A former Somali leader accused his successor President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of orchestrating an attack by soldiers on his home on Sunday as splits deepened over an extension of the incumbent’s term in office.
Former Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s accusation against Mohamed on Twitter – which did not include details or proof – came as factions within Somalia’s security forces exchanged gunfire in the capital Mogadishu.
The flare-up, following Mohamed’s signing of a law in mid-April extending his mandate for two years, could distract security forces from their internationally-backed fight against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents in the Horn of Africa nation.
“It is very unfortunate that an army under the command of the former president attacked my residence,” Mohamud said, referring to Mohamed as “the former president”.
“I have already warned (about) and reiterated the dangers of politicizing security. Farmajo is responsible for the consequences,” he said, referring to Mohamed by his nickname.
A government spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the accusations from Mohamud, who was replaced as head of state by Mohamed in 2017.
But the internal security minister, Hassan Hundubey, denied that the government had raided the former president’s home, according to the state-run Somali National News Agency.
Hundubey said of Sunday’s fighting in Mogadishu that government troops had subdued militia. He did not say who the militia were allied with.
“After efforts of trying to find a solution through negotiations failed, the security forces intervened and concluded the operation against the militia,” Hundubey said in a Facebook broadcast.
As well as triggering opposition in Somalia, Mohamed’s term extension has put him on a collision course with foreign donors who support his government in the hope of bringing some stability to Somalia after three decades of chaos.