Somalia: President Suspends PM's Power to Hire and Fire Officials

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has suspended the prime minister's power to hire and fire officials, he said in a statement on Thursday, escalating a destabilizing row in the Horn of Africa nation.

The dispute between Mohamed and Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble, nominally over a murder investigation, marks an escalation of months of tension between them in a country riven by militant attacks and clan rivalries.

"The prime minister violated the constitution," the president said in the statement, saying the suspension will last until the conclusion of elections later this year.

There was no immediate comment from Roble.

Mohamed and Roble had clashed in April, when the president unilaterally extended his four-year term by two years, prompting army factions loyal to each man to seize rival positions in the capital, Mogadishu.

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