MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia’s president has flown to Ethiopia for a medical treatment a month after being hospitalized with a chest illness, officials said Friday, creating more uncertainty for his volatile country.
President Abdullahi Yusuf, 73, was not seriously ill, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
Yusuf, who has had chronic health problems for years, had a liver transplant in 1996. He was hospitalized in Nairobi last month with what doctors said was bronchitis, and later went to London for a medical checkup.
Yusuf’s war-wracked homeland faces what the United Nations says is the biggest humanitarian crisis in Africa. The government, with help from neighboring Ethiopia, has been battling a ferocious Islamic insurgency that has killed thousands of people this year.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991, then turned on one another. Yusuf’s government was formed in 2004 with the support of the U.N., but has struggled to assert any real control.
On Friday, Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein appointed 15 ministers after his previous Cabinet was wracked by resignations and infighting.
By MOHAMED OLAD HASSAN