Somali president decides to resign
Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has decided to resign, his spokesman said Wednesday, in a move the African Union said would be positive for the peace process in the Horn of Africa nation, Reuters reported.
Yusuf has been accused by donor countries and regional governments of being an obstacle to U.N.-hosted peace talks.
His rift with Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein has pushed the Western-backed interim government, struggling against Islamist insurgents, to the brink of collapse.
"The president has already written his resignation letter and he is expected to announce it on the coming Saturday," Hussein Mohamed Mohamud, a presidential spokesman, told Reuters, declining to give a reason for the decision.
The announcement came shortly after the resignation of a politician Yusuf named prime minister last week, who said he did not want to be an obstacle to peace in Somalia.
"The move is a dignified move on the part of the president. If his decision is to resign, I would congratulate him," said Nicolas Bwakira, the African Union Commission's Special Representative for Somalia.
"It is, overall, a good move. It will give the opportunity to all parties to form a new leadership," Bwakira told Reuters. "It will resuscitate the peace process."
Yusuf sacked Hussein earlier this month and appointed Mohamed Mohamud Guled instead, the man who quit Wednesday.
Parliament and the international community backed Hussein, leaving the already weak government with two prime ministers. A regional bloc spearheading the peace process agreed Sunday to sanctions on Yusuf and others seen as hindering the talks.