Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
|Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
حسن شيخ محمود
|Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at the Somalia Conference in London, May 2013|
|8th President of Somalia|
16 September 2012
|Prime Minister||Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
Abdi Farah Shirdon
|Preceded by||Mohamed Osman Jawari (Acting)|
|Chairman of the Peace and Development Party|
20 April 2011
|Preceded by||Office established|
29 November 1955 |
Jalalaqsi, Trust Territory of Somalia
|Political party||Peace and Development Party (2011–present)|
|Independent (Before 2011)|
|Alma mater||Somali National University
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (Somali: Xasan Sheekh Maxamuud, Arabic: حسن شيخ محمود) (born 29 November 1955) is a Somali politician. He is the President of Somalia, having been elected on 10 September 2012 and inaugurated six days later. A civil and political activist, Mohamud was previously a university professor and dean. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Peace and Development Party (PDP). In April 2013, Mohamud was named to the Time 100, TIME magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. His efforts at advancing national reconciliation, anti-corruption measures, and socio-economic and security sector reforms in Somalia were cited as reasons for the selection.
- 1 Background
- 2 President of Somalia
- 3 Honours
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Mohamud was born in 1955 in Jalalaqsi, a small agricultural town situated in the central Hiran of present-day Somalia, during the trusteeship period. He is a member of the Abgaal Hawiye clan, and comes from a middle-class background.
Mohamud frequented primary and secondary schools in his hometown. He later moved to Somalia's capital Mogadishu in 1978, where he studied for three years at the local Somali National University. In 1981, he earned an undergraduate diploma in technology from the institution.
In a professional capacity, Mohamud accepted a position as an instructor and trainer at the Lafole Technical Secondary School. He later joined the Somali National University-affiliated Technical Teachers' Training College in 1984. In 1986, he became the department's head.
When the civil war broke out in the early 1990s, Mohamud remained in Somalia and acted as a consultant with various NGOs, UN bureaus, and peace and development projects. He worked as an education officer for UNICEF in the central and southern parts of the country from 1993 to 1995. In 1999, he also co-established the Somali Institute of Management and Administration (SIMAD) in the capital. The institution subsequently grew into the SIMAD University, with Mohamud acting as dean until 2010.
Mohamud entered Somali politics the following year, when he established the independent Peace and Development Party (PDP). PDP members unanimously elected him as the party's chairman in April 2011, with a mandate to serve as leader for the next three years.
Mohamud has ties with Al-Islah, Somalia's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. With the organisation, he assisted in various philanthropic initiatives, including the construction of primary and secondary schools, plus university facilities and research hospitals in regions across the country. The network has also offered scholarships for higher studies and placements in educational institutions to many students.
President of Somalia
On 10 September 2012, legislators elected Mohamud President of Somalia during the country's 2012 presidential elections. Members of parliament marked their ballot papers behind a curtain before casting them in a clear box in front of foreign envoys and hundreds of Somali men and women as well as being broadcast live on television. After the first round of voting, former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed emerged as the frontrunner, amassing 64 votes. Mohamud was a close second with 60 votes, and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali placed third with 32 votes. Along with the fourth place finisher Abdiqadir Osoble, Ali later chose to drop out ahead of the second round. Both challengers, along with the other hopefuls that were vying for the post, thereafter reportedly instructed their supporters to back Mohamud's candidacy. Mohamud went on to earn a lopsided win in the final round, defeating Ahmed 71–29% (190 votes vs. 79 votes).
Immediately after the final ballot results had been read out, Mohamud was sworn into office. Lawmakers began singing Somalia's national anthem, and Mogadishu's residents also expressed satisfaction at the outcome, viewing it as a moment of change.
In his acceptance speech, President Mohamud thanked the general Somali populace, the Federal Parliament, as well as the other challengers. He also voiced support for the ongoing post-conflict reconstruction efforts in Somalia and indicated that he was prepared to work closely with the international community.
Additionally, Ahmed congratulated Mohamud on his victory and pledged to cooperate with the new head of state. Prime Minister Ali touted the selection as the start of a new era in Somali politics. Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, President of the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern Somalia, also thanked Mohamud, the Somali people, and all of the other stakeholders that were involved in the Roadmap political process, which ultimately led to the presidential election and the end of the transitional period.
