Somali President appoints new PM

Abdiweli Mohamed Ali replaces Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed who resigned under a reconciliation accord.

Updated: Jun 23, 2011, 23:05 PM IST

Mogadishu: Somali President Sharif Sheikh
Ahmed on Thursday appointed a Harvard tax law graduate as his new
prime minister, handing him the daunting task of trying to
govern Africa`s most lawless nation.

Abdiweli Mohamed Ali replaces Mohamed Abdullahi
Mohamed who resigned under a reconciliation accord at the
weekend.

Ali taught at Niagara University in Buffalo, New York,
before joining the Somali transitional government (TFG), where
he has already served as deputy prime minister and former
planning minister.

He will take the helm of a country where many fail
even to get even a primary education.

And in the 14 months left until the mandates of
Somalia`s transitional institutions finally expire, he faces
an uphill task in a capital plagued by urban warfare on a
daily basis.

Ali takes office as Shebab Islamist rebels, facing
increasing pressure from an expanding African Union AMISOM
force, are stepping up their suicide bombing campaign in
Mogadishu.

His academic credentials include a master`s degree in
public administration, also from Harvard, and a doctorate in
economics.

"He has the personality and the kind of knowledge that
makes him fit to become the prime minister," the president
said in announcing Ali`s appointment.

"I`m quite confident that he will be up to the
challenge of the hard conditions our country is encountering."
Somalia`s transitional government, set up in Kenya in
2004, has survived only thanks to the international community.

PTI

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