Somali president sacks prime minister

Dec. 14, 2008 at 7:35 AM
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BAIDOA, Somalia, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf says he has dismissed his prime minister for failing to do his job as the government fights Islamic militias near the capital.

Yusuf declared Sunday he would nominate a replacement for Nur Hassan Hussein within three days, although under the constitution of Somalia's United Nations-backed transitional government, Yusuf reportedly would need parliamentary approval for dismissing the prime minister, CNN said.

Hussein was appointed 13 months ago and has disagreed with Yusuf over efforts to reach a reconciliation agreement with an Islamist-led opposition that is fighting government-backed militias and allied Ethiopian forces. The fighting is concentrated near the capital of Mogadishu, while Yusuf's transitional government is based in the town of Baidoa, CNN reported.

The Somali fighting has driven more than a million people from their homes, U.N. officials estimate.

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