Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein on Saturday dismissed the resignation of eleven ministers in his cabinet as an attempt to create political instability and undermine the recent peace agreement reached in Djibouti between the Somali transitional government and the opposition coalition.
« The aim of the resignations (of the ministers) is to create political instability in the country and disrupt the implementation of the Djibouti agreement between the Somali transitional government and the opposition in Djibouti, » the Somali Premier said in a press briefing in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, hours after the ministers announced their resignation.
They have accused Prime Minister Hussein of usurping power and sacking the mayor of Mogadishu without consulting them.
The Somali transitional government and the opposition, Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS), signed a peace deal in Djibouti early in June. Hussein has been at the forefront of the negotiations with the opposition.
Hussein said that he did not officially receive any letters of resignation from the ministers but added that he will accept if he gets them.
« It is the right of any minister to render their resignation … they can rest assured that their posts will be filled, » the Prime Minister added.
The resignations of the ministers came two days after the premier sacked the mayor of Mogadishu, Mohamed Omar abeeb, who is also the Governor of Banadir region around the city, after accusing him of various charges ranging from incompetence, embezzlement, insubordination and abuse of power.
Habeeb has refused to leave office, saying he has the official endorsement of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who he said has the final say in his sacking.
The president has not so far commented on the mayor’s dismissal but some reports said he is not pleased with it and there were also other reports saying he has reinstated the mayor in a letter the mayor said he received from the President on Aug. 1.
The prime minister said that he was aware of moves to impeach him in the transitional parliament and called for him to resign.
« I have no plans to resign but if the Parliament dissolves the government then I would accept, I will also resign if that would help the peace process, » Hussein told reporters in Mogadishu.
The ministers who announced their resignation include two deputy prime ministers who also hold ministerial posts, eight ministers and one deputy minister.
There has reportedly been a growing rift between the Somali president and the prime minister recently over a wide range of issues including the national reconciliation.