The Ethiopian army’s top two generals serving in Somalia have been recalled to Addis Ababa, Garowe Online can report.
A private plane transported Gen. Gabre and Gen. Yohanis from Aden Adde International Airport, in the Somali capital Mogadishu, according to sources at the airport.
The two generals’ Sunday trip to Addis Ababa is linked growing discord among the Somali government’s top leaders mainly, President Abdullahi Yusuf and Prime Minister Nur “Adde” Hassan Hussein, who have been at odds for the past week.
President Yusuf reinstated close ally Mohamed Dheere as Mogadishu’s mayor, two days after the Cabinet dismissed the mayor in a vote proposed by the Prime Minister.
Confidential sources close to the Somali President tell Garowe Online that Yusuf called Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and accused Gen. Gabre and Gen. Yohanis of “being part of the conspiracy” to oust Mohamed Dheere, an ex-warlord who enjoyed Addis Ababa’s support for years.
Also, President Yusuf reportedly rejected the Ethiopian leader’s offer to mediate between him and the Prime Minister, the sources added.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Nur Adde named four new Cabinet ministers after 10 ministers announced they quit the transitional government yesterday. [ READ: 10 Cabinet ministers resign in Somalia as govt row deepens]
Somalia’s interim government was established in 2004 as the 14th attempt by the international community to help restore national order in the Horn of Africa country after nearly 18 years of civil war.
In June, Prime Minister Nur Adde reached a UN-brokered peace agreement with an Islamist-led opposition movement that called for a ceasefire and provided a timetable for the Ethiopian army’s withdrawal.
Government supporters fear that deepening rift between the President and the Prime Minister will weaken the transitional government and divide it into two rival factions.