Somalia: Puntland VP fires Minister for supporting ONLF leader's handover


GAROWE, Puntland - The Vice President of Somalia's northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar Amey has fired a state Minister on Wednesday, Garowe Online reports.

In a decree, the Vice President has sacked Bashir the state Minister for Presidency and Regional relations, Bashir Abdirahman Haji Gurhan, a day after he supported the transfer of ONLF leader to Ethiopia.

According to the statement released by the VP's Office, seen by GO, the state Minister has been blamed for irresponsibility and committing an act against the governance standard in Puntland.

Gurhan was removed from office after he has expressed support to the Somali Federal government's recent decision to hand over Qalbi-Dhagah to Ethiopia, on behalf of himself and Puntland government.

He said the move was a positive step taken towards the security of the region. Mogadishu has accused Qalbi Dhagah of having close links with Al shabaab, and was plotting terror attacks inside the country.

Last month, Somalia has transferred Abdikarim Sheikh Muse "Qalbi Dhagah", a top leader of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) to authorities in Ethiopia, a move that sparked a social media uproar.

Sources in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) revealed to GO that Puntland President, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali "Gaas" has ordered the sacking of the State Minister for his comments on Qalbi Dhagah's handover.

Gurhan has recently returned back to Garowe from Mogadishu visit, before his dismissal.

Early this Month, Somali cabinet ministers endorsed the handover of Qalbi Dhagah, in reference to an agreement signed between Somalia and Ethiopia in 2015-2016 that designates both the ONLF and Somalia-based al-Shabab as terror groups.


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