Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Payne Sees New Somali Cabinet as a Sign of Hope

For Immediate Release Contact: Algene Sajery November 19, 2010 (202) 226¬7812

Washington, DC – Last month, President Sheik Sharif Ahmed appointed Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a Somali¬American dual citizen, as the new prime minster of Somalia. The Transitional Federal Parliament approved Mr. Mohamed’s nomination on October 31. Prime Minister Mohamed moved quickly to appoint a new, leaner cabinet of just eighteen ministers ¬¬a reduction in number of more than half of the previous cabinet ¬¬with technical, rather than purely political, expertise. The cabinet is awaiting approval from the Somali Parliament, but troubling news reports indicate that certain members of parliament are deliberately stalling the approval process.

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, released the following statement:


“Prime Minister Mohamed and his cabinet have the skills and experience to lead Somalia toward a path of stability and peace, but they can only live up to their potential with support from the Somali people and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) institutions, as well as the international community.

With less than a year left in the TFG’s term, the Parliament should put aside personal interests to confirm the new cabinet and to pass a number of laws that must be approved before the transition period ends. It is critical that these steps are taken, for the sake of peace, stability, and hope for the Somali people.

As the United States, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) work to help Somalia achieve unity, peace and security, those individuals who deliberately obstruct and delay progress for personal gain should be held accountable.”