Tigray crisis: Somalia sacks foreign minister

Somali Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, has sacked Foreign Affairs Minister, Ahmed Isse Awad, hours after a row over the country’s position on the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

“In a decree issued by the office of the Somali prime minister, Mohamed Abdirizak Mohamud Abubakar has been appointed minister of foreign affairs to replace the former holder of the position,” said the website of the state radio.

The sacked minister was named as an ambassador, added the report, but he tweeted that he was “not currently ready for any position as an ambassador or any other”.

The verified Twitter account of the office of the prime minister, @SomaliPM announced that the appointment but did not explain why Awad was sacked.

Awad, on Thursday, posted a tweet on his account denying that Somalia had issues an official statement on the Ethiopia crisis.

A few hours earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued a statement expressing “support for the unity of Ethiopia”.

“Somalia reaffirms its solidarity with the government of Ethiopia under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in keeping the constitutional order and respecting the territorial integrity of Ethiopia,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement that was later withdrawn.

Ethiopia launched military operations on 4 November to oust the government of the northern Tigray region after accusing its fighters of attacking federal forces.

Ethiopia has many troops in Somalia who are part of the African Union peacekeeping force (Amison).

Last week, Somalia’s Radio Dalsan reported that Ethiopia will withdraw 3,000 troops from Amison.

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