[QODLink]
Africa
Somalia's president names newcomer as PM
Abdi Shirdon has been a businessman in Kenya and is believed to be untainted by the country's volatile clan politics.
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2012 15:09
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's appointment of Abdi Shirdon is the first major decision of his government [EPA]

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia's new president, has named Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid as the country's new prime minister, diplomats and a government source said.

Friday's appointment is the first major decision by an administration installed after over 20 years of conflict.

Saaid, a political newcomer, has been a prominent businessman in neighbouring Kenya and is married to Asha Haji Elmi, an influential Somali peace activist.

A Western diplomat said Saaid had a reputation for being above Somalia's notoriously volatile clan politics, similar to the new president, and the news of his appointment would be welcomed by foreign governments.

"Like all the decisions the new president has made so far, this is a good one, and Somalia is on a bit of a roll with the election of (Mohamed Osman) Jawaari as parliament speaker and Mohamud as president," the diplomatic source told the Reuters news agency.

Mohamud, a former academic and a political newcomer himself, was elected president in a secret ballot on September 10, a result hailed by his supporters as a vote for change in the Horn of Africa state ravaged by war and anarchy since 1991.

Saaid's appointment as the prime minister will have to be approved by Somali legislators, diplomatic sources said.

The news comes as Somali and Kenyan troops, aided by African Union peacekeepers, are moving to secure the southern port city of Kismayo which has been under the control of the al-Shabab rebel group.

239

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.