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Somali parliament approves new prime minister

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Mogadishu (AFP) – Somalia’s parliament on Saturday unanimously approved Hamza Abdi Barre as the new prime minister, paving the way for the creation of a new government for the troubled Horn of Africa nation.

The 220 lawmakers present gave their blessing to Barre’s nomination, and he was then sworn in, the speaker of parliament said.

Barre 48, told parliament he would form a “quality” government that would focus on “creating inclusive political stability (in line with) the president’s motto of a Somalia reconciled at peace with the world.”

Somalia’s new administration faces a series of challenges, including impending famine and a brutal insurgency by Al-Shabaab jihadists.

The MP from the semi-autonomous state of Jubaland was chosen earlier this month by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was elected by parliament in May after a long and heated voting process.

“Our government has an ambitious policy agenda that aims to improve our security, strengthen our economy and provide basic services to our people,” Mohamud said on Twitter after Barre’s endorsement.

“Let’s move forward together. »

There are hopes Mohamud’s presidency will draw the line under a seething political crisis that marred the rule of his predecessor Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and threatened to plunge the country back into violent chaos.

Mohamud himself did not show up for the parliamentary session after saying on Friday that he had tested positive for Covid-19.

“So far I have no symptoms but I will continue to isolate myself and serve the people of Somalia from home,” he said on Twitter after returning from the United Arab Emirates where he had carried out his mission. first official trip abroad since his election on May 15.

Mohamud is a former academic and peace activist who served as president from 2012 to 2017, but whose first administration was dogged by allegations of corruption and infighting.