Somalia: Govt Sacks Foreign Affairs Minister Over Statement on Ethiopian Conflict

Insecurity in the Tigray region of Ethiopia is driving people into Hamdayet in Sudan.
21 November 2020

Somalia this week sacked its foreign minister over a statement on the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia.

Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble issued an executive decree removing Ahmed Issa Awad from the post of foreign affairs minister.

Roble appointed Mohamed Abdirizak Abukar to lead the foreign ministry.

A statement released by Information Minister Osman Dube to the state media confirmed the changes in the foreign affairs portfolio.

Awad's dismissal appears closely related to a statement released on the official Twitter account of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on the ongoing conflict between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and its rebel Tigray region.

The statement said, "Somalia calls for amicable resolution of the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia."

The message was removed within an hour and later Awad said in a message in his personal Twitter account that such government statement did not exist.

This is to clarify that there is no official statement from @MofaSomalia regarding the situation in #Ethiopia. The statement making rounds does not represent the views of the Federal Government of Somalia, and therefore is not valid.

- Amb. Ahmed Awad (@MinisterMOFA) November 18, 2020

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, however, issued a decree, naming Awad as Ambassador without stating his representation of Somalia in any specific country. Awad rejected the ambassadorial appointment, saying that he was not ready for any other position.

Awad has been the minister of Foreign Affairs since early 2018.

The new Foreign Affairs minister was presidential candidate in 2017, a contest in which Farmaajo was overwhelmingly voted as president.

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