Somali President Nominates Hamza Abdi Barre as Prime Minister


Barre was elected a parliamentarian in December in Kismayo, the commercial capital of Jubbaland.

The Somali president has nominated Hamza Abdi Barre, former chairman of the Jubbaland State Election Commission, as prime minister.

“I ask parliament to approve it as soon as possible. I ask the Prime Minister to fulfill the work that lies ahead of him, such as tackling insecurity, drought, climate change and good relations with all countries,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on state television on Wednesday.

“I made this decision after recognizing Hamza’s knowledge, experience and ability,” Mohamud later told reporters.

Mohamud won the presidency for a second time in May, having previously served from 2012 to 2017, following long-delayed elections that took place amid the worst drought in 40 years and a bloody armed uprising.

Mohamud announced his choice of prime minister just six days after his inauguration at a ceremony in Mogadishu attended by several regional heads of state.

“I thank God for ensuring that Somalia has held fair elections after a period of so much uncertainty,” Barre said. “I assure you that I will work day and night and put together the best closet.”

‘Wish him luck’

Barre’s appointment comes after a bitter rift between former President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who sought to extend his presidency, and former Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, with security forces split into factions that supported one of the men.

The rivalry sparked firefights between several security bodies, diverting them from fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab fighters, who control large swathes of the country and have killed tens of thousands of people in attacks.

The political crisis also diverted attention from a growing humanitarian emergency that left more than six million Somalis dependent on food aid.

“I congratulate the new Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre and wish him every success,” Roble said in a response to the state radio’s Twitter account.

Barre, whose name had made the rounds before his nomination was officially announced, was elected legislator in December in Kismayo, Jubbaland’s commercial capital, in a long-delayed and chaotic parliamentary election process.

He held a number of public and political positions and was Secretary General of the Peace and Development Party (PDP), the predecessor of the Union for Peace and Development (UDP) now led by Mohamud, from 2011 to 2017.

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