Qatar denies claims of funding Somalia through Fahad Yasin
DOHA - Qatar has dismissed allegations of funding Somalia's government politicians through intelligence chief Fahad Yasin, arguing that the allegations are "unfounded and ridiculous", in what could again trigger stiff opposition within the country.
For decades, Doha has often been mentioned in Mogadishu's internal politics but it has often blamed business competitors for "fueling negative" propaganda in a manner that jeopardizes her interests.
The allegations were made by former US Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz. Doha argues it plays a constructive role in the country, giving FGS $20M budget support in 2019.
In an interview with Voice of America, Somali, Stephen Schwartz, who served as US ambassador in Mogadishu from 2016-2017, described the current Somalia situation as "dangerous and unfortunate" that should not happen in the "new millennium".
He accused President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo of failing to work on an agreed electoral process during his 4-year presidency. He was ambassador when Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was president before he handed over to Farmajo.
Schwartz's statements come just several days after the US and a host of Somalia's international partners expressed concerns after the Lower House unilaterally extended President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's term by two more years without allowing the Upper House to approve.
Somali government response to international partners' statements on the illegal Farmaajo's term extension has been very severe in a show of strength rhetorically, relying on Qatari secret cash and military support from Turkey, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, Schwartz claimed
Schwartz said, "no question" that Fahad Yasin has powers beyond the control of the intelligence service. He is a political commander and the channel of Qatar's money to Somalia. This gave him a strong influence on FGS and Farmaajo. His role in politics complicates the decision-making, he added.
Fahad Yasin is a close associate of Farmajo and he has been pushing for political negotiations in Somalia to the detriment of the opposition. Previously, the opposition has asked the government to sack him over "bias".