Monday, November 5, 2012

Somalia forms new government, woman named foreign minister: official

PHOTO | MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Said (R) announces on November 4, 2012 the members of his new government in Mogadishu before President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

PHOTO | MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Said (R) announces on November 4, 2012 the members of his new government in Mogadishu before President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.  AFP

By AFP

MOGADISHU

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Said announced the members of his new government on Sunday, noting that a woman has been named as foreign minister for the first time in the country's history.

"After long discussions and consultations, I have named my cabinet which consists of only 10 members. Among them is a female foreign affairs minister for the first time in Somali history," the prime minister said.

The new foreign minister, Fowsiyo Yusuf Haji Adan, hails from the self-declared independent state of Somaliland and lived in Britain for a long time.

"My nomination as the foreign minister is historic for the Somali country and particularly for the women of Somalia, it turns a new page for the political situation of our country and will lead to success and prosperity," she said.

Another woman named to the new government, Maryan Qasim Ahmed, will take the role of minister of development and social affairs. She had previously served as women's minister.

Abdihakin Haji Mohamud Fiqi was named defence minister. He had previously held the same post.

Somalia has been in political chaos and deprived of a central government since the fall of President Siad Barre in 1991.

The new administration brings eight years of transitional rule by the corruption-riddled and Western-backed government to an end.

Said himself was appointed in October by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

His new cabinet will now have to be approved by the Somali parliament.

Several Somali clans were excluded from the new government, a potential issue in a country where clan balance is vital in political life.

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