Garowe Online (Garowe)

8 May 2013

Somalia: President Hassan Planning Administration Reshuffle: Gov't Source Says

Mogadishu — Sources close to the Somali Federal Government (SFG) tell Garowe Online that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is planning to conduct a major reshuffle in his administration, Garowe Online reports.

President Hassan Sheikh who is currently in London where he co-chaired the Somalia conference with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron might be getting ready for an overhaul of his administration.

Sources tell GO that on his list of changes the SFG President will return the number of Cabinet Ministers from 10 to 18 which was the number of ministers during former Prime Ministers Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas and Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

The undersized cabinet appointed by Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon defied the 4.5 quota - a formula in which clans share government representation - and forced many ministries to be joined which resulted in 25 Deputy Ministers.

According to our source, the high number of deputy ministers brought confusion, which resulted in political aides advising that the President return to the 18 ministry cabinet.

Prime Minister Shirdon appointed the small cabinet which was backed by President Hassan who according to SFG sources had influence in the decision.

The source also told GO that President Hassan is contemplating sacking Prime Minister Shirdon after he failed to subdue the ongoing Jubaland state process which has seen international backing from IGAD and mentions at the Somalia conference in London.

After the conference in Lancaster House the official communique welcomed "progress on forming regional administrations and looked forward to the completion of that process," which political insiders say is an oblique reference to the state building process.

In the past, President Hassan has firmly stood against the Jubaland process in Kismayo. Addressing the Federal Parliament in Mogadishu earlier this month, President Hassan said "The Federal Government does not support the current Jubaland conference in Kismayo".

Prime Minister Shirdon - whose clan resides in Gedo region, one of the regions that make Jubaland -visited Kismayo in March and after meeting with process organizers returned to Mogadishu to reject the Jubaland state formation. Although Prime Minister Shirdon has firmly stood by President Hassan the source says that President Hassan was disappointed in his effort.

According to the source, the possible reshuffle does not stop at Prime Minister Shirdon but key officials at the presidential palace might also be sacked. The source would not name some of the officials in question.

The talk of a possible reshuffle of his administration comes at a time when President Hassan is being pledged millions of dollars to rebuild Somalia.

Britain pledged 279 million US dollars which included funding for a doubling of the police force. The United States pledged 40 million US dollars, while the United Arab Emirates pledged 50 million in assistance.

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