A Somali minister under the former
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) will hand over official documents to
President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's unity government today at a ceremony in
the capital, Mogadishu. New ministers are also expected to hold meetings to
problems in the country. This comes after President
Sharif Sheikh Ahmed agreed over the weekend to a truce and the introduction of
Sharia law to try to defuse clashes with tribal leaders. The deal follows talks
between the new Somali government and its clan opponents, mediated by regional
The move is expected to weaken Islamic insurgent groups, including al-Shabab
which has vowed to take over the country and implement Sharia law. Abdirashid
Irro is a cabinet minister in the new administration. He tells reporter Peter
Clottey that the new government will embark on a massive recruiting exercise in
its bid to address the country's security challenges.
will be deciding on two things for today's meeting. First of all, we have to
come up with an idea that we can pacify and make the security issues like the
organizing of our security forces. And on the other hand we also continue the
peace process. We will open a dialogue with our oppositions inside and outside
of Somalia so that in that way we will address the security situation matters,"
Irro pointed out.
said the new administration intends to reorganize the Somali government's
revenue collection efforts.
will like to rebuild our public financial authorities like the customs revenue
and the inland revenue, all the sides that we can improve the collection of
money in order to improve the challenging security issues," he said.
said the meeting would also seek to address the piracy off Somalia's coast.
are going to be addressing those issues, but better, as you know, before we do
anything else, if you want to overcome the piracy, we have to have our marine
forces. So we are now going to recruit and organize our military forces. Then
we will go against the pirates. We will also like to pacify the rest of the
country. Unless you make peace inland, you cannot control the sea," Irro noted.
said today's handing over should go smoothly according to plan.
are organizing everything well, and about six ministers are going to be handing
over to the new ministers. And that will take place this morning, and hopefully
it will go well according to plan. The outgoing ministers have already told me
they are well prepared and that they have all the necessary documentation and
also the resources. So they will be handing over to the new ministers today,"
said the new administration would be quite different from the former
Transitional Federal Government.
think this is mostly from the president and from the prime minister as well as
the whole cabinet. These are new and young people or politicians with open
minds, and I think they will be more understanding of each other. They will
also be of one team, of one nation, and of one leadership. Then they can handle
the situation," Irro pointed out.
agreement between the government and the Islamists has yet to be passed by
Somalia's parliament. But the president said there was no problem from the
government's side if people wanted to be governed by Sharia law. The truce
comes after militants fought government and African Union forces in clashes
which killed at least 30 people in the last few days.
Al-Shabab recently seized the town of Baidoa, which had been the seat of the
Described as a terrorist
organization with links to Al Qaeda, al-Shabab has refused to recognize
President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's administration. It vows to continue
attacks in an attempt eventually to take over the country and implement fully
Meanwhile, the United
Nations is urging Somalis in the Diaspora to condemn violent insurgent attacks
and support President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's new administration.
In an open letter to the Somali diaspora, U.N. envoy
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah reportedly said the return of ministers to Mogadishu
proved progress towards peace is being made faster than most Somalis or the
international community had dared hope.