Somali President Mohamud appoints new prime minister

Friday, June 17th, 2022 08:20 | By

Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has nominated lawmaker Hamza Abdi Barre as the country’s prime minister in a calculated move seen as a reward for loyalty in his support base.

Barre, 48, replaces Mohamed Hussein Roble, whose 22 months in office were marred by a rancorous dispute with Mohamud’s predecessor Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed that threatened to plunge Somalia back into violent chaos.

He is a key ally of the President of the semi-autonomous state of Jubaland Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Islaam alias Madobe. He and Madobe come from the Ogaden clan, part of the larger Darod clan. Barre, current MP of the Lower House represents Kismayu in Jubaland State, the southernmost region in Somalia.

Mohamud – who previously served as head of state between 2012 and 2017 –unveiled his choice for prime minister just six days after he was inaugurated at a ceremony in Mogadishu attended by several regional heads of state.

The Head of State 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.

He has 30 days to form the country’s next government and receive parliamentary approval. Barre’s appointment, dated June 14, but announced on Wednesday, may reflect the kind of backroom consultations between regions.

In his acceptance speech, Barre said he would form a competent government capable of rescuing the country and the people.

According to Horn of Africa analyst Guleid Osman the Prime Minister is also expected to broker a truce between the federal state of Somali and the breakaway state of Somaliland.

“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, whose name had circulated widely on social media before his appointment was officially announced, was voted in as an MP in Kismayo, the commercial capital of Jubaland in December, in a long-delayed and chaotic parliamentary election process.

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