So­ma­lia pin­ning hopes on new boss

The Weekend Post - - World -

HOLD­ING high por­traits of the man who pledges to bring the na­tion to­gether, So­ma­lis in the cap­i­tal Mo­gadishu have hailed their new pres­i­dent – singing in joy while sol­diers fired weapons sky­ward in celebration.

Af­ter decades of cor­rup­tion and strife the in­com­ing leader, Mo­hamed Ab­dul­lahi Mo­hamed, faces a huge task re­build­ing a bat­tered state.

But those who took to the streets have placed their faith in the 55-year-old for­mer prime min­is­ter nick­named Far­majo (from for­mag­gio, or “cheese” in Ital­ian).

Far­majo served as premier for only eight months between 2010 and 2011, be­fore be­ing ousted. How­ever, sev­eral steps he took – such as en­sur­ing reg­u­lar pay for sol­diers – were well re­ceived and many protested against his re­moval.

Sol­diers and po­lice were among those op­ti­mistic about Far­majo’s vic­tory, af­ter in­cum­bent pres­i­dent Has­san Sheikh Mo­hamud ac­knowl­edged de­feat fol­low­ing a sec­ond round of vot­ing by law­mak­ers.

Far­majo, from the Darod clan, in his vic­tory speech spelled out the wrongs that have to be righted for So­ma­lia to re­verse its failed state rep­u­ta­tion.

“This is the be­gin­ning of unity for the So­mali na­tion, the be­gin­ning of the fight against Shabaab and cor­rup­tion,” he said.

De­spite his win, the re­al­ity is the fed­eral gov­ern­ment con­trols only part of the coun­try, helped by a 22,000-strong African Union Mis­sion in So­ma­lia (Ami­som) force.

The Shabaab holds large ar­eas in the cen­tre and south, and in the past year has mul­ti­plied its mur­der­ous at­tacks in the cap­i­tal and at Ami­som bases.

So­ma­lia is also suf­fer­ing its worst drought since 2010-2011.

POP­U­LAR: New pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Ab­dul­lahi Mo­hamed.

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