MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Former NGO worker Mohamed Hussein Roble has been named as Somalia’s new Prime Minister, nearly two months after his predecessor Hassan Ali Khaire was ousted in a parliament vote of no confidence to end squabbling in the federal government leadership.
Mr Roble, 57, was born in the town of Hobyo in Galgadud region in 1963 and has dual Somali and Swedish citizenships, and is a graduate of Somali National University in civil engineering. During his career, he worked for NGOs including the International Labour Organization.
Although he is a technocrat with no notable political career, he had maintained close relations with former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and other renowned political figures. Among referees listed in his curriculum vitae was former Security Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled.
The federal government mainly backed by US and African Union troops, is battling Islamist militants and only controls a number of major towns across restive south Somalia. The country has been without an effective central government since the fall of Siad Barre in 1991.
What are the major challenges ahead of the new Prime Minister?
The incumbent President and his former Prime Minister had been in conflict over what would happen when the current administration’s mandate runs out in February 2021, as Farmajo was opposed to growing calls for timely elections, displacing the likelihood of mandate extension.
The new Prime Minister apparently has his work cut out to face numerous challenges ahead of him. He will have to work hard in rallying political forces alienated by his predecessor behind his ranks – to at least achieve momentum and shield himself from an effortless ouster.
Mr Roble will also have to implement recently signed agreement between federal and regional leaders that is sought to end a long-standing political impasse over key electoral aspects.
Analysts say Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group, Al-Shabaab, that controls large parts of southern and central Somalia, poses the biggest threat to the federal government. More recently, US and EU top military and diplomatic officials have been pushing rival Somali leaders to resolve their differences and focus on facing the yet invulnerable Islamist threat.
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