a statement warning against the politicization of the armed forces.
The agency “is committed to maintaining security … (and) warns against politicizing the Armed Forces as well as politicizing the mandate of the Armed Forces,” said an statement on Twitter.
Brig. Gen. Odawa Yusuf Rageh, Somalia’s military chief, told his officers that the military should stay out the row between the country’s president and prime minister.
The current standoff emerged after the country’s electoral body ousted its chairman and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed suspended Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, a move Roble rejected.
“It appears that the army is under intense pressure from Somalia’s international partners, such as the US and UK,” Osman Mohamed, a retired army colonel and analyst, told Anadolu Agency.
He said he also believes Turkey, which provides both military and humanitarian support to Somalia, is part of the international community’s efforts to de-escalate tensions.
On Wednesday, the US State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs called on Somali leaders to stop escalatory rhetoric and urged the military to be neutral.
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