Published on 02 July 2013

The challenges facing president Hassan Sheikh

The challenges facing president Hassan Sheikh

Taking office in September, 2012 and quickly winning the international community's blessing, Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud appointed a small cabinet composed of a majority of followers of the Islamic group Damul Jadid, which is close to the Moslem Brotherhood. As a result, he immediately found himself confronting the autonomy-minded designs of the former warlord, Ahmed Mohamed Islam, alias Madobe, the strongman of Jubaland State (Kismayo and its region) and a friend of Kenya.

So apart from a number of superficial improvements (such as setting up new institutions, tightening security), Somalia is facing several risks: the Moslem Brotherhood's influence on the president and the need to strike a delicate balance between the federal government and break-away regions. Not to mention the prospect - still quite far down the road - of developing Somalia's oil potential, which is already reviving tension between the Mogadishu government and the autonomous administrations of Somaliland and Puntland - and with next-door Kenya.

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