‘Somalia is in situation of hope’

Somalia’s president has made a plea to international partners that they should see the positive developments in the country rather than focusing on a story of a troubled insecure country.

Writing in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud says that “Somalia is not a single narrative of violence and state failure”.

While he acknowledges the security challenges, he also highlights a recent international investment conference held the day after an attack on a hotel to show there are people looking for business opportunities.

“We refuse to succumb to the terrorists’ intimidation tactics,” the president wrote.

He argued that while it still needed help in the security sector and also dealing with the drought, the country was turning the corner.

“Our situation today is one of hope, of finally overcoming the darkness of the past, which victimised and held down our entire society.”

He also praised the Somali people for their resilience and ingenuity in the face of decades of political instability where the country did not have a functioning government for a long time.

Somalia’s new President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was not new to the job. He served as Somalia’s eighth President from 2012 to 2017 and lost the election in 2017 to the outgoing President, Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo”.

He made history by becoming president in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation for the second time in the most competitive election in the country’s history, which went into a third round of voting.

Following three decades of conflict, the country remains too dangerous for a one-person, one-vote election, so he was chosen by Members of Parliament (MPs), who were themselves chosen by clan elders from around the country.

With a background in education, the former peace activist’s election campaign was focused on ensuring Somalis were united and at peace with the rest of the world – something he did not fail to mention immediately after he was sworn in early on Monday morning.

“I promise you that we will closely work with regional states and our international partners,” he said.

His tone sounded reconciliatory and he promised the Somali people that he would work for everyone. -BBC

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