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People ... Somalia
Abdiweli Mohamed Ali

'Ready to move on' ... Will Somalia's new prime minister be able to fight famine and corruption in order to build a functioning state?

COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess


Talk to Al Jazeera

Last Modified: 05 Dec 2011 12:54


Abdiweli Mohamed Ali: 'Ready to move on' Will Somalia's new prime minister be able to fight famine and corruption in order to build a functioning state?

Somalia has been plagued by civil war, instability and famine for a decade. With the armed group al-Shabab fighting for control the Somali government is struggling to stay in power.

Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, an academic and a self-professed technocrat who has spent several years in the US, was recently appointed prime minister of Somalia in a government reshuffle. His government managed to take over most of Mogadishu from al-Shabab, but a lot of Somalia remains in the group's hands.

Government forces survive with support from troops of the African Union mission in Somalia known as AMISON, but the prime minister is facing another wave of foreign intervention from countries fed up with al-Shabab.

Kenya has already sent forces, and now there are signs that Ethiopian troops are entering, or may already have entered the country - a move that may prove disastrous. The last time Ethiopian forces entered Somalia 16,000 people were killed and one million displaced.

So will the new prime minister be able to build a functioning state? Can he battle famine and corruption? Or will the country remain a failed state? Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Somalia's prime minister, talks to Al Jazeera's Sami Zeidan.

'You cannot find peace through violence, everybody has to understand it, we understand it and our brothers on the other side should understand it.

I don't want to dwell on defeating Shabab, fighting Shabab, because they are not aliens, they are our kids, they are Somals. My government is for reconciliation, for peace. We will offer an olive branch to them [Al-Shabab], if they want to renounce violence; if they want to sit down with us and discuss issues with us we are ready for that.

Reconciliation is the best strategy. Only Somali can solve Somali problems. It has to come from us, from the Somals. After 20 years of civil war had enough, we are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and people at this time understand that fighting will not solve their problems and they are ready to move on.'

Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Somalia's prime minister

Source: Al Jazeera

The text being discussed is available at http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2011/12/20111249195950795.html



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