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New Somali President Appoints Prime Minister


Somalia's newly appointed prime minister, Hamza Abdi Barre, addresses delegates at the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, June 15, 2022. (Presidential Press Service/Reuters)

Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, on Wednesday picked a member of the lower house of parliament, Hamza Abdi Barre, as the new prime minister.

“I have based on my decision after assessing the knowledge, experience, capability of Hamza, and I came to the conclusion he is the right person who can discharge this new responsibility in this new Somalia at this new time,” he said at the Presidential Palace.

He asked lawmakers to approve the new prime minister “quickly” and said he had asked Barre to advance the key priorities of the new government, including security, drought response, reconciliation, community development and climate shock response.

Four straight failed rainy seasons and high inflation have left millions of Somalis grappling with food insecurity. Barre said he would form a competent government capable of rescuing the country and the people.

“I pledge to you as president and to the Somali people that I will work day and night and will stand up in discharging by obligation,” he said.

Barre, 48, was elected to parliament for the first time in December. Previously he was the chair of the Jubaland regional electoral commission.

Barre served as secretary-general of Mohamud’s Peace and Development Party from 2011 to 2017. He is also a former senior adviser to the ministry of constitution affairs and federal government.

He spent many years as an educator in Mogadishu and Kismayo. He is co-founder of Kismayo University and a senior lecturer at Mogadishu University.

Barre's appointment came exactly a month after Mohamud was elected president, defeating Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in a parliamentary vote. Caretaking Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble will hand over the office to Barre if parliament approves his appointment.

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