Somali Leaders Disagree Over Expulsion of AU Representative 

Somali Leaders Disagree Over Expulsion of AU Representative (News Central TV)
The Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC), for Somalia Ambassador Francisco Madeira speaks during an interview in Mogadishu on February 11, 2017. SRCC describes the just concluded electoral process in Somalia as historic and symbolic of better times ahead for the country, recovering from over two decades of civil war. AMISOM Photo / Ilyas Ahmed

Somalia‘s prime minister on Thursday expelled an African Union representative Francisco Madeira because of acts incompatible with his status though Somalia’s president rejected the order, signalling a new rift between the Somali leaders.

The African Union representative, Francisco Madeira, must leave within 48 hours, according to Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble’s office.

“The Somali government declares the special representative of the African Union … Ambassador Francisco Madeira, persona non grata for engaging in acts incompatible with his status,” the prime minister’s office said.

It did not specify what Madeira had done to warrant her removal.

Madeira, a Mozambican, was unavailable for comment immediately, and an official at the African Union headquarters in Mogadishu said a reaction would be forthcoming later.

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The deportation order appeared to exacerbate a political spat between Roble and Somalia’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, which supporters fear may divert attention away from the country’s fight against the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militant group.

African Union peacekeepers assist the government in its war against al Shabaab.

Mohamed’s office said in a post on Twitter it was the custodian of Somalia’s sovereignty and said Roble’s order to expel Madeira was an “illegitimate and reckless decision from an unauthorised office”.

The federal government, led by Mohamed, “has received no complaints of interference with its sovereignty” and “does not endorse any illegal action” against him, according to the office.

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Mohamed attempted to suspend Roble’s authority in December on allegations of corruption, which Roble characterised as a coup attempt.

The two have been at odds for a long time, with the most recent focus of their spat being the postponement of parliamentary elections, which began in November.

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