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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora