FACT CHECK: Video Claims To Show Somalia’s President Punching His Deputy

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows a physical altercation between Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and his deputy during a public luncheon.

Verdict: False

The video, which is from 2015, actually shows an altercation between officials in Somaliland’s legislature.

Fact Check:

Mohamed, who renounced his U.S. citizenship last year, was sworn in as Somalia’s president in February 2017, according to The Associated Press. The post claims to show footage of him punching another man, allegedly his deputy, in the middle of what appears to be a meeting.

“Drama as Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo punches and exchanges blows with his deputy in a public luncheon,” the caption reads. (RELATED: Video Claims To Show Hells Angels And Mongols Bikers Riding To Seattle To Fight Antifa Activists)

But, contrary to the caption’s claim, the depicted altercation didn’t involve officials in Somalia’s government. In the background of the video, a flag can be seen for Somaliland, a self-declared independent state with its own government institutions, though not internationally recognized, per BBC News. A banner on the desk where the men are sitting bears the phrase “shirgudoonka golaha wakiilada” in Somali – a language spoken in both Somalia and Somaliland – that translates to “the speaker of the House of Representatives.”

Aftahan News, an outlet that covers Somaliland news, included stills from the video in a 2015 article that describes the altercation as taking place in September that year between then-Somaliland House Speaker Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi and First Deputy Speaker Bashe Mohamed Farah. The two men had earlier been on opposing sides of a disagreement about the management of fuel tanks in Somaliland’s Berbera port, according to the report.

Dhamays Media Production, a Somaliland media outlet, also published a longer version of the same footage in September 2015, with the title roughly translating, “Watch the War on the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Somaliland.”

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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