Somali President Fires Mayor of Mogadishu, Appoints Replacement

Somalia’s president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has fired and replaced the mayor of the capital, Mogadishu, Omar Filish. Analysts say the president wanted to install his own ally in the capital, where Islamist militants killed 21 people at a hotel last month.

In a decree issued Wednesday, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud removed Filish as mayor of the Somali capital and governor of the Banaadir regional administration.

In the decree, Mohamud said that he took the action on the recommendation of the Interior Ministry.

Presidential spokesman Abdikarin Ali Kaar sent a video to journalists explaining the change.

He says, when the president saw the recommendation of the interior ministry and saw the need for a new governor for the Banaadir regional administration and the mayor of Mogadishu, the president of the republic of Somalia, after he considered the recommendation of the ministry has appointed Mr. Yusuf Hussein Jim’ale to be the mayor of Mogadishu and the governor of Banaadir region.

Kaar said the president picked Jim’ale based on his education, experience and previous role helping to develop Mogadishu.

Yusuf Jim’ale, better known as Maddale, was previously mayor of Mogadishu from 2015 and 2017, when Mohamud served his first term as president.

The Somali president did not explicitly say why he was firing Filish but political analysts say the new president wanted to install a mayor who can follow his development and security policies.

Filish had been mayor since August 2019. He was criticized for lack of development projects during his term. The city has also seen continued attacks from militant group al-Shabab, most recently in August when fighters stormed a popular hotel, killing 21 people and wounding more than 100 others.

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