Somalia political rift intensifies amid row over missing spy

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has cut some of the prime minister’s powers as a bitter rift between the two men intensifies. He accused Mohamed Hussein Roble of “taking reckless steps that could lead to a political and security crisis”. But Mr Roble said he would not abide by the order, calling it unconstitutional. The dispute, fuelled by the mysterious disappearance of a female spy, raises fears of armed conflict on the streets of the capital between rival forces. Ikran Tahlil, 25, who was last seen at the end of June, leaving home in an official vehicle. The government said … Continue reading Somalia political rift intensifies amid row over missing spy

US House approves Biden’s $3.5tn domestic budget blueprint

The US Congress has approved a $3.5tn (£2.54tn) budget blueprint, setting the stage for Democrats to enact President Joe Biden’s ambitious economic agenda. The rule that passed on Tuesday allows Democrats, who narrowly control both chambers, to move ahead with key policy proposals. Mr Biden’s party hopes to devote significant resources to family support, health and climate schemes. It passed the House of Representatives 220-212, with no Republican support. The resolution’s fate was unclear as late as Tuesday morning, amid a standoff between progressive and centrist House Democrats. The Democrats are enacting a process called budget reconciliation to approve Mr … Continue reading US House approves Biden’s $3.5tn domestic budget blueprint

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to step down in November

Sweden’s beleaguered Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has said he would step down in November to allow a successor time to prepare for the country’s September 2022 general election. Lofven was reinstated as prime minister by parliament in early July just weeks after being removed in a historic vote of no confidence. He told a political rally on Sunday he would “leave my position as party chairman at the party’s congress in November and thereafter also resign as prime minister”. Lofven, 64, has served as party leader for almost 10 years and as prime minister since 2014. “Everything has an end … Continue reading Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to step down in November

Madagascar arrests generals over plot to kill President Rajoelina

High-ranking army and police officials have been arrested in Madagascar in connection with a failed attempt to kill the country’s president. The arrested include five generals and several active police officers, meaning 21 people are now being investigated over last month’s foiled assassination. Authorities have also seized a gun and $250,000 (£180,000), local media said. The attempt on President Andry Rajoelina’s life was among ongoing turbulence rocking the island nation. Madagascar has been under a lockdown since the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year and its southern region is in the grips of a famine. Authorities announced last month that it … Continue reading Madagascar arrests generals over plot to kill President Rajoelina

Update: French citizen among six arrested over plan to kill Madagascar president

A French citizen is among six people arrested on suspicion of involvement in a plot to kill Madagascar’s president, the Indian Ocean island’s public security minister said. “One of the arrested people is French, two of them are bi-national: Malagasy and French. The three others are Malagasy,” Rodellys Fanomezantsoa Randrianarison said late on Thursday. Patrick Rajoelina, an adviser to President Andry Rajoelina, said two of those arrested had previously worked in the French military.  Madagascar’s attorney general said on Thursday police had arrested the six following what officials said was a months-long investigation. Madagascar has a history of political violence. … Continue reading Update: French citizen among six arrested over plan to kill Madagascar president

Update: Strife-torn Haiti gets new prime minister

Ariel Henry has been sworn in as Haiti’s new prime minister, nearly two weeks after the assassination of the country’s President Jovenel Moïse. The late president asked Mr Henry to take the job, days before he was gunned down in the capital, Port-au-Prince. But Mr Henry was in a political tussle with Claude Joseph, Haiti’s interim PM at the time of the attack. Mr Joseph stepped down on Monday and said Mr Henry’s appointment would pave the way for elections in September. Speaking at a ceremony in Port-au-Prince, the new prime minister called for unity. “One of my priority tasks … Continue reading Update: Strife-torn Haiti gets new prime minister

Foreign hit squad killed Haiti’s president, police say

A hit squad composed mostly of retired Colombian soldiers assassinated Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse earlier this week, police say. The group included 26 Colombians and two Americans of Haitian origin, police chief Léon Charles told reporters. Eight of the suspects are still on the run, while 17, including the two Americans, have been arrested. The remaining suspects were shot dead during gun battles with the police in the capital, Port-au-Prince. A group of gunmen burst into the president’s private residence in the early hours of Wednesday. Mr Moïse’s wife, Martine, was injured in the attack and has been flown to … Continue reading Foreign hit squad killed Haiti’s president, police say

Update: 4 suspects in the assassination of Haiti’s president were killed by police in a gun battle and 2 have been arrested

President of Haiti Jovenel Moise at an event in Antalya, Turkey in June 2021. Four people suspected in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse were killed by police in a gun battle, Haiti’s police chief said Wednesday night at a news conference. Two other suspects were arrested. Léon Charles, the police chief, also said three officers were freed after being held as hostages. “The police are engaged in a battle with the assailants,” he said, according to The New York Times. “We are pursuing them so that, in a gunfight, they meet their fate or in gunfight they die, or … Continue reading Update: 4 suspects in the assassination of Haiti’s president were killed by police in a gun battle and 2 have been arrested

What?: Classified UK defence ministry documents found at bus stop

Britain’s government is investigating how secret defence documents, outlining the movements of a warship that led to Russia firing warning shots off the Crimean coast, were found at a bus stop in England. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Sunday that an employee reported lost documents last week and that an investigation had been launched. “It shouldn’t be able to happen,” Brandon Lewis, minister for Northern Ireland, told Sky News. “It was properly reported at the time … there’s an internal investigation into that situation.” A member of the public, who wanted to remain anonymous, contacted the BBC after … Continue reading What?: Classified UK defence ministry documents found at bus stop

CAR Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada and cabinet resign

Firmin Ngrebada, prime minister of the Central African Republic (CAR), has resigned along with the entire cabinet, the latest political crisis to hit the war-weary country. The development on Thursday came during a turbulent week after France announced it was suspending military operations with its former colony. Ngrebada said on Twitter he handed over his and the government’s resignation to President Faustin- Archange Touadera, but a presidential spokesman told the AFP news agency the prime minister could be tapped to lead a refreshed administration. “We will know within a few hours if the president keeps the prime minister on,” Albert … Continue reading CAR Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada and cabinet resign

Nephew of Fetullah Gulen seized and brought back to Turkey

Turkish security services have detained a nephew of exiled cleric Fetullah Gulen overseas and brought him back to Turkey, local media have announced. Selahaddin Gulen has been accused of belonging to an outlawed organisation headed by his uncle. The announcement did not say where he was detained. But his wife Serriye, a teacher in Kenya, said in a video on social media that her husband had gone missing in Nairobi in early May. Turkey’s Anadolu news agency published a photograph of Mr Gulen in handcuffs, with Turkish flags on each side of him. The outlet did not say if his … Continue reading Nephew of Fetullah Gulen seized and brought back to Turkey