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Somali leader names a new Cabinet amid calls for stability

07 February 2015, 08:16

Mogadishu - Somalia's prime minister announced a new Cabinet after the last one he proposed drew opposition from lawmakers.

Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke's 25-member Cabinet was announced late Thursday. The appointees, who include three women, await approval by lawmakers.

The international community has been urging Somalia's leaders to end a political crisis and set up a functional government as soon as possible. The feud began after parliament ousted Shamarke's predecessor, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, last December amid a power struggle between Ahmed and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Also Read: US airstrike kills al-Shabab leader

Mohamed Sheikh Abdi, an independent political analyst in Somalia, said the new list was likely to be approved on Monday because it lacks "controversial names." Some of the names previously named to the Cabinet were rejected amid allegations of corruption.

The US and the UN have warned that Somalia's political infighting is putting at risk the country's recent security gains.

Shamarke — who was prime minister in a previous administration — and his Cabinet face major challenges, including an insurgency by the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab and rebuilding the country from decades of conflict.

Somalia plunged into chaos after the 1991 ouster of dictator Siad Barre. The country's weak government is currently being bolstered by African Union troops against the insurgency by al-Shabaab.

- AP


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