Africa News

Somali Auditor General rejects firing after bodyguards kill Public Works Minister

Nur Farah, Somalia’s Auditor General, was fired on Thursday May 4, after it was reported that members of his bodyguard shot the country’s Public Works Minister, Abbas Siraji.

Minister of Information Abdirahman Osman tweeted that the Council of Ministers unanimously approved Farah’s sacking, and the authorities will begin full investigation.

Farah rejected the firing, telling a local radio station it was unconstitutional. According to local journalists, Farah said that he can only be sacked by the parliament, not the cabinet of ministers.

Siraji, 31, was buried on Thursday in the capital Mogadishu. He was the youngest minister to serve in the Prime Minister’s cabinet and was sworn-in on March 21. He spent much of his life in Kenya growing up as a refugee, and only returned to Somalia last year from the Dadaab refugee camp.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi cut short a trip to Ethiopia to attend the funeral.

Conflicting reports

The circumstances of Siraji’s death are still unclear. According to one report, Farah mistook the minister for an assailant as he was driving himself in an unmarked car at a checkpoint.

Farah told Voice of America that his bodyguards mistakenly believed Siraji was a suicide bomber. Several of Siraji’s bodyguards were reportedly in the vehicle as well.

Late Thursday, VOA journalist Harun Maruf reported that the guard who killed Siraji had pointed his weapon at another officer and threatened to shoot him a week ago. The soldier’s gun was confiscated following the incident, and the gun he used to kill Siraji was unlicensed.

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