First Published: 2005-01-07

New Somali government unveiled in Nairobi

47 ministers form Somali PMís new cabinet in line with principle of equal distribution of power among major clans.


Middle East Online

Part of 47 Somali ministers are sworn in

NAIROBI - Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi announced Friday in Nairobi the names of 47 ministers who will form his new cabinet, nearly a month after the country's parliament sacked his first team.

The ministers and 42 assistant ministers were immediately sworn into office before President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.

Gedi said he made a slight change to his first cabinet, which was sacked on December 11, in order to respect the principle of equal distribution of power among five major clans and one minor in Somalia, as envisaged by the country's transitional constitution.

The new team is expected to fill a 13-year power vacuum in the anarchic Horn of Africa state, which first descended into chaos in 1991 when dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was toppled.

"I have made this list to the best of my ability," Gedi told his new ministers.

"Those given posts will have a task of serving Somalia a critical point... Some of you are unhappy because they were not in the list of the cabinet, but hopefully tomorrow, they will be in the list. This is not a permanent cabinet," Yusuf said.

When the first government was formed on December 1, some warlords were not happy with the post they were allocated.

All of the Somali officials involved in efforts to set up a new government, including Gedi and President Yussuf, are based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, because their own, Mogadishu, is still considered too dangerous.

"The cabinet should immediately draw a timetable for the relocation of our government. We should go and serve the people of Somalia immediately, not sit here in Kenya," he added.

Since 1991, two governments have been formed, but neither managed to establish control across the country, where rival warlords have wreaked havoc and carved themselves fiefdoms.

Hope for success is much higher this round of peace talks, which started in Kenya in 2002, mainly because previously excluded warlords were brought into the negotiations and because of the unprecedentedly concerted efforts of countries in the region.


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