27 December 2013

Somalia: New Somali Prime Minister Officially Takes Office

Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed officially resumed office Thursday (December 26th), marked by a handover ceremony at the presidential palace attended by former Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon.

Ahmed used the occasion to reiterate his focus on security, judicial reform, and economic and social development, according a statement from his office. He also emphasised his commitment to the democratic process.

"I would like to assure the Somali people that we will put together a professional and transparent government that is committed to deliver public services," Ahmed said. "I am well aware of the reality in Somalia and the constraints facing the government today. I believe we need to have a bold vision to reach a stable, democratic and prosperous Somalia."

Shirdon publically endorsed Ahmed and spoke of the achievements made during his 15 months in office, including tightening security and strengthening international relations.

United Nations Independent Human Rights Expert on Somalia Shamsul Bari called on Ahmed to finalise and implement the Human Rights Road Map for Somalia, endorsed by the cabinet in August.

"The Human Rights Road Map defines the government's responsibilities and sets goals to be achieved in a short period of time," Bari said in a statement. "Finalising it would demonstrate a sincere commitment by government to rebuild the foundation and structures of human rights in Somalia."

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