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Somalis Reportedly Welcome President Yusuf’s Resignation

Somalis have reportedly welcomed the resignation of President Abdullahi Yusuf of the transitional federal government after he was accused of being the stumbling block to the peace process. Some Somalis have also reportedly accused the former President of being the biggest warlord in the government, which they said has energized the support base of the Islamist fundamentalist group Al-Shabab. The international community reportedly pressured former president Yusuf to resign after he unilaterally sacked Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, which nearly led to the collapse of the transitional federal government. Ibrahim Nur is a Somali parliamentarian and a member of the transitional government. He tells reporter Peer Clottey there was no need for the Somali parliament to rush in choosing the successor to president Yusuf.

"When the president resigned, automatically the speaker of parliament takes over as a temporary president until we elect a new president. In our constitution, states that in 30 days and within those 30 days, we have to elect a new president. But this comes at a time when we are already in the process of the Djibouti Peace Agreement and if that process is finished within that month then maybe we would go to Djibouti and elect with the reconciliation a new president, from the Somali opposition and the Somali government," Nur noted.

He said there was no need to rush into electing a new president.

"You know, we don't just want to hurry automatically, but we want to see if the opposition would all come together because we need all the opposition to be part of the Djibouti process. Until we reach that stage, we want our speaker to be the temporary president and we want to really go into real reconciliation so that the speaker would continue to be the temporal president as we continue to resolve problems in the country," he said.

Nur said Somalis want all hands on deck to resolve the country's problems.

"We are saying that anyone who has Somalia at heart and any opposition is welcome to join us in finding solutions to this country's needs," Nur pointed out.

He said Somalia would have to go through the process in order to get back on its feet after a long time without a functioning government.

"You know for Somalia it has been 18 long years of civil war. It is not automatically going to be resolved with only one conference. We need to gradually and step by step move forward as a position and we want all the opposition on board the Djibouti process. And the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) we want to say welcome to anyone who wants to be part of the Djibouti process and we want to say welcome," he said.

Some political analysts say Abdullahi Yusuf's resignation, after reportedly coming under deepening international pressure, could usher in a period of more chaos as Islamic militants scramble for control of the country while the transitional federal government controls only pockets of the capital, Mogadishu, and the seat of parliament in Baidoa.

Meanwhile, Washington supported Yusuf's resignation and praised his efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia. A statement by acting deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid urged officials in Somalia to intensify efforts to achieve a government of national unity and to enhance security through formation of a joint security force.