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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid