Galkayo – Somalia’s new leader was inaugurated on Sunday amid tight security in the capital, Mogadishu, four days after President Hassan Skeikh Mohamud survived an assassination attempt.
Mohamud, a teacher and activist, won the election last week against outgoing President Sheik Sharif Sheikh Ahmed by the legislative vote of 190 to 79.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by some regional leaders, including the prime minister of Ethiopia and the president of Djibouti.
The attempt on Mohamud’s life on his second day in office highlighted the serious security challenges he faces as he takes the helm of a volatile country that has not had a stable government for more than two decades. Mohamud himself acknowledged this fact, saying in his inauguration remarks that security was the paramount issue.
He promised to be a democrat and to create “an effective justice system” that serves all Somalis.
“I promise [that] my government will deliver a new democratic beginning,” he told a congregation at the Police Academy, the same venue where he was elected.
The UN-backed political process that resulted in Mohamud’s election was condemned by Islamist militants who said it was manipulated by the West. But Mohamud has the support of the international community, which wants him to succeed and bring stability to the troubled Horn of Africa nation.
His predecessor, Ahmed, said in his remarks that he was happy that a degree of security had returned to Mogadishu. He wished Mohamud success.