Mohamed Abdi Waare inaugurated as the second President of HirShabelle state
HirShabelle - The newly elected President of HirShabelle state, Mohamed Abdi Waare, was inaugurated yesterday in a colourful ceremony attended by Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre, the country’s federal state member presidents, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating, and other representatives of the international community.
Also in attendance were ministers from the federal government, members of the federal parliament and hundreds of Jowhar residents.
In his inaugural speech, the HirShabelle President called on the federal government and federal states to respect the federal system, which he noted has been widely accepted across the country.
“We have applied the federal system as stipulated in the constitution. As I have said before, the federal system is in the constitution of the country, we have implemented it and we have been elected through it. We cannot accept the rejection of the federal system. However, we have diverse opinions. We can initiate debate if the federal system is not in our interest,” President Waare observed.
Mr. Waare was elected President on 16 September after his predecessor, Ali Abdullahi Osoble, was impeached by the state’s regional assembly.
The Prime Minister welcomed the election of President Waare to lead the newest federal member state in Somalia and promised to cooperate not only with the HirShabelle administration but also with other federal states.
"We have a lot of work before us starting with you, since you are the youngest of the federal states. It is important for us to cooperate and work together on reconciliation, forgiveness, trust and giving care to all the residents of HirShabelle. It is also our responsibility to work with you and other states in building government institutions to ensure devolution of the federal system, maintenance of security and the stabilization of all regions,” Khayre said.
In his remarks, Mr. Keating commended Somalis and the international community for their response in providing emergency support to victims of the recent Mogadishu bombings that claimed more than 300 lives and left hundreds more injured.
“This ceremony is taking place as we are still in mourning after the terrible events of 14 October. Every man, every woman, every Somali has been affected, but the response has been amazing. It has been the most extraordinary act of solidarity between the local people, government, business, civil society and the international community. The deaths of those people must not be in vain,” the SRSG added.
The Prime Minister described the attack as proof that the militant group al-Shabaab has decided to “wipe Somalis from the face of the earth.”
“We learnt lessons from the incident of 14 October. Al-Shabaab militants sent us their last message, a message which shows that they don’t care for a mother, a father, children, elderly people, rich, poor, elite, non-elite, healthy and sick persons,” said Prime Minister Khayre, who called on the entire country to unite and prevent the group from carrying out such an attack in the future.
The SRSG noted that the Mogadishu bombings came at a time when Somalia was making progress on a number of political, security and economic development issues.
He underscored the international community’s readiness to help Somalia overcome the challenges that hinder progress and development. But Mr. Keating also noted that the ultimate responsibility for solving the problems facing the nation lies with the Somalis themselves.
“The international community wants to continue supporting Somalia to tackle all these challenges, to invest in security, to build institutions, to generate revenue, to provide services. But the key to progress is not the foreigners. It is Somalis, it is Somali leadership, it is Somali ownership, and it is Somalis’ willingness to resolve their problems and work on behalf of all the people,” he stated.