Internet blackout after Somalia PM removed


An almost unanimous vote of no-confidence on Saturday that saw Somalia’s prime minister removed from his post has been condemned inside and outside the country.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the move against Hassan Ali Khaire showed “serious disrespect for the constitutional foundations” of Somalia, while the internal security minister called it a “dark day”.

Internet access has been cut across much of the country according to NetBlocks, which monitors internet freedom.

“The ongoing incident has high impact consistent with an intentional blackout and is not attributed to any international issue,” the group said.

The vote to remove Mr Khaire, which was backed by 170 out of 178 MPs, follows a power struggle between him and President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed over the timing of the next presidential election.

The removed prime minister has said the vote must be held in February 2021 as scheduled, but the president has insisted that it should only go ahead if it’s held on a one-person, one-vote basis.

Currently in Somalia clans select MPs who in turn select the president, so correspondents say such a change would be impossible within the given timeframe because it would require vast resources and mass voter registration.

Until a new prime minister is appointed, Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled has been asked by the president to act as caretaker.


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