Somalia Politicians Fight Insurgents, and Each Other

"The United States government had informed all parties that the ongoing dispute essentially paralyzed the Transitional Federal Government, was counterproductive and did not serve the best interests of the Somali people," a U.S. State Department official said in a statement to ABC News. "We called on all parties to set aside their differences, stop the political infighting and focus on the important tasks of governing Somalia during this critical time."

The State Department statement also called on the president to nominate a new prime minister in "the very near future."

Ahmed and Sharmarke were never natural political bedfellows. Ahmed is viewed as conservative. The former head of the Islamic Courts Union government in 2006, he was denounced by the international community as radical and was subsequently overthrown by a Western-backed Ethiopian government.

Sharmarke, on the other hand, is considered more moderate, having spent much of his life in Canada and the United States.

It wasn't different ideologies that ultimately undid the relationship, however, but a new draft constitution. Ahmed wanted to put the new constitution to a general vote, while Sharmarke believed the country could not hold a credible general election in its current state and wanted parliament to decide.

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