Feb 9, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Somalia President picks like-minded Prime Minister designate from the ‘hostile’ Jubbaland

Somalia’s prime ministerial candidate Hamza Abdi Barre, 48, may have come as a surprise considering he is from Jubbaland, but he and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud have a long history before they both entered politics.

Moments after President Mohamud introduced him at Villa Somalia and asked Parliament to endorse him as 21st Prime Minister, old photos surfaced of the two. They had worked together and were both supporters of the Union for Peace and Development (UPD) party at the time.

“I trust that Hamza Abdi Barre has the relevant knowledge and competence to lead the federal executive lead Republic of Somalia,” President Mohamoud said of his candidate.

Read:Hamza Barre was elected Prime Minister of Somalia

As Mohamoud in September for the first time was elected President In 2012, most UPD supporters were vying for government posts, either parliamentary or ministerial. Barre remained the general secretary of the party then known simply as the Peace and Development Party (PDP). When the PDP was later renamed the UPD Party, Barre remained loyal to the party and again had Mohamoud as his party leader.

The union of Barre and Mohamoud dates back to when both were pioneering revival after the collapse of the education sector in Somalia contributed to the dictatorial rule of General Mohamed Siad Barre.

Both Mohamoud and Barre participated in the revitalization of schools and higher education institutions and educational networks.

While Mohamoud supported the SIMAD University founded in Mogadishu, Barre, who received his university education in Yemen and Malaysia, co-founded Kismayo University in the Lower Jubba region, 500 km south of Mogadishu.

Read:< /strong> Mohamud’s return to Somalia presidency

Clan factor

Mohamoud was first elected to the lower house of parliament in 2012 before being elected president. Barre, on the other hand, remained a party member of the PDP and later the UPD, but was eventually elected as the Kismayo legislature when indirect elections began in Jubbland state in December 2021.

Mohamoud, who was defeated by Mohamed Farmaajo in 2017 this time taking revenge on his tormentor.

Up until Wednesday evening, speculation continued as to who President Mohamoud would make his prime minister. Two heads of state from Jubbaland and Puntland, both members of the Darood clan, were certainly the President’s first choice for the post of Prime Minister. Most speculators are banking on a Puntland candidate.

Against all odds, newly appointed Prime Minister Barre hails from the town of Kismayo, Jubbaland, where he has worked as both an educator and administrator for the past decade. He was active during the Jubbaland Presidential election in August 2019.

As Chairman of the Jubbaland Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission, his leadership led to the re-election of Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe.

One commenter at Kulmiye Radio, an independent station in Mogadishu, recalled that Barre was instrumental in Mohamoud’s re-election after struggling to court his co-legislators from Jubbaland in particular.

Mr Sadik Ahmed Bihi , a civil society actor working in many parts of Somalia, told Nation on Wednesday that the new prime minister can use his experience in the education network to serve the people of this country.

“We (Barre and Bihi) Having worked in educational circles in Somalia for over two decades, I got the impression that the Prime Minister-elect is an able person with a humble desire to serve his people,” Bih noted i.

Osman Abshir Nur, a former classmate of Barre’s at the University of Sc Science and Technology in Yemen and chairman of the Tadamun Social Society (TASS), told The EastAfrican that the newly appointed prime minister has a huge focus on learning.

“Considering his penchant for learning and educating himself, he does well in the prime ministerial role,” Nur said, adding that Barres 10 years of involvement in politics, specifically managing a political party, is an added benefit.

Barre will assume full responsibility subject to parliamentary approval.