New Somali leader attends AU summit

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Hours after being sworn into office, newly-elected President of Somalia Sheikh Sharrif Sheikh Ahmed arrived here on Sunday to attend the 1-3 February, 12th ordinary summit of the African Union (AU).
Ahmed, a former teacher, replaced former President Yusuf Abdullahi Ahmed, who resigned in December after coming under a barrage of criticism by leaders of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member-states for being an impediment to stability in the horn of African state.
IGAD is a regional grouping of seven countries – Kenya, Uganda, Sudan Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia – that are involved in the Somalia's peace initiative.
The new president, elected in the early hours of Saturday, is thus eligible to take part in the election of a new chairman of the AU, to replace outgoing Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi is expected to succeed Kikwete, although his candidacy is being resisted by a number of countries attending the conference.
Ahmed was elected in Djibouti, where the talks to find a permanent solution to the Somali crisis are being held, after Kenya banned the Somali warlords from its territory, citing lack of seriousness in search of peace on the part of parties in the conflict that has persisted since the ouster of Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991.

01 february 2009 09:04:00




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