Monday, February 18, 2013

Somali President Speaks at Chatham House

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud addressed Chatham House in London on 4 February 2013.  He gave brief opening remarks titled "Building a Stable Somalia" and then answered numerous questions from the audience.

In the question and answer session, the president commented that he will seek a second term in office.  He said security is the top priority of his government.  He commented extensively on the Somali refugee and IDP issue.  He emphasized that Somalia will establish a federal system of government.  He said there are proven links between al-Shabaab and the extremist organization in northern Nigeria known as Boko Haram.  He was not aware of ties between al-Shabaab and extremist groups in Mali.  Sheikh Mohamud identified local and social grievances as the root causes for the rise of extremism in Somalia.  He underscored the role of the private sector in developing Somalia and reported that private Somali companies are building 500 houses and a 50 megawatt power plant in Mogadishu estimated to cost between $70 million and $100 million.  

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