Somalia faces security challenges: Somali new president

Somalia faces security challenges: Somali new president

Military solution is the number one priority in fighting against terrorists, newly elected president exclusively tells AA

News Service AA

Somalia's president-elect Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, giving his first interview to Anadolu Agency, said the Horn of Africa country is facing a security challenge and the country has been struggling to provide security for its citizens.

"The most important challenging issue that exists today in Somalia is the security, and we are struggling to provide security for our people," he told Anadolu Agency.

When speaking about al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group that has been fighting against the Somali government and AU peacekeepers for over a decade, he said his government's priority in facing the group is a military solution.

"The military solution is the number one priority," he said.

- AU mission in Somalia

The newly elected president said the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia overstayed the country but has done good for the country and made sacrifices for Somalia.

The president said the mission was supposed to leave Somalia a long time ago.

The president said they are going to end the protection process in the country by Somali national security agencies taking over the security of the country.

"We need to build our security forces. Once we have done that, we will be taking over the security for the next couple of months," Mohamud told Anadolu Agency.

He said it is at least a new approach on how are going to end the presence of AU troops in Somalia, "which was and still is very useful".

- Agenda

There are certain priority agendas, the president said, the security being a priority and political stability in the country after more than one and half years of division and political tiff over the election stalemate that comes to an end after his re-election.

"Political stability means building the foundation of a democratic state," he told Anadolu Agency, adding that finishing the constitution, establishing electoral laws, establishing the laws of political parties system and local governance system."

President Mohamud mentioned that all that must be the consensus and agreed upon among Somali people.

- First hundred days

For the first hundred days, President Mohamud said he will establish new acts, new forms that would bring people together and build bridges between the social and political groups in the country.

Speaking about his re-election, he said in an election, there are always losers and winners, but the most important thing is to work together and discuss the way forward.

He said that his government will also commit to reconciling among political elites and the Somali people.

He announced that for the last several years, the political space has been narrowing in the country.

"I will be reopening the political space for the people to get together and discuss among them wherever they want," he said.

He declared that he is willing to work with his challengers and listen to their views on Somalia's state-building.


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