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New President Has Good Chance To Unify Somalia

On Saturday Somalia elected Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed as its new president. Many analysts say Ahmed has a real daunting task of reuniting Somalis, but some say as a moderate he may have a better chance of bringing stability to the country.

Abdullahi Abdulkadir Mohamed is a professor Arabic Studies at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He told VOA’s Akwei Thompson this is a great time for Sheikh Ahmed to create a comprehensive and inclusive government, bringing together all the different factions including, Somalis in the Diaspora, and even those who were defeated in the elections on Friday night.

Professor Mohamed said Sheikh Ahmed should find it easier to deal with the Somali piracy problem because there are reports that people in areas perceived to be strongholds of the pirates voted in large numbers for him.

He said with the support of the international community Sheikh Ahmed has the chance to make Somalia a secure and peaceful country.