First Published: 2008-10-31

Somali PM pledges to form new cabinet

Hussein says he is going to establish new cabinet within two weeks, excluding ministers who resigned.


Middle East Online

Hussein survived a no-confidence vote last month

NAIROBI - Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein pledged Friday to form a new cabinet within two weeks in line with a directive from regional presidents and to try and save his troubled government.

The Somali cabinet collapsed in August when several ministers quit amid infighting between Hussein and President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, paralysing government and parliamentary operations.

"We are going to establish a cabinet within 15 days, but without including ministers who resigned from my government. This is an accordance with IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) directive," he told reporters in Nairobi.

"The new government will work together in order to make progress in security, development and reconstruction in our country," he added.

On Wednesday, IGAD presidents told Somali rulers to form a new cabinet to avoid a power vacuum.

Hussein also said he would pressure parliament to finalise the drafting of a new constitution as well as to enact electoral and political parties' laws within six months in line with the IGAD directive.

The Federal Transitional Charter, which gives the current government a governing mandate, expires in September next year. Attempts to write a new Somali constitution have been thwarted by conflict and political feuds.

"The constitution will be drafted very soon and subjected to a referendum," Hussein said.

The Ethiopian army invaded Somalia in late 2006 to rescue Somalia's embattled transitional government and oust the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), which controlled of much of the country's central and southern regions.

The ICU had ruled much of Somalia with relative peace and prosperity until the Ethiopian involvement.

Since then, ICU fighters have waged a deadly insurgency against the Ethiopian and the transitional government forces.

But Ethiopian troops’ retaliations have caused many casualties among Somali civilians.

Since the Ethiopian invasion, about one million Somalis have fled their homes. An estimated 6,500 civilians have been killed.

Aid workers estimate 2.6 million Somalis need assistance. That number is expected to reach 3.5 million by the end of the year if the humanitarian situation does not improve, according to the UN.

In May 2008, Amnesty International accused the Ethiopian troops in Somalia of increasingly resorting to throat-slitting executions, highlighting an "increasing incidence" of gruesome methods by Ethiopian forces that include rape and torture.

Since the ousting of the ICU, Somalia had plunged into unprecedented chaos, where warlords and pirates have returned to the scene.

Many in Somalia see the departure of Ethiopian troops as a precondition to peace negotiations.


Top US general visits airbase in fight for Mosul

No Russian air strikes on Aleppo in 7 days

Thousands of Yemenis await lifting of Coalition blockade

Iran calls for more Asian investment

Egypt rolls out austerity programme

25 travelling on inflatable dinghy found dead in Mediterannean

Villages reclaimed, but return still distant for Iraqi Christians

Turkey says will clear Kurdish fighters from Manbij

Russia cancels warship fuel stop after pressure on Spain to refuse permission

US, UK expect Raqa offensive within weeks

Sudan's Bashir to appoint PM for first time since coup

Israel army says soldier wounded by gunfire on Lebanese border

Students among 22 dead as raids hit Syria school

Israel charges 13 Jews with celebrating murder of Palestinians

Revolutionary Guards commander says Iranian firms should lead oil projects

Egyptian officer accidentally shoots dead Israeli teen

IS members ‘shave beards’ as Iraqi forces approach Mosul

US praises Qatar moves to deny jihadists funds

Clashes between protesters, police in Diyarbakir after Turkey arrests mayors

Saudi financial position strong despite oil prices says minister

Iran develops 'suicide drone'

UN envoy to Yemen presents peace proposal to Huthis

Turkey says US must extradite Gulen to avoid damaging ties

Mosul survivors recount fleeing IS 'caliphate'

Report finds Israeli forces could have avoided killings

NATO flies first surveillance mission backing anti-IS coalition

Russian FM says Mosul offensive equivalent to Moscow's Aleppo bombing

Saudi Arabia denies it imposed Yemen blockade

Syria Kurds say Turkey wants to prevent Raqa recapture

Anger at Israel national theatre show in occupied West Bank

UN receives reports of dozens of IS atrocities near Mosul

Hundreds protest against UN 'complicity' in rebel-held Yemen capital

Turkey FM says ground operation in Iraq a possibility

Iraqi forces retake town from IS

Iran nuclear negotiator cleared of spying charges

Al-Shabaab in suicide bomb attack on AU base in Somalia

Gunmen kill two policemen in eastern Saudi Arabia

Iraqi paramilitary to block IS from fleeing Mosul for Syria

Two imams arrested in Ibiza over 'Islamic State support'

US general raises Yemen concerns with Saudi officials

Iraqi forces advancing on Mosul face stiff resistance

At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey explosion

French FM annoys Turkey by contrasting states of emergency

UN planning for 150,000 displaced by Mosul battle

UAE jails Sudanese man for planning attacks on immigrants