Yusuf gets asylum in Yemen

January 23, 2009 12:00 am

, SANAA, Jan 21 – Yemen has granted political asylum to former Somali president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who resigned in late December after a row with his prime minister, a Yemeni presidency source said on Wednesday.

"The president of Yemen granted Somalia’s president the right of political asylum last night," the source told AFP.

The ex-head of state has been given a permanent home in Yemen, which faces Somalia on the other side of the horn of Africa.

Yusuf stepped down on December 29 after having tried and failed to sack Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein.

The president’s bid to push Hussein out of his job was thwarted when parliament backed the prime minister with a massive vote of confidence.

Yusuf clashed with Hussein over their approach to the opposition. During his time as president, Yusuf had poor relations with the opposition, who accused him of obstructing the peace process.

Conflict in Somalia and power struggles that erupted since 1991 have hampered successive initiatives to restore any semblance of order to the country, where the government is facing a military campaign by Islamist fighters.


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