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Somalia Prime Minister Shuffles Cabinet

The prime minister in Somalia's transitional government has reshuffled his cabinet, filling vacancies and changing some key ministers.

Prime Minster Omar Sharmarke Saturday accepted 39 new ministers into his cabinet, the same number as in his previous government.

Among the new cabinet members is former speaker of the parliament and powerful warlord Sheikh Aden Madoobe - also known as Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur - who was named deputy Prime Minister and minister of ports and transportation.

He resigned from the parliament earlier this year in a bitter dispute with other lawmakers.

Also new to the cabinet is is Foreign Minister Yusef Dheeg, a veteran diplomat and Finance Minister Hussein Halane, a long-time executive with the United Nations Children's Fund.

Somalia's transitional government has been hampered by internal conflict as it tries to battle Islamist insurgent groups.

The government said early this year it would mount a major offensive against the rebels, but the operation has not materialized.

The fragile government controls only a few small parts of the capital, Mogadishu, with the help of African Union peacekeepers.