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The government came in on a wave of optimism but will find it tough to maintain momentum. Al Shabaab is on the back foot but not defeated

Optimism was high last September when President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office and appointed a cabinet led by Abdi Farah Shirdon ‘Said’ (AC Vol 53 No 22). The early promise has faded, however, and the expectations of both Somalis and international donors for major improvements in 2013 are likely to be frustrated. There has been some degree of normalisation, and a marked increase in the efficiency and accountability of government institutions but tension within the narrowly-based cabinet is expected to increase.

(This article contains approximately 1308 words)

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Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Abdi Farah Shirdon, Said, Loyalty, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Aden, Jawari, Qatar, Britain, United States, Turkey, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, Regional relations, Yusuf Haji Adan, Ahmed Mohamed Islaan, Al Haraka al Shabaab al Mujahideen, Al Shabaab, Shabaab, Al Qaida,