Somali opposition leader blasts officials for kowtowing to Qatar

A Somali opposition leader has criticised the role of the gas-rich Gulf state of Qatar in Somalia, saying its meddling in the internal affairs of the country reminds Somalis of the former Ethiopian regime.

“Qatar has taken up the former Ethiopian regime’s meddling behaviour. Its ambassador has taken up General Gabre’s role, with Somali officials lining up to meet him. It has also planted agents in our midst,” Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, the leader of Wadajir Party, said in a post on his official Facebook page.

Abdirahman also blasted Somali government officials for kowtowing to low-ranking Qatari officers.

“When you see Somali ministers and top army commanders running after some low level foreign officials, it reminds you of the way General Gabre used to behave,” he said.

“Dear Somalis, if the humiliating behaviour of Ethiopian officials disturbed our conscience yesterday, prompting us to brand those officials’ Somali friends Ethiopian sycophants, then why are we silent on Qatar’s behaviour?” he added.

Finally, Abdirahman called on Qatar to stop interfering in Somalia’s internal affairs.

“We urge Qatar to end its flagrant interference in Somalia’s affairs and stop its undesirable actions in the country that doomed previous governments,” he said.

A Qatari delegation visited the central Somali city of Dusamareb on 13 July where they were warmly welcomed by senior government officials and army commanders.