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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs