Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Roble informed the Ministry of Finance on Sunday that he has suspended the withdrawal of any funds from government accounts without his consent.
In a letter to officials of the Finance Ministry, the Central Bank governor and the National Treasurer, Roble said he made the decision due to the transition period and as a precautionary measure, noting that the order also extends to any International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance to Somalia.
“Given the country’s transition and the need to pay more attention to the DDS disbursement process and the use of the IMF’s SDRs [Special Drawing Rights], the FGS [Federal Government of Somalia] Prime Minister instructed the Ministry of Finance and those addressed in this letter that no expenses of any kind may be made without the consent of the Somali PM,” the letter says in part.
Roble added that any spending by the government must be approved by him, including “the salaries of soldiers and personnel, military rations, projects and any other expenses necessary for the service of the government.”
The move comes amid a power struggle between Roble and President Mohamed Farmaajo which escalated further as the country’s new Internal Security Minister Abdullahi Mohamed Nur took office Thursday.
In a move late Wednesday Roble fired Security Minister Hassan Hundubey Jimale and replaced him with Nur, a critic of Farmajo.
The growing rift between the top political leaders has caught the attention of foreign missions amid heightened political tensions in the country. Foreign missions and the UN have called on the two leaders to resolve their differences, saying the rift could derail the ongoing election process.
President Farmajo and Prime Minister Roble met Saturday to find a solution to their row in a meeting that concluded without any agreement, with both disagreeing on most issues, including constitutional powers.