Is This Video of Somalia’s President and Deputy Exchanging Blows?

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The video below was shared in a tweet with claims that Somalia’s president and his deputy got into a fistfight.

Several other Facebook posts hereherehere and here made the same claims.

Background

The government of Somalia does not have the position of Deputy President in its structure, which consists of the president and a prime minister.

Somalia’s head of state is the President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, while the head of government is the Prime Minister, Mahdi Mohamed Gulaid, who was appointed following the removal of Mr Hassan Ali Khaire in July 2020.

There have been reports of chaos erupting in Somalia’s parliament in the past.

Verification

A close look at the video reveals the words “shirgudoonka golaha wakiilada” written on a sign in front of one of the men’s seats. This is written in Somali and translates to “The Speaker of the House of Representatives”.

The flag of Somalia features a white star on a blue background. The flag that can be seen behind the two men in the clip is green, red and white with a black star, which corresponds to the flag of Somaliland, a self-proclaimed state on the edge of the Horn of Africa, which gained independence from Somalia in 1991. The international community does not recognize Somaliland.

A Google reverse image search of keyframes of the video shows that it is an old clip, from a fight that took place in Somaliland. The men fighting are the then-Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abdirahman Abdullahi, and Deputy Speaker, Bashe Mohammed Farah, now the Speaker. This happened during a parliamentary session that appears on a YouTube upload dated September 12 2015.

In 2015, Farmaajo was not yet president of Somalia. He was elected in 2017, and his deputy, Gulaid, was appointed this year.

Though the country is not recognized as a sovereign state, Somaliland has a working political system, government institutions, a police force, and its own currency. The country’s head of state, President Muse Bihi Abdi, is deputized by Vice President Abdirahman Saylici.

Verdict

The video being shared online as being of a fistfight between the president of Somalia and his deputy is an old one from Somaliland, making the claim FALSE.

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Peris Gachahi

Peris Gachahi is a reporter at Africa Uncensored.She is passionate about human interest stories told through in-depth documentaries, data stories and digital storytelling.