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Middle East

Somali president names political newcomer as PM: diplomats

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (L) and Britain's Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening (R) give a press conference on October 3, 2012 at the presidential palace in Mogadishu. AFP PHOTO / Mohamed Abdiwahab

MOGADISHU: Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has named Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid as the country's new prime minister, diplomats and a government source said, the first major decision by an administration installed after over 20 years of conflict.

Saaid, a political newcomer, has been a prominent businessman in neighbouring Kenya and is married to Asha Haji Elmi, an influential Somali peace activist.

Mohamud, a former academic and a political newcomer himself, was elected president in a secret ballot on Sept. 10, a result hailed by his supporters as a vote for change in the Horn of Africa state ravaged by war and anarchy since 1991.

 

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