U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has praised the election of a new president in Somalia, who is expected to set up the country's first central government in 13 years.
Mr. Annan said Monday the election of transitional President Abdullahi Yusuf is a key step toward regaining peace and stability in the Horn of Africa nation.
Speaking after his election by parliament on Sunday, Mr. Yusuf said his immediate task will be to appoint a prime minister and set up a transitional government to run the country.
He also asked for outside help to restore security following years of fighting between militias, criminal gangs and other armed groups.
Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have died from famine, disease and violence since the 1991 overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
Mr. Yusuf is head of Somalia's northeastern region of Puntland.