No quick fixes
Somalia’s new President, Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo”, has been inaugurated in the capital Mogadishu, promising to restore dignity to the troubled Horn of Africa nation but warning it will take another 2 decades to “fix” the country.
“Our government is facing so many challenges and even though I will be doing my best, I also want to make clear for the Somali public that due to limited resources regarding economy and forces of security, what we could do is going to be limited,” he said.
The president, widely known by his nickname “Farmajo”, officially took office last week, but his inauguration was held Wednesday in the presence of several regional leaders.
The election of the no-nonsense Farmajo – whose brief stint as prime minister in 2010-11 is fondly remembered – sparked elation in a country desperate for an end to decades of conflict, but he warned the country that there would be no quick fixes.
Focus on “basic essential problems”
“Your problems were created during 20 years of conflict and droughts. A solution will need more than another 20 years,” he said.
Farmajo said he would focus on “the basic essential problems” but that his work would have to be carried on by future governments.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, as well as delegations from Kuwait and Egypt, attended the ceremony.
Farmajo said that insecurity along with a cycle of droughts which have parts of Somalia at risk of famine were the main challenges facing his administration.
Somalia has not had an effective central government since the collapse of Siad Barre’s military regime in 1991, which led to decades of civil war and lawlessness fueled by conflicts.
The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but the jihadists still control parts of the countryside and carry out attacks against government, military and civilian targets.
“With my leadership, I promise Somalia will regain its respect and integrity,” Farmajo said.
He said the long list of things that needed to be accomplished included “completion of the reconciliation among Somali clans, improving law and order and the justice system (and) regaining of the confidence by the Somali public to their government.”
He said he would focus on rebuilding an army capable of serving a country whose security is still largely assured by 20,000 regional troops with the African Union’s AMISOM peacekeeping force, which plans to withdraw in 2018.