The African Union, Arab League, the East African bloc IGAD congratulate Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on election as Somali president
The African Union (AU) congratulated Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on his election as Somalia’s president.
In a press statement, Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, congratulated Mohamud “on his historic election” as the President of Somalia, which was conducted by Somalia’s Parliament on Sunday.
Mahamat further commended the outgoing President Mohamed Farmajo “for demonstrating strong leadership and statesmanship through his gracious acceptance of the election outcome.”
The chairperson of the 55-member pan-African bloc commended all the people of Somalia “for their high display of patriotism” through the orderly conduct of the elections while recognizing the crucial role played by the Somali Security Forces and AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) to guarantee security for the entire election process.
He reiterated the continued support of the African Union to Somalia in the country’s efforts to deepen democratic governance, promote national reconciliation and restore peace, stability and security.
Somalia’s Parliament on Sunday evening chose Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the country’s new president in a third-round runoff in an election that has been delayed for over a year.
The 67-year-old Mohamud, former Somali president from 2012-2017, won 214 votes from lawmakers, defeating incumbent President Mohamed Farmajo, who garnered 110 votes. Mohamud was immediately sworn in after the vote.
The presidential election was held 15 months behind schedule as the COVID-19 epidemic, severe drought, insecurity and differences among Somali leaders postponed the parliamentary elections. Sunday’s vote was held at a heavily guarded airport hangar in the capital Mogadishu, amid threats from the al-Shabab terrorist group.
Police had imposed a curfew and a no-fly zone in the city to prevent attacks by a militant group that has been fighting to overthrow the government.
Arab League’s Praise
The Arab League congratulated Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on his election as the new president of Somalia in the final vote by the parliament members.
In a statement, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit wished the new Somali president success in achieving peace, stability and prosperity for the African country.
“The Arab League will continue backing Somalia in promoting development and national reconciliation and rebuilding the country’s institutions,” Aboul-Gheit said in the statement.
The East African bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) also congratulated Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on his election as Somalia’s president.
In a press statement, the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Workneh Gebeyehu, hailed the election of the new Somalia president on Sunday evening as an exercise marking the successful conclusion of the country’s election cycle.
“The Executive Secretary notes that Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s victory, earning him a second stint in the office of the President of Somalia, is a clear testimony of the trust and confidence that the people of Somalia have in his leadership qualities,” said the IGAD statement.
“The Executive Secretary expresses confidence that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will move expeditiously to form an inclusive cabinet and begin the task of uniting the Somali people and tackle other urgent national priorities, including preserving the security gains, sustaining focus on fighting al- Shabaab, and addressing the dire humanitarian situation in the country,” said the statement.
Gebeyehu said IGAD stands ready to continue its support to the Somalia government to help deliver on its national priorities as well as in its promotion of regional integration and development.