Mohamud's appointment was welcomed throughout the world. The UN Special Representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga issued a statement describing the election as a "great step forward on the path to peace and prosperity[...] Somalia has proved the doubters wrong and sent a powerful message of progress to all of Africa and indeed to the entire world". Similarly, the AU Commission for Somalia hailed the selection and pledged to support the new leadership. British Prime Minister David Cameron and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also extended their congratulations, echoing the general sentiment that the election represented a significant achievement. The United States government in turn released a press statement felicitating Mohamud on his victory, which it qualified as "an important milestone for the people of Somalia, and a crucial step forward along the path of building a representative government". It also urged the Somali authorities to build on this momentum, and promised to continue partnering with the Somali government. In addition, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cabled a message of congratulations to Somalia's new head of state, as did the UAE's Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as well as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
On 16 September 2012, Mohamud was formally inaugurated as President of Somalia at a ceremony attended by various foreign leaders and dignitaries. UN Special Envoy to Somalia Mahiga described the moment as the beginning of a "new era" for the nation as well as the conclusion of the transitional period.
On 12 September 2012, while President Mohamud was meeting with foreign delegates in Mogadishu, two suicide bombers and two gunmen dressed in government uniforms attempted an attack on the Jazeera Hotel where the dignitaries had convened. There were reportedly around 10 casualties, among which were three Somali security detail, one AU peacekeeper, and the assailants themselves. None of the assembled statesmen, including Kenyan Foreign Minister Sam Ongeri, were harmed. Seemingly unfazed by the incidents, President Mohamud continued his speech before the gathered press and foreign officials, stating that "things like what's happening now outside will continue for some time, but I'm sure and I'm confident it's the last things that's taking place here in Somalia[...] We have been hearing such events frequently, but this is a special case. We didn't hear it for the last couple of months even." He added that "first and foremost we will address the security issue. Priority number one is security and priority number two and priority number three." The Al-Shabaab militant group later claimed responsibility for the attacks. According to Somali government officials, AU forces have assumed responsibility for President Mohamud's security while investigations are launched into the incidents.
On 3 September 2013, a roadside bomb detonated near vehicles in President's Mohamud's convoy in Merca. One Somali soldier was injured in the blast, but Mohamud was unharmed and continued on to his destination. Al-Shabaab later claimed responsibility for the explosion. Abdirahman Omar Osman, a spokesman for the president, dismissed the group's statement as propaganda, indicating that Mohamud's convoy was not targeted and that it was uncertain what might have happened to an earlier convoy.
On 6 October 2012, President Mohamud appointed political newcomer Abdi Farah Shirdon as the new Prime Minister of Somalia. On 4 November 2012, Shirdon named a new Cabinet, which was later endorsed by the legislature on 13 November 2012.
Re-establishment of formal diplomatic ties
In January 2013, President Mohamud met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other American federal officials in Washington, D.C. to discuss bilateral cooperation. The meeting concluded with an announcement by the U.S. federal authorities that the United States was set to exchange diplomatic notes with the new central government of Somalia, re-establishing official ties with the country for the first time in 20 years. According to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, the decision was made in recognition of the significant progress that the Somali authorities had achieved on both the political and war fronts. The move is expected to grant the Somali government access to new sources of development funds from American agencies as well as international bodies like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, thereby facilitating the ongoing reconstruction process.
Lifting of arms embargo
Upon assuming office, President Mohamud and his Cabinet resumed efforts by Somali and international stakeholders to end the 21-year UN arms embargo on Somalia, the oldest such global weapons blockade. The Security Council had imposed the prohibition in 1992, shortly after the start of the civil war and the toppling of the Siad Barre regime, in order to stop the flow of weapons to feuding militia groups. An eventual repeal of the embargo had been among the future objectives of the signatories in the transitional Roadmap political process of 2011-2012. Mohamud's government, Somali security analysts and military experts argued that lifting the ban on the procurement of arms would facilitate the Somali authorities' attempts at strengthening the Somali Armed Forces, and would more effectively equip the military to quash the remnants of the Islamist insurgency. The United States, African Union, Arab League, and IGAD all backed the proposal. In March 2013, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon likewise urged Security Council members to vote to remove the sanctions so as to help the Somali authorities fortify their security apparatus and consolidate military gains.
