Somalia orders investigation into minister’s killing

FILE PHOTO - Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo
Auditor general fired after security detail gunned down cabinet minister in case of mistaken identity
By Mohammed Dhaysane and Addis Getachew
Somalia’s Auditor General Nur Farah was fired on Thursday after his security guards shot dead a cabinet minister.
Abbas Siraj, the 31-year-old Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction, was killed after the security detail opened fire on his car after mistaking him for a militant near the presidential palace in Mogadishu on Wednesday.
Thursday’s decision to fire Farah was taken behind a closed-door meeting of the country’s cabinet.
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed earlier directed an investigation into the killing.
“I have ordered the security heads to immediately investigate this unfortunate tragedy and make sure the perpetrators are brought to book,” Mohamed said in a statement.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Minister Abbas. He was young and patriotic,” the president added.
Abbas, a former humanitarian worker, was the youngest minister in Somali cabinet of ministers. He grew up and studied in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and was elected from Kismayo as a member of the Somali parliament in 2016.
The president cut short his visit to Ethiopia to take part in the state burial of the minister.
Meanwhile, African Union Commission’s Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat offered condolences over the killing.
“My sincere condolences to the family of Minister Abbas Abdullahi Siraj, the government and people of Somalia. The AU stands in solidarity with you,” Mahamat said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
*Hassan Istiila contributed to this report


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