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Somali Cabinet to Include Drought Disaster Post

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 8, 2017, the carcass of a dead goat lies in the desert in a drought-stricken area near Bandar Beyla in Somalia's semiautonomous northeastern state of Puntland.

Somalia's next Cabinet will include a minister of disaster management to deal with a drought that has left more than six million people in need of aid.

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire unveiled his Cabinet picks Tuesday in Mogadishu. For the first time in Somalia's history, several women are among the nominees, including the proposed disaster management minister, Maryan Qasim Ahmed.

Khaire nominated 68 cabinet members in all, many of whom served in previous governments.

Many Somalis were expecting a smaller Cabinet, in keeping with President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed's promise to run an effective administration and cut down on corruption.

"The fact that it is a big cabinet would not meet with the people’s higher expectation from the current leaders,” said Virginia-based Somalia analyst Abdiqafar Abdi Wardhere.

“We believe that the new Cabinet does not reflect the reform we were expecting from the president and his prime minister,” said Dini Mohamed Dini, the chairman of the Somali Civil Society Organization. “We were expecting new, trustable faces, and technocrats and people who can lead the nation to the right direction, but the old faces in the Cabinet show otherwise."

Qasim Ahmed was formerly the minister for human development and public services.

Khaire's nominee for finance minister, economist Abdirahman Duale Beyle, previously served as foreign minister.

To serve as the next foreign minister, Khaire nominated Yusuf Garad Omar, a British-Somali national who was formerly chief of the BBC's Somali service.

The nominees must be approved by Somalia's parliament.

Parliament elected President Mohammed, commonly known as Farmajo, to a five-year term last month. Farmajo has pledged to stabilize the Horn of Africa country, which has not had a functioning central government in more than 25 years.