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Somalia Swears In New Prime Minister


Somalia's parliament has sworn in Nur Hassan Hussein as the new prime minister of the war-torn nation.

Mr. Hussein took the oath of office early Saturday in the southern town of Baidoa, where the parliament meets. He promised to perform his duties honestly.

The new prime minister takes the place of Ali Mohamed Gedi, who resigned last month after a long power struggle with Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday welcomed Mr. Hussein's nomination, saying his background in humanitarian work gives him a unique understanding of the challenges facing Somalia.

But the Eritrea-based dissident group, The Alliance for Re-liberation of Somalia, rejected the new prime minister. It said nothing will change until Ethiopia withdraws its troops from Somalia.

Ethiopian troops have been allied with the Somali government in battling Islamic insurgents for nearly a year.

The insurgency began after the government and Ethiopia ousted an Islamist movement from power in Mogadishu late last year

Mr. Hussein, also known as Nur Adde, has served as president of the Somali Red Crescent Society.

Fighting in Somalia has killed thousands and forced an estimated 600,000 more to flee Mogadishu since January.

Somalia has not had a stable central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.