Somalia PM Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo vows to stay

Somalia's prime minister at press conference (archive shot)
Image caption Somalia's prime minister says he has public support to remain in office

Somalia's Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has refused to resign, defying a UN-backed deal to oust him.

Mr Farmajo told the BBC he would not quit because only parliament had the power to oust him.

After months of squabbling, the Somali president reached a deal with his rivals last week, under which Mr Farmajo was sacked.

Mr Farmajo said he had the support of the Somali people to stay in office.

There were protests in the capital, Mogadishu, last week, rejecting the deal to remove Mr Farmajo.

"The people have spoken. They gave me their confidence and trust and I will honour that," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

Under the deal signed in Uganda, the mandates of the president, the speaker and their deputies were extended until 20 August 2012, when new elections would be organised.

'Islamist threat'

Somalia has been without an effective central government since the fall of the Siad Bare regime in 1991, as rival factions constantly fight for power.

Analysts say Islamist militants pose the biggest threat to the government, controlling large parts of southern and central Somalia.

Foreign donors have been pushing rival factions to resolve their differences, and focus on defeating the Islamist threat.

The US believes that Somalia is a haven for al-Qaeda activists in East Africa, and has carried out several air strikes in the country to kill militants.

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