Friday, January 29, 2010

One year anniversary for Somali president

Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed celebrates one year as president of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) as of January 2010. The Somali service of the Voice of America asked me on January 28, 2010, to comment on this anniversary and whether his stewardship has been a success or failure. I noted that many observers were suggesting only six months ago that the TFG under President Ahmed would not be in existence by the end of 2009. He is still standing, and the TFG seems to be in a somewhat stronger position today than it was just a few months ago. In my view, the biggest mistake the TFG made in its first nine months was to spend so much time traveling around the region and the world seeking sources of funding. This was time that President Ahmed and senior TFG officials should have been on the ground in Somalia developing credibility with the Somali people. In the process, the TFG did not obtain much funding and lost a lot of valuable time. The TFG seems to have learned this lesson in recent months and has been devoting more time to resolving issues in Somalia. For this, it deserves a lot of credit. Image: "Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of the Somali Republic, addresses the general debate of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly. 25/Sep/2009. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Marco Castro." Flickr Creative Commons-licensed content.

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