Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh
Ahmed is expected to name a new prime minister today after interviewing
prospective candidates in Djibouti. President Ahmed is reportedly holding
meetings with his close aides and associates on selecting the best prospective
candidate for prime minister. After naming the prime minister, President Ahmed
will also hold talks with parliamentarians who are currently meeting in
Djibouti about relocating to the Somali capital, Mogadishu in coming weeks.
Once named, the new prime minister is expected to form a cabinet within 48
hours in consultation with the president and members of the Somali parliament. Abdirahman Warsame is a Somali parliamentarian and close associate of President
Ahmed. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that the new government of national
unity will focus on ensuring peace and stability.
president was yesterday interviewing all day all the candidates and those who
are on the short list to become prime minister. He is finished with the
interview and now he is holding final consultations with his senior advisors or
those who are close to him, and tonight he would be announcing who the next
prime minster is going to be," Warsame pointed out.
said the new prime minister has at least 48 hours to name a cabinet.
the next two days the new prime minister would have to consult with the
president and other members of the parliament, including the speaker, and then
he would start announcing his cabinet in the next two days. And that is, by
Sunday, he would announce his new cabinet," he said.
said there seems to be good communication and cooperation between the various
arms of government to ensure peace and stability return to Somalia.
is the national unity government, and the mood is now fine, and parliament is
now cooperating with the president. And the president will appoint the prime
minister, and we hope that the prime minister will appoint an effective and
capable cabinet, which can deliver what the Somali people need. And I think
after they announce the cabinet and it is endorsed by the parliament, the
parliament and the rest of the government will move to the capital, Mogadishu,"
said Somalis have so far demonstrated their support to the new president when
he visited the capital for the first time after his election.
president visited Mogadishu in the last two days. He was welcomed well and he
did a good job by holding discussions with a lot of people. And I think the
prospect is high with great opportunities while at the same time there is a
huge challenge. And I think we have the leadership who can seize the
opportunity and rise to the occasion," he said.
said one of the major priorities of the unity government is to improve
an effective and capable cabinet, the government will continue the
reconciliation process and improve security as well as return IDP'S (internally
Displaced People) to their homes in Mogadishu and other surrounding areas and
try to form or reinstitute the national institution of the government," Warsame
described recent attacks and rhetoric of Islamic insurgents including al-Shabab
is very unfortunate and I think al-Shabab is not monolithic, as many in Somalia
know. We will engage some of the members of the group and for those who
brainwash these young people they are extremists who can be isolated and
confronted as well as those elements who are trying to spoil the process. I
think we can win this because the Somali people are ready to endorse the peace
process and to support the president because they've already showed they
support the president when he visited the capital for the first time," he said.
elected President Ahmed held various meetings over the weekend with senior
security officials and local clan leaders in Mogadishu over security and the
need to open reconciliation talks with insurgent groups, which are opposed to
the Somali transitional government.
Under the recently signed
agreement between the transitional government and the opposition coalition of
the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), the two sides would form a
joint force to maintain the security of the capital. Warsame said most of the Islamic
insurgents are losing their credibility after the withdrawal of Ethiopian
troops a few weeks ago.
very hopeful that we can deal with the threat of al-Shabab because they have
already undermined their legitimacy of fighting because they claim all the
fighting was against Ethiopian forces. But since the Ethiopians have withdrawn,
they no longer have legitimacy to fight against the leader of country who was
the former chairman of the ARS and now president of Somalia. And I think we can
handle the challenge that al-Shabab poses," Warsame noted.