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Somali President Names Somali-American as Prime Minister

Newly appointed Prime Minister for Somalia Mohamed Abdulahi attends a briefing at the presidential palace in Mogadishu. (Getty Images / NYTimes)

 
 

October 14, 2010. MOGADISHU, Somalia (KATAKAMI / NYTimes) — The Somalian president on Thursday named a Somali-American to replace the prime minister whose resignation last month brought the weak transitional government to a standstill.

“After long consultations and prayers,” President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said at a news conference in Mogadishu, “we have succeeded in nominating the right and proper person.”

“ I hope,” President Sharif said, “that he will succeed the difficult task ahead.”

The previous prime minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, resigned Sept. 21 after months of intense pressure from the president. Disputes between the two men siphoned focus from the government even as Islamic militants increased their attacks.

Despite the deployment of thousands of African Union peacekeepers to bolster the central government, the militants, the Shabab, control much of the country, including most of the capital.

The appointee, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, worked in the Somali Embassy in Washington from 1985 to 1988, according to a statement on the government’s Web site, The Associated Press reported. He has a master’s degree in political science and taught conflict resolution and leadership skills at Erie Community College, in Buffalo, N.Y., The A.P. said, citing his resume.

“I am ready to work with the members of the parliament and if god wills, I will appoint the new council of ministers soon.” said Mr. Mohamed. “Security is the first priority for my government.”

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