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Vol 53 No 23

Published 16th November 2012


Somalia

Hassan Sheikh keeps it in the family

After a long delay the new President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, finally appointed a prime minister and a cabinet, all of them drawn from a tight circle of family, friends and his most trusted political allies. He risked appearing elitist and non-inclusive because he wanted to be sure of his team. He is signalling that this government is here to stay and in no mood for compromise on sovereignty. Kenya and its allies in Kismayo are providing him with an early test of his resolve and credibility

In the two months that it took President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to appoint the Premier and other ministers, he has attracted growing criticism for his aloof style. The diplomats and international organisations that greeted his election in August so enthusiastically now face a far more nationally assertive government. The message from the presidency, we are told, is that diplomats in Nairobi must understand that Hassan Sheikh’s team is in charge, is here to stay and will no longer compromise Somalia’s sovereignty by horse-trading with regional states and the United Nations.

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