FGS's plot to block opposition leader from delivering speech in Malaysia fails
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The already fragile relationship between Federal Goverment of Somalia and the opposition leaders could deteriorate further, following latest standoff in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A session organised by Wadajir party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur was almost interrupted following request by Somalia embassy, a leaked letter reveals.
Abdishakur, who is the official opposition leader, organised a meeting with Somali students in the South East Asian nation, a move that seemingly annoyed Mogadishu.
For years, the Somali-British national, has participated in revolutionary lectures within and outside Somalia, which have often been critical of government.
Govt letter to Malaysian police
In a letter to Malaysian police, Somalia embassy claimed "Abdishakur is an instigator who is under criminal investigations in Somalia."
The embassy did not give fine details on the alleged investigations targeting the leftist leader, who has often criticised the administration.
Mr Abdishakur, it stated, "has recently been issued with a Fatwa for issuing a speech in Germany where he misrepresented Islam."
Authorities were making reference to Abdishakur's recent speech in Germany where he advocated for inclusion of more women in politics.
Most Islamic nations have restricted participation of women in politics, although the practice is expeditiously fading away.
Abdishakur a divisive figure
President Mohamed Farmajo's administration seems to be having issues with the opposition leader, accusing him of creating divisions within Somalia.
The embassy said, "He has also accused without fact the government of Somalia thus creating divisions within government."
Concerned with his public lecture, the administration also claimed that the opposition leader had been blocked from addressing many public events.
"Kindly request that this event to be cancelled and not to allow him to speak because he's likely to create chaos," added the statement.
Malaysian police fails to block the meeting
But the request was ignored by the Malaysian police given that the veteran opposition leader went on to address the gathering on Sunday.
Meeting professionals and students has been one of Abdishakur's strategy to popularise his bid ahead of the much anticipated December polls.
Security operatives in Kuala Lumpur guarded the venue in a move that could strain relationship between the two nations, reports indicated.
There are over 1,000 Somalia citizens in the Asian nation with many either pursuing studies or are in active business, local media had reported.
Govt accused of intimidation
In a swift rejoinder, Abdishakur accused FGS of intimidation, wondering why the administration has often targeted his lawful initiatives at home and abroad.
"In order to prevent me from delivering a speech to the Somali students in Malaysia, the Somali government, through its Embassy in Malaysia and at the behest of the Villa Somalia leaders, informed the Malaysian Police that a Fatwa was issued against me by misrepresenting Islam," he tweeted.
He added: "This is an absolute embarrassment, abuse of power and breach of diplomatic protocol. Thanks to the police reasoning, the meeting went ahead and the government's plot failed."
Somalia embassy in Kuala Lumpur is yet to respond to the turnout of events, which could degenerate into possible diplomatic row between the two countries.
Abdishakur, a consistent critic
Although he's yet to join forces with other opposition leaders, Abdishakur has been one of the consistent critics of the FGS.
Last month, he accused the government of sympathising with Al-Shabaab, arguing that a number of convicted militants have been in touch with the administration.
The government, he added, "had failed to guarantee citizens of Somalia much needed security and it's time to hung boots."
Also, Abdishakur has ruled out planned winner-takes-all electoral model which has been backed by FGS, arguing that the country is not yet prepared.
Criticism against FGS on regular basis
Criticism against Farmajo's mode of leadership is becoming a regular practice in Mogadishu, although the federal leader has often dismissed the allegations.
Former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and his Forum for National Parties (FNP) threatened recently to "kick out FGS like we did to Al-Shabaab".
Efforts to reconcile the two factions have frequently flopped with Qatar said to be one of the foreign countries keen to solve the stalemate.
Regional governments have also dragged Farmajo to the controversy, accusing him of using Ethiopian non-AMISOM troops to distabilise them.