Somalia's Prime Minister resigns

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The Independent Online

The embattled Somalian Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi resigned yesterday as allied Somali- Ethiopian government troops continued shelling the capital to oust Islamist insurgents.

Officials said Gedi submitted his resignation to President Abdullahi Yusuf in the southern city of Baidoa, where he addressed lawmakers in parliament, witnesses said. Yusuf later accepted the resignation.

Gedi and Yusuf have been struggling against each other for months over division of powers and other issues and the resignation had been expected. The government has drifted during the leadership struggle as Islamic insurgents launched attacks against government troops and allied Ethiopian forces in the capital, Mogadishu.

Gedi's departure could allow the government to refocus its efforts on security in the country. But if members of Gedi's Abgal clan — among the country's largest — refuse to support the government, the government could be further weakened. Many believe another prime minister from the clan will be named.

In Mogadishu, hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets in a second day of protests against the presence of the Ethiopian troops in the country.

Protesters, mainly women, children and young men, burned tires, blocked roads with stones and logs in parts of south and north of the city, witnesses said.

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