For months the mysterious disappearance of a Somali secret service agent attracted little attention in elite circles, but now the fate of the young woman threatens to spark a major political crisis in which the President and Prime Minister come into conflict.
Ikran Tahlil, a 25-year-old National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) official, was kidnapped near her home in Mogadishu in June and last week her employers concluded that she had been kidnapped and killed by Al-Shabaab militants .
The militants promptly – and unusually – issued a rejection, while Ms. Tahlil’s family accused NISA of murdering them – a view supported by many Somalis on social media denounced the agency and demanded justice.
The reasons for her abduction remain a source of speculation.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said the B The NISA report, in which Al-Shabaab is named as the perpetrator, is “not convincing and lacking”. sufficient evidence. “Forty-eight hours later, he suspended the agency’s director, Fahad Yasin, a close friend of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
The president, commonly known as Farmaajo, came to the aid of his old friend and fired him soon the suspension as “illegal and unconstitutional” in a statement released Monday.
Yasin is expected to submit a detailed report of the kidnapping to the National Security Committee, which includes the president, but the Crisis has already shown A storm is brewing in the heart of Somalia’s government.
Roble, a Swedish-trained civil engineer and political freshman, joined Farmaajo last September Prime Minister appointed.
But the two men have clashed frequently in recent months as Somalia grapples with the worst political crisis in years after Farmaajo i In April he extended his mandate without holding elections.
When fighting broke out in Mogadishu, pressure on Farmaajo increased when the head of state Roble asked that the parliamentary elections, which after months of delay now take place between October 1st and April 25th . To begin November.
Voting for the House of Commons follows a complex indirect model in which state parliaments and clan delegates select lawmakers who elect the president.
Da Robles As his public profile has grown, relations between him and Farmaajo have become increasingly hostile.
“There is now an open rivalry between Roble and Farmaajo. This has built up over the past few months, especially since Roble took over the leadership of the electoral process, “said Omar Mahmood, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group (ICG).
” I am I am not sure if President Roble’s potential ambitions are fueling, “he told AFP, adding that the prime minister was more likely to respond to the” public outcry “over Tahlil’s disappearance.
The series now threatens to plunge an already fragile electoral process into even greater danger, say observers.
“This conflict, if not resolved amicably, will complicate all other ongoing political efforts, including the electoral process, which is delaying will be stopped, if not completely, “said Abdikani Omar, a former senior official.
Worse, the dispute could spark a serious security crisis in the deeply unstable nation in the Horn of Africa, according to analysts.
The international community is already concerned, with the United Nations, the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), the United States, the European Union and the East African Igadam bloc being among those who make up the country’s leaders calling for an urgent end to their dispute.
“We call on the Somali leaders to de-escalate the political confrontation surrounding this investigation, and in particular to avoid any action that could lead to violence “they said on Tuesday in a statement released by the UN relief mission in Somalia.
” We … (call.)). the jihadists, who will quickly take advantage of any sign of weakness and still hold large swaths of the rural areas.
A decade after the Al Qaeda-related militants were driven out of Mogadishu, the government controls only a small part of the country Landes, with the crucial help of some 20,000 soldiers from Amisom.
“If both sides are on their heels, then the possibility of this political crisis turning into a security crisis is a very real outcome” warned ICG analyst Mahmood.