Although Britain and France reportedly expressed reservations over increasing the general flow of arms into Somalia, UK officials began drafting a resolution to ease the embargo on weapons purchases by the Somali government for a provisional period of one year. The draft resolution would require either the Somali authorities or the state supplying the military equipment to notify the council "at least five days in advance of any deliveries of weapons and military equipment[...] providing details of such deliveries and assistance and the specific place of delivery in Somalia." Additionally, the proposal mandates that the Somali government should routinely provide updates on the army's structural status, as well as information on the extant infrastructure and protocols designed to ensure the weaponry's safe delivery, storage and maintenance.
In its 6 March 2013 meeting, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 2093 to suspend the arms embargo on Somalia for a one year period. The endorsement officially lifts the purchase ban on light weapons, but retains certain restrictions on the procurement of heavy arms such as surface-to-air missiles, howitzers and cannons. The repeal is slated to be reviewed in 2014.
On 13 April 2013, President Mohamud resumed national reconciliation talks between the central government in Mogadishu and the regional authorities in Hargeisa. Organized by the government of Turkey in Ankara, the meeting ended with a signed agreement between Mohamud and Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo, President of the northwestern Somaliland region, agreeing to allocate fairly to the Somaliland region its portion of the development aid earmarked for Somalia as a whole and to cooperate on security.
On 28 August 2013, the Somali federal government signed a national reconciliation agreement in Addis Ababa with the autonomous Jubaland administration based in southern Somalia. Endorsed by the federal State Minister for the Presidency Farah Abdulkadir on behalf of President Mohamud, the pact was brokered by the Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia and came after protracted bilateral talks. Under the terms of the agreement, Jubaland will be administered for a two year period by a Juba Interim Administration and led by the region's incumbent president, Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madobe). The regional president will serve as the chairperson of a new Executive Council, to which he will appoint three deputies. Management of Kismayo's seaport and airport will also be transferred to the Federal Government after a period of six months, and revenues and resources generated from these infrastructures will be earmarked for Jubaland's service delivery and security sectors as well as local institutional development. Additionally, the agreement includes the integration of Jubaland's military forces under the central command of the Somali National Army (SNA), and stipulates that the Juba Interim Administration will command the regional police. UN Special Envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay hailed the pact as "a breakthrough that unlocks the door for a better future for Somalia," with AUC, UN, EU and IGAD representatives also present at the signing.
On 7 June 2013, attendants at the ministerial meeting of the European Union and over 70 nations in the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) approved the Somali government's request to join the Cotonou Agreement. Somalia was immediately granted observer status, with full membership earmarked for 2014. The Cotonou Agreement promotes sustainable development and the reduction and eventual elimination of poverty in ACP member nations. It also aims to integrate ACP countries into the world economy via stronger participation in the drafting of national development strategies, and to advance criminal justice and fight against impunity through the International Criminal Court. President Mohamud welcomed the decision and asserted that the treaty would facilitate the ongoing national reconstruction process, as Somalia would be eligible to receive EU development projects. According to Joe Costello, Ireland's Minister of State for Trade and Development, the endorsement "opens a new chapter in relations between the EU and Somalia and constitutes a visible sign that Somalia has regained its status as a fully-fledged member of the international community."
Vote of confidence
In November 2013, President Mohamud asked Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon to resign from office on the grounds that Shirdon was allegedly ineffective in the job. Mohamud was reportedly acting on the advice of the State Minister for Presidency, Farah Abdulkadir. On 12 November 2013, Shirdon confirmed that there was a dispute between himself and the president, but indicated that the row was constitutional rather than political. He also asserted that the matter should be resolved in parliament. According to MP Mohamed Abdi Yusuf, the rift between Mohamud and Shirdon centered over through what constitutional mechanism and by whom the Cabinet was ultimately to be formed.
On 24 November 2013, 168 MPs led by former TFG Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan endorsed a document submitted to parliament, which outlined a motion against Prime Minister Shirdon's administration. A parliamentary vote of confidence was later held against Shirdon on 2 December 2013. Parliament Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari subsequently announced that 184 of the present MPs had voted against Shirdon, whereas 65 legislators had voted to retain him. UN Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay paid tribute to the outgoing Prime Minister, noting that Shirdon had endeavoured to promote growth and progress and was an important principal in establishing the New Deal Compact between Somalia and its international partners. He also commended the legislators on adhering to procedural rules during the vote, and pledged to work constructively with the succeeding administration.
In April 2013, Mohamud was named to the Time 100, TIME magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. His efforts at advancing national reconciliation, anti-corruption measures, and socio-economic and security sector reforms in Somalia were cited as reasons for the selection.
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Mohamed Osman Jawari
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