Somali president: Eliminate Al-Shabaab

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Tuesday welcomed the parliament’s endorsement of the new cabinet of Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed and urged the government to ‘eliminate’ the al-Shabaab group.

“The approval of a new Cabinet, which will represent Somalis from all parts of the country, was taken in the national interest and shows our people, as well as our international partners, that our state institutions are growing in maturity and responsibility,” the president said in a statement mailed to Anadolu Agency.

The Somali National Assembly endorsed the new cabinet lineup earlier on Tuesday.

A majority of 186 lawmakers voted in favor of the new government, while 46 MPs voted against. One legislator abstained.

The new cabinet consists of 25 ministers, 25 deputy ministers and five ministers of state.

It includes two female ministers and two former ministers, although most cabinet appointees are new faces.

President Mohamud said he expected the new cabinet to immediately start tackling the major challenges facing the horn of African nation that has been torn apart by two decades of civil war.

“It is now imperative that the new government begins its work,” he asserted.

“It has one of the most challenging agendas in the world and Somalis expect progress in many areas,” added the president.

“We must extend security across Somalia and eliminate the threat of Al-Shabaab,” he stressed.

“As new areas come under government control, we need to begin delivering basic public services, including healthcare and education,” asserted the president.

Somalia, a long-troubled Horn of Africa country, has remained in the grip of political violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

The election of a government one year ago, along with intervention by African Union troops tasked with countering an insurgency by the Al-Qaeda-allied Al-Shabaab group, has led to increased stability in recent months.

Somali PM thanks parliament; ready for ‘hard work’

Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed thanks the parliament for endorsing his cabinet line-up and vowed “hard work” to meet the challenges facing his Horn of Africa country.

“I am thankful to the MPs and Parliament for taking their role responsibly and putting the national interest first by approving the Cabinet and ministers,” Ahmed said in a statement mailed to Anadolu Agency.

“This Cabinet is representative of all of Somalia, made up of people with the right talents, enthusiasm and dedication to serve the Somali people and take our country forward,” he insisted.

“Our country still faces many challenges and for my government the hard work now begins,” said Premier Ahmed.

“We must be a strong, stable and decisive government that our country needs, earning the support and goodwill of the Somali people by delivering on our ambitious program of government,” he asserted.
“Together we will build the foundations of a new Somalia,” vowed the new prime minister.