Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took power for a second time on Thursday and vowed to reconcile his country’s divided political groups and relations with neighbors after years of strife.
Mr Mohamud, the Successor to Mr. Mohamed Farmaajo, said his country will remain neutral in the international arena while befriending countries that will respect its sovereignty and seek to address common issues such as al-Shabaab and poverty.
” The event we are witnessing today [his inauguration] is a paragon of restoring democracy in Somalia,” he said, stressing that, except when the country was under military rule for 21 years (1969-1991), Somalis have always been pro – Democracy.
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Mr Mohamud indicated that reconciliation and peaceful coexistence is a priority for his government s eien, addressing a gathering including his predecessors Sheikh Sharif Ahmeda and Mr Farmaajo, with whom they raise hands to show unity.
“In order to achieve real reconciliation, we will address everything what is felt,” he stated, adding that talks with the breakaway region of Somaliland would be strengthened.
“An important tool to promote reconciliation is the completion of the review and implementation of the interim constitution ‘ said the new president, adding that democratization aims to give power back to the people by allowing citizens to vote and be elected.
‘We will strengthen our friendships with our neighbors and Somalia Empower partners around the world.”
Mr Mohamud pointed to the ongoing, devastating drought that illustrates Somalia is suffering severely from climate change, sandwiched between floods and d Droughts.
Read:Dying children reflect brutal toll of drought in Somalia
Also read:President Mohamud: Somalia hit hard by drought
“We can’t survive the month It’s about delivering water to people affected by drought and then rescuing people affected by floods,” said the President and demanded action. Corruption is endemic and al-Shabaab fighters even fired grenade launchers at the airport before the event.
He pledged to work day and night to oversee accountable state institutions aimed at development, including sound programs on cooperation with the International Financial Institutions, including on the issue of debt relief.
At the event, the leaders of Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, Somalia’s three neighboring countries, pledged to continue their support for the stabilization of Somalia.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had each traveled from their respective capitals to attend the inauguration ceremony held in Mogadishu to mark the election of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud on Thursday.
Kenyatta welcomed the peaceful takeover of power resulted between the immediate former President (Mr Farmaajo) and Mohamud, who has become President for the second time.
Mr Kenyatta pointed out that Mr Mohamud, whose first term as President lasted between 2012 and 2017, the has an opportunity to develop closer regional cooperation.
“Kenya warmly welcomes the peaceful transfer of power,” he remarked to Kenyatta, stressing his country’s willingness to work with the Somali leadership within the framework of Mr. Mohamud’s development agenda.
He pointed out that working together creates opportunities for a prosperous Somalia, Kenya and the East Africa region.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy earned a standing ovation as he addressed the crowds with a few remarks in Somali Speech greeted‘Hambalyo, hambalyo Madaxweeyne, Waxaan kuu rajeeynaa in Ilaheey kugu asturo. Waxaan u rajeeynaa Shacabka Soomaaliya nabad waarto iyo barwaaqo.’(Congratulations, congratulations, Mr. President. I wish God bless you. I wish the Somali people lasting peace and prosperity).
Mr Ahmed’s visit was also unique as he led a large delegation that included Somali ethics officials in Ethiopia.
The delegation included the ruling Prosperity Party’s Deputy Leader Adem Farah, as well as German Finance Minister Ahmed Shide among others Security Advisor to Prime Minister Redwan Hussein and President of the Somali Region Mustafa Omer Agjar.
Mr. Guelleh, arguably the longest-serving leader in the Horn of Africa, promised Djibouti’s fraternal cooperation, particularly in the area of sharing experiences.
Following the regional leaders’ remarks, former Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Somalia’s eighth head of state, spearheaded the transition Government (2009-2012), a special shout out to former President Farmaajo, who lost the contest on May 15.
“Former President Farmaajo, I tell you that losing the election has been a blessing could be. Otherwise you might have been interpreted as a leader manipulating the election,” said Sharif Ahmed, implying that what he said was a humorous joke.
Mr Farmaajo was very grateful to all those who supported him during his election tenure, particularly the countries deploying troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and its successor, the African Union Interim Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
“Thank you [AMISOM and ATMIS peacekeepers] to support our brave military forces and work together to make Somalia more stable,” Mr. Farmaajo noted, asking everyone to help the new President.
“I know that the Presidency is a tedious job. So let everyone hold hands to pray for and support the new government,” he added.