Sunday, 28 December 2008

Somali president 'to resign'

Somalia's newly appointed prime minister resigned earlier in the day to avoid a political standoff [AFP]

Abdullahi Yusuf, the Somali president, is expected to resign in the next few days, his spokesman said.
Hussein Mohamed Mohamud, a spokesman for the president, said on Wednesday: "The president has already written his resignation letter and he is expected to announce it on the coming Saturday."
Mohamud declined to give any further details on why the president would be stepping down, saying it "is not good for me to predict or explain his reasons".
However, Yusuf's office issued a statement to Al Jazeera denying the president intended to resign and that he would continue to lead the country.
The announcement came shortly after Mohamed Mohamud Guled, Somalia's newly appointed prime minister, resigned in an attempt to reconcile warring government factions.
Yusuf appointed Guled on December 16, after firing Nur Hassan Hussein.
"After evaluating the current situation in Somalia, I have decided to resign," Guled told reporters outside his home.
"I stood down so that I am not seen as a stumbling block to the peace process which is going on well now."
The Somali parliament refused to approve the appointment of Guled, and the international community also backed Hussein.
The African Union welcomed the news of Yusuf's expected resignation.
"If his decision is to resign, I would congratulate him," said Nicolas Bwakira, the African Union Commission's Special Representative for Somalia.
"It is, overall, a good move. It will give the opportunity to all parties to form a new leadership," he said. "It will resuscitate the peace process."

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