Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, is promising to improve security and stability in the country which has been battered by terror attacks, political instability and drought.
Mohamud, 66, was declared president for a second time on Sunday after defeating incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, who has been in office since 2017. Mohamud won 214 votes from Somali parliamentarians while Farmaajo received 110 votes.
In an interview with VOA reporter Falastine Iman, Mohamud identified himself as a trailblazer with the vision for a more peaceful country.
“This is a history in the making. I'm the first president since the independence that has been elected twice in the office in line with our Constitution. So that's the history and it's a good history. Then the second, my vision is Somalia in peace with itself and in peace with the rest of the world. That was the motto and the slogan that we had,” Mohamud said.
Mohamud said he will prioritize political stability and security in the country.
“Political stability and security of the people, particularly the movement of the goods and the people throughout Somalia, is a top priority for us. Save Somalia by eliminating the menace of al-Shabab. It's a regional problem, international problem that's being solved,” he said.
Somalia is experiencing one of its worst drought in decades with millions of people at risk of starvation. Mohamud expressed his concerns about the situation and vowed to appoint a special envoy.
“People lost their livestock. So Somalia is not in a security risk of al-Shabab only but also food security,” Mohamud said.
On Twitter, Mohamud thanked U.S. President Joe Biden for authorizing the deployment of American troops to Somalia and called the United States “a reliable partner in our quest to stability and fight against terrorism.”
Less than 500 troops are expected to be deployed from other East Africa postings, according to the White House, in a reversal of the previous administration's move to withdraw from Somalia.