UPDATE 1-President of Somalia suspends Prime Minister pending investigation

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said on Monday he had suspended the powers of the prime minister, exacerbating a destabilizing conflict in the Horn of Africa country.

The president, who had suspended Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble previously due to an earlier confrontation, said in a statement he had taken the steps pending an investigation into accusations that the prime minister had fraudulently acquired land . The government spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A dispute between Mohamed and Roble has generated months of tension, which analysts say threatens to distract the government from its fight against the insurgency linked to al-Qaeda al Shabaab. Roble’s suspension of powers comes a day after Mohamed and Roble accused others of delaying parliamentary elections.

Mohamed also said he was dismissed from his post as commander of the maritime forces, General Abdihamid Mohamed Dirir, while a similar investigation was underway. Dirir or a spokesperson for him was not immediately available for comment.

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