Somali government ‘shocked’ by ex-president’s remarks

The Federal Government of Somalia has responded to remarks by former Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in which he threatened to remove the government by force if it does not respect the law.

Somalia’s Minister of Information, Mohamed Abdi Mareye, who spoke hours after Sharif’s press conference in Mogadishu said that the federal government was shocked by the remarks by the former president.

“The Federal Government of Somalia is shocked by the surprising remarks of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. His comments do not meet the status of a national leader,” Minister Mareye said.

The minister called on the former president to uphold his status and dignity and avoid anything that can tarnish his national reputation.

Leaders of the Forum for National Parties, headed by Sharif, held a press conference in Mogadishu last night after their return from the floods-ravaged central town of Beledweyne, during which they accused the federal government of barring them from travelling to the town.

President Sharif said that they were blocked at Mogadishu airport and notified that they could not leave, although they were later allowed to travel.

He described the action as abuse of power.

The seemingly angry Sharif, a fierce critic of the government, warned that his tolerance was over.

Meanwhile, President of HirShabele regional state, Mohamed Abdi Ware, said that the former presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud were not prevented from traveling, but were informed that the Beledweyne airport’s runway was wet and therefore unsuitable for landing of planes.

The former President Sharif has previously been blocked from traveling to the southern city of Kismayo to attend the inauguration of Jubbaland state leader Ahmed Madobe.