News / Africa

Somali President Vows to Divert Youth from Al-Shabab

Somali President Pledges Efforts to Sway Youth From Al-Shababi
X
May 09, 2013 2:59 PM
At a youth town hall meeting in London hosted by VOA, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said the fact that Somali young men are still joining the al-Shabab militants reflects a “weakness” of the country’s leadership. He pledged renewed efforts to establish security, however, and to create jobs for the young people.

At a youth town hall meeting in London hosted by VOA, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said the fact that Somali young men are still joining the al-Shabab militants reflects a “weakness” of the country’s leadership.

Al Pessin
— At a youth town hall meeting in London hosted by VOA, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said the fact that Somali young men are still joining the al-Shabab militants reflects a “weakness” of the country’s leadership.  But he pledged renewed efforts to establish security and create jobs for the young people. 

The president told the gathering of about 80 young men and women that his focus on creating a secure environment in Somalia will generate investment and create jobs, providing alternatives for young people who join the militants for lack of other opportunities.   He was elected only eight months ago, but he took some responsibility for al-Shabab’s continuing ability to recruit Somali youths.

“The fact that they can convince a young man to die and take his life 100 percent and never come back, and we on the other hand are not able to convince him to live and have a decent life, is a weakness on our part, as politicians, religious leaders, elders and women’s groups," Mohamud said. "Whoever we are, it's a problem and a weakness on our part."

Mohamud also said the government is establishing training centers to help young people transition from poverty to employment, and said he will create a special office to deal with youth issues.  He defended his government’s program to rehabilitate men who defect from al-Shabab or are captured, denying allegations that some of them have returned to terrorism.  

With VOA Somali Service reporter Harun Maruf moderating, the president told the audience of Somali expatriates in London that many of the al-Shabab attackers include former exiles, who have returned to join the militants.  And he called on moderate Somalis abroad to return home and help build a new society.

“The good thing that we have is today, the number of young generation coming from the diaspora, or going into the education schools in Somalia, is increasing by the number," he said. "And we have a very good number of young, qualified people, which we are expecting to influence the rest of them.”

President Mohamud spoke the day after a gathering of more than 50 nations and international organizations pledged continuing aid to Somalia. The conference communique calls this “a pivotal moment” for the country, and cited security as the key element.  But it also called for political reform, economic growth, transparency and the protection of human rights.

The conference also praised the new government’s efforts to fight piracy off the Somali coast, citing a sharp drop in recent months.  At the VOA event, Mohamud was asked about the more than 1,000 Somali youths held abroad on piracy charges.  He said he wants them returned to Somalia to serve their sentences, but he also acknowledged his administration will not be ready to receive them until it can “stabilize the country and restore a functional government.”  

The president said he is working to establish a fund to build new youth prisons in Somalia to hold and rehabilitate former pirates, militants and ordinary criminals, and will invite overseas Somalis to donate to it.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid