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Somali president picks new prime minister

Issue 305
Front Page

Jigjiga Officials Persecute Somalilanders

Religious Leaders From Somaliland, Somalia & East African Countries Hold Peace-Building Conference In Hargeysa

Somaliland Foreign Minister Sets The Record On Somaliland Delegation To Commonwealth Summit In Kampala, Uganda

Siyad Barre’s Security Court Prosecutor In 1981-1989 Has Been Appointed As Somalia’s New PM

When Your Only Weapon Is Shame

Badhan District In Eastern Sanag Embraces Somaliland

Canadian Oil Chief In Puntland For Exploration

Somali Opposition Dismiss Nomination Of New PM

US Concerned About Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in Somalia

Somaliland Security Forces Reach Border without Resistance

Somali president picks new prime minister

Five Nations Discuss Military Counterattack Against Somali Pirates

Dangerous Times for Africa

Regional Affairs

Haabsade warm welcome and his new political stand

Queen Praises Country for War On Aids and Somali Mission

Special Report

International News

The doves of war

Security Council Rejects UN Chief's Opposition To UN Force In Somalia

Jarch Capital’s Sudanese Gambit


The U.S. secret war in the Horn of Africa

Somaliland: Religious Leaders' Declaration On Peace-Building



The unreported destruction of Somalia

The Commonwealth and conflict
Don't dare put me in a box

Food for thought


Somaliland: Will "The Change" Really Bring A Change?

Recent Statement By Meles Zenawi

Pro-Ethiopia—TFG Group’s Cunning Strategy Of Divide And Conquer

Somaliland And Our Arab Nations Brothers

Las-Anod, A Month Later

UDUB Resorts To Import Voters From Djibouti As Rehabilitating Nationals

Haabsade has brought a PR disaster to Hargeysa

Somaliland and the press law

Somali women marching in celebration of the appointment of the country's new prime minister in Mogadishu on Thursday. (Mowlid Abdi/Reuters)

By Jeffrey Gettleman

Nairobi, November 22, 2007 - The president of battle-scarred Somalia chose a new transitional prime minister Thursday, a choice Western diplomats said could be a make-or-break moment for the country.

President Abdullahi Yusuf nominated Nur Hassan Hussein, a former police colonel known as the White Nur for his light skin, as the new prime minister. Somali politicians said they hoped he could bring an end to the raging insurgency and humanitarian crisis that have overwhelmed the transitional government for a year.

Several United Nations officials have said that Somalia should be considered the worst crisis in Africa, even more severe than Darfur, and they have been urging the president to pick a leader who can help fix this.

Nur, 69, seems to be cut out for the job. His background is in security and aid work. He studied law in college, spent 35 years in various police commander roles, did a course at the International Police Academy in Washington and has been the head of the Somali Red Crescent Society for 17 years. He is seen by many Somalis as experienced, erudite and, most important, neutral.

He hails from the same clan, the Abgal, as the previous prime minister, Ali Mohammed Gedi, who was pushed out by Yusuf three weeks ago. Gedi repeatedly clashed with Yusuf, but while the president, a former warlord, commanded a formidable militia, Gedi had few powerful supporters and was seen as obstinate and feckless.

On Thursday, Yusuf urged Parliament in the south-central city of Baidoa to quickly confirm Nur as the new prime minister. "I have seen that he is a man who can fill that position and has the ability to lead the government," Yusuf said.

The transitional government is expected to confirm the nomination in the coming days. There will be much work waiting for Nur.

The relentless urban combat in Mogadishu - between an unpopular transitional government that was installed partially thanks to American help and a determined Islamist insurgency - has driven hundreds of thousands of people out of the notoriously dangerous capital.

Insurgents have killed countless government soldiers. Thousands of Ethiopian troops are in Somalia, trying to shore up the government, but their presence seems to have antagonized large segments of the population and led to more fighting.

On top of that, a drought-flood-drought cycle has left an impenetrable crust of rock-hard silt over Somalia's fields, causing the worst cereal harvest in 13 years. That has put the country on the brink of a famine. In the worst hit areas, like Afgooye, near Mogadishu, surveys indicate the malnutrition rate is 19 percent, compared to about 13 percent in Darfur, with 15 percent being the emergency threshold.

Source: The International Herald Tribune



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