Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has named MP Hamza Abdi Barre, 48, as the next prime minister, signaling an air of loyalty and reward to his supporters.
Mr. Barre, current Member of the House of Commons representing Kismayu in Jubbaland State, Somalia’s southernmost region. He will become Somalia’s 21st Prime Minister if Parliament supports him for the post.
Mr Barre is from the Ogaden clan, part of the larger Darod clan, and is considered a close ally of the Jubbaland President , Ahmed Madobe, with whom they share the clan.
His appointment, dated June 14 but announced on Wednesday, may reflect the nature of backroom consultations between the regions. Mr Madobe, who directly nominated candidates for the Jubbaland seats in the House of Commons, had originally backed Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni for the presidency and when he failed in the second round they both backed Mr Mohamud to Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo to drop off p>
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Mr Barre, a humanitarian activist and advocate for education, was originally with affiliated with Kismayu University, which he co-founded. Educated in Yemen and Malaysia, he also headed the local Electoral Administration Board in Jubbaland and has held various advisory roles in government.
He is a close ally of the President, reflecting loyalty as one of his traits picked up. He is a member of the President’s party, the Union for Peace and Development Party, of which he was General Secretary when it was officially known as the Peace and Development Party.
His appointment will be of particular interest since it comes as the president from the south, which could raise questions about the distribution of power vis-à-vis the northern states.
A cable from Villa Somalia states that Mr Barre is a Kismayu-born Somali national. He previously worked in Malaysia.