“When the political elite are focused on each other, attention turns away from the battle against al-Shabab,” said Omar Mahmood, senior Somalia analyst at the International Crisis Group. “Security forces that might otherwise be directed towards al-Shabab instead are turning inwards, providing greater latitude for the group to operate.”
Analysts have warned that a protracted political crisis distracts from the growing threat of al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab, which controls most of southern Somalia’s rural areas and launches regular attacks on Somali cities and in neighboring Kenya. The political standoff over a disputed election process veered into violence on the streets of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, earlier this year.
Mohamed’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment regarding the political impasse. In a statement, Mohamed said that the prime minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, had acquired land fraudulently and that the purpose of suspending him was to allow for an investigation.
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