Mon. Jul 4th, 2022
Hassan Mohamud: The second coming of Somalia’s new president | Government

This Sunday, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud made historical past as the primary individual to be elected president twice in Somalia’s nascent democracy after a landslide victory in opposition to the incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, aka Farmaajo.

In a contest of greater than 36 candidates, each males made it to the third spherical of what was arguably probably the most aggressive election within the nation’s historical past. Finally, 66-year-old Mohamud gained and can now pilot the affairs of the Horn of Africa nation for the following 4 years.

In his first coming, Mohamud served from 2012 to 2017 as head of the Federal Authorities of Somalia, the primary authorities created after the tip of an extended interval of turbulence that began in 1991.

The longstanding civil society activist and educationist had solely totally joined politics in 2011 when he based the Union for Peace and Improvement Occasion.

Youth and profession

Born within the city of Jalalaqsi, within the central area of Hiiraan, Mohamud obtained an undergraduate diploma in know-how from the Somali Nationwide College within the capital metropolis of Mogadishu. He went on to get a grasp’s in technical training from Bhopal College in India and labored within the Somali training sector early on in his profession.

Within the Nineties, he gained a wealth of expertise travelling by way of southern and central Somalia, selling kids’s training within the midst of raging violence.

All through the turmoil Somalia suffered in that interval, Mohamud remained within the nation, in contrast to a lot of Somali leaders who sought asylum abroad.

When United Nations peacekeeping forces, UNISOM, left the nation in 1995, he partnered with civil society teams to spearhead reconciliation efforts to carry the warring clan factions collectively.

He grew to become identified regionally for his involvement in resolving these clan disputes and is remembered for the function he performed within the negotiations in 1997 that ended the period of the notorious “inexperienced line” that had separated north and south Mogadishu since 1992.

Mohamud was a part of a neighborhood committee that efficiently managed to reunify the town’s two halves, which had been managed by two highly effective rival clan strongmen – Mohamed Farah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed.

Mogadishu residents nonetheless keep in mind the so-called inexperienced line and the many individuals killed as they tried to cross it. “It was a dying zone,” Mohamed Ahmed, a 69-year-old father of 5, informed Al Jazeera.

“It minimize off even shut members of the family however after the road was eliminated everybody celebrated, the town got here again to life and I keep in mind Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was one of many individuals who helped us resume our regular lives.”

In 1999, Mohamud helped set up the Somali Institute of Administration and Administration, which later grew to become one of many largest universities in Somalia.

Entry into politics

Mohamud fashioned the Union for Peace and Improvement Occasion in 2011 and, as its chief, went on to problem transitional authorities President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

In 2012, he was elected the eighth president of the nation, operating on a platform of a brand new federal Somalia with full diplomatic relations with the remainder of the world after three many years of warfare and successive transitional administrations.

His authorities inherited a number of duties, together with finishing the provisional structure, forming federal member states, combating al-Shabab – the al-Qaeda-linked armed group is combating to overthrow the federal government and implement its strict interpretation of Islamic legislation – and constructing a robust nationwide military that would make sure the nation’s safety.

However Mohamud was additionally in a position to carry regional leaders collectively to construct consensus on important nationwide points utilizing what he known as “nomad diplomacy” – the Somali cultural idea of elders sitting below bushes to unravel disputes, forgive each other and lead their clans to coexist peacefully – to resolve main variations

“Nomad diplomacy may be very clear, straight to the purpose and has no read-between-the-line points,” he mentioned in a 2013 TEDx Mogadishu promo video.

In September 2015, he established a nationwide consultative discussion board that introduced collectively leaders of regional member states to forge an inclusive electoral course of. The discussion board was additionally instrumental in reaching main political consensus till it was dissolved by his successor, Farmaajo, who defeated him within the 2017 election.

After peacefully handing over energy to Farmaajo, he continued energetic within the nation’s politics and began constructing alliances to return to the presidency.

Accusations of corruption

Mohamud’s first administration confronted severe criticism, accused of rampant corruption, media restrictions and abuse of energy.

In a single occasion, the UN Monitoring Group accused the administration of giving weapons to clan militias and al-Shabab. The damning 2013 report notably alleged a conspiracy between the president and a US legislation agency, Shulman Rogers, to “steal public funds”.

It mentioned the Maryland-based agency conspired to divert the restoration of abroad belongings belonging to the central financial institution of Somalia. The federal government denied the findings

Yussur Abrar, who was governor of the central financial institution on the time, resigned. She had solely been in her place for seven weeks however mentioned she couldn’t proceed due to corruption issues.

In her letter to Mohamud, she mentioned: “From the second I used to be appointed I’ve been constantly requested to sanction offers and transactions that might contradict my private values and violate my fiduciary duty to the Somali individuals as head of the nation’s financial authority.”

Returning to the presidency

Within the final two years, Mohamud has been fiercely campaigning to unseat Farmaajo who the opposition accused of “taking the nation again to dictatorship”.

In his election manifesto, he promised to construct “Soomaali Heshiis ah, Dunidana Heshiis la ah” (a Somalia that’s at peace with itself and at peace with the world).

In his acceptance speech on Sunday after being declared the winner of an election that had been delayed for about two years, he spoke in a reconciliatory tone from inside a closely fortified tent in Mogadishu and promised to construct an inclusive authorities.

After being sworn in early on Monday, Mohamud stood subsequent to his predecessor and mentioned: “Our nation must go ahead, not to return … We’ll remedy our issues utilizing our present legal guidelines, let’s not dwell on yesterday however take into consideration tomorrow.”

However the subsequent 4 years shall be robust for the brand new chief who’s inheriting a trove of challenges together with the matter of al-Shabab, which has intensified its assaults and regained territories managed by the federal government in recent times.

He can even must construct belief in a rustic polarised by in-fighting between the federal and regional governments, in addition to deal with rising inflation and extreme drought that has effects on hundreds of thousands of Somalis throughout the nation.

Throughout his marketing campaign, he promised to run an inclusive authorities obedient to the rule of legislation and to drive financial reforms that can lead to a self-sufficient Somalia in a position to feed itself.

However that may be a tall order, analysts say.

“Hassan Sheikh is fortunate, he’s the primary Somali president that received a second likelihood,” mentioned Afyare Abdi Elm, govt director of the Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Coverage Research.

“He has adequate expertise and wonderful understanding of main points … [but] rather a lot will rely upon how he manages the competing and irreconcilable teams/pursuits, excessive expectations of the society that need companies, and useful resource mobilisation.”

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