News / Africa

    UN Urges Somalia's New President to Be Inclusive

    Somalia's new president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a political newcomer, after being elected by parliament, Mogadishu, Sept. 10, 2012.
    Somalia's new president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a political newcomer, after being elected by parliament, Mogadishu, Sept. 10, 2012.

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    International leaders are urging Somalia's new president to build a government that will unite and stabilize the country.
     
    The United Nations and European Union issued statements on Tuesday congratulating newly-elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
     
    U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon urged the Somali leader to move quickly to appoint an inclusive government that "can begin the work of peacebuilding."
     
    The European Union said the new government should work "with integrity" toward development and reconciliation.

    Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

    • leader of the Peace and Development Party, which he founded in 2011
    • worked as a civil society activist, teacher and administrator before entering politics
    • worked with the United Nations Children's Fund after Somalia's government collapsed in the 1990s
    • part of the team that negotiated the dismantling of the so-called "green line" that divided Somali's capital, Mogadishu
    • founding member of the Somali Institute of Management and Administration Development
    After taking office Monday, President Mohamud asked the Somali people to help establish a functioning government after more than two decades of chaos and conflict.
     
    In an interview with VOA before his election, Mohamud said he would work to move beyond clan lines that have divided the country.
     
    “In a clan setting, you can only produce a clan leader; you cannot produce a national leader," he said. "Here, in the political parties, we intend to produce national leaders. Our main focus is that."
     
    Somalia's outgoing transitional government was marked by infighting and an inability to govern effectively.
     
    The presidential election marks the final phase of a U.N.-backed plan to bring a stronger, more permanent government to Somalia.
     
    The country has not had a stable central government since 1991.

    Correspondent Gabe Joselow is in the Somali capital Mogadishu. He spoke to VOA's Joe de capua about the new Somali leader and the mood in the city following Monday's election. Click on the link below to listen to the interview.

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