Citing 'Treason,' Somali Prez Fires His PM

Gov't near collapse, insurgents vow never to talk to leadership
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 14, 2008 1:48 PM CST
Armed fighters from the al-Shabab group prepare to travel on the back of pickup trucks outside Mogadishu in Somalia on Monday Dec. 8, 2008.    (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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(Newser) – Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf fired his prime minister today and accused him of paralyzing the government with "corruption, inefficiency, and treason." Hours later, as the government veered toward collapse, Islamic insurgents held a brazen news conference in the capital and vowed never to negotiate with the leadership.

"We will never talk to the government and will never accept any political power sharing. Our aim is only to see Islamic law running this country," said a spokesman for the al-Shabab insurgent group, the most powerful of the militant organizations that control most of the country. The prime minister, Nur Hassan Hussein, promised to challenge his dismissal.