human rights groups, United Nations and Western officials.

Mr. Yasin, a former journalist with Al Jazeera, had become a conduit for unofficial Qatari funds that were used to help get Mr. Mohamed elected, and which he used to solidify his political base while in power, the officials said — part of a wider proxy battle for influence between rival oil-wealthy Persian Gulf states in the strategically located country.

Some in Mr. Mohamed’s inner circle, including Colonel Sheikh, grew disillusioned and quit. “I said to myself: ‘These people are bad news,’” he said.

In 2019, Mr. Mohamed gave up his American citizenship. He didn’t explain the decision, but officials familiar with the matter pointed to one possible factor.

At the time Mr. Mohamed surrendered his passport, his finances had come under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service in the United States, said three Western officials familiar with the matter, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter about a foreign head of state.

cutting ties with neighboring Kenya in December as part of a long-running diplomatic dispute.

allying with the autocratic president of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, whose military has trained thousands of Somali troops, Western and Somali officials say.

“It comes as cash and it’s uncounted,” Abdirizak Mohamed, a former interior minister and now opposition lawmaker, said of the Qatari funds. “It’s an open secret.”

Now Mr. Mohamed is confined to Villa Somalia, the presidential compound in central Mogadishu, as military units loyal to his most powerful opponents — a coalition of presidential candidates and the leaders of two of Somalia’s five regional states — camp on a major junction a few hundred yards away.

Worried residents say they don’t know whether the president’s latest concession will offer a genuine opportunity for new talks, or a pause before rival fighters open fire again.

“I feel a lot of fear,” said Zahra Qorane Omar, a community organizer, by phone from Mogadishu. “We’ve gone through enough suffering. The bullet is not what this city or its people deserve.”

Hussein Mohamed contributed reporting from Mogadishu, Somalia.

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