Topic: Governance
Educated, Former Critic of TFG and Founder of PDP Has Many Tasks Ahead
09/10/2012
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
File Photo
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (57) is the chairman of the predominately Hawiye clan dominated, Peace and Development Party (PDP).

In what is described as the first Presidential election in over forty years, the former academic and university head Mohamud was given 190 votes out of the 269 votes cast. As a sign of the times, former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed received only 79. A group of representatives chose four finalists which included Abdulqadir Osoble Ali and former Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and former Transitional Federal Government President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

The President was elected by a group of former 271 members of parliament (four were missing). Only about a third of the group had served before and it was rumored that votes for government seats could be purchased for as high as $25,000.

New Beginnings.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is not a seasoned veteran of the bare knuckle and back room battles of Somali politics. As an academic and NGO he brings Western friendly (he speaks English) style to the job. Whether he can bring the hard political skills to keep his job is the next step.

On August 28, a partial parliament elected former labor minister Mohamed Osman Jawari as the new speaker of the house. Previously 825 Somali elders had voted in the the National Constituent Assembly and a provisional constitution to keep up with the "Roadmap Agreement" created by the UN to end the transitional period.

On August 2, 654 of those members survived a thwarted suicide attack to vote in favor of the new constitution with 13 against and 11 abstentions. . The Somali constitution contains 36 of the 45 basic rights according to the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) which reviews constitutions in other countries and provides legal expertise. The highly westernized draft of the constitution was created in July of 2012 and can be downloaded here. The guide to the constitution is here. The word "clan" is only mentioned once in the new constitution. Only Islam can be supported in the country and all laws must be compliant with Shariah. Abortion is permitted, female circumcision is not. .

Somalia's first constitution was created by referendum after independence in 1960 which was replaced by a new constitution in 1979, voted in by national referendum.

The Transitional National Charter, adopted in 2000 was the first attempt at a modern document and on it's expiration in 2003 was replaced by the Transitional Federal Charter in 2004.

Over two dozen candidates announced their intention to run for President but in the end only four were considered credible contenders.

A recent UN Report accused the Somali government of stealing or misappropriating 70% of all donor funds, Special Representative Augustine Mahiga warned against the buying of political seats and "spoilers"

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected as the head of the PDP in April 2011 during a conference in Mogadishu at the Sahafi hotel. The PDP also includes the former Somali information minister, Dahir Mohamoud Gelle, a well known defender of journalist's right, former MP Mohamed Nur Shegow, a Somali MP and members of Hawiye traditional elders

Mohamud graduated from the Somali National University in 1981 and has a master's degree from Bhopal University in 1988 in India. Between 1993 and 1995 Mohamud returned to Somalia as an employee of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund as an education officer in south and central Somalia. He had worked for a number of NGO's including UNDP, UNICEF, Life and Peace Institute, Conciliation Resources, Oxford University, Center for Refugee studies, International Peace Building Alliance (Interpeace), Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD), Department for International Development (DfID) and was a member of the TFG.

In 1999, he co-founded the Somali Institute of Management and Administration Development in Mogadishu, which later evolved into Simad University, and served as its dean until 2010.

In 2011, he founded the Peace and Development Party. He has been critical of the TFG and the constitutional process. He has called for a government without vested interests.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Official Facebook Bio:

I graduated Somali National University in 1981 and was employed in the Ministry of education as a teacher / trainer Lafole Technical Secondary School where I teach students and train artisans. In 1984, I joined Technical Teachers’ Training College as a lecturer and in 1986 became head of department before I traveled to India to attend a master of technical education program offered by Bhopal university in India. In 1988 upon my return to Somalia, I was selected as a counterpart to a group of international experts working on Upgrading Technical and Vocational Education of Somalia – a project implemented by UNESCO. My main area of concentration in the project was undertaking the research component of the project where I extensively travelled throughout Somalia.

After the collapse of the Somali state, I worked with UNICEF as education officer in south and central zone of Somalia in 1993. This task mainly involved in reviving education sector in this zone. I travelled extensively in the zone researching the magnitude of the collapse in the education sector and consulting the people on how to revive the sector as a community based endeavor

After the departure of the UNOSOM in 1995, I mostly involved in civic actions such as forming pressure groups on the political factions to reconcile. The main activities engaged were attempting to open channels of communication between and among the faction leaders in Mogadishu. Later on, this became the seed for the formation and strengthening of the Somali civil society. As a result, networks, coalitions and professional associations emerged in Mogadishu one after the other.

After the Cairo agreement of 1997, I was member of a team that negotiated and successfully dismantled the GREENLINE that divided Mogadishu into north and south after the disastrous war of 1992. In the last part of the 1990s, the conditions of the Somali youth was very critical. Those graduated from the secondary schools were having limited opportunities for higher learning and professional career development. As a member of ex university lecturers’ forum, we conducted need assessment survey in the market and identified the importance of establishing technical and vocational centers which some of them later on became higher learning centers such as universities.

As result, I became one of the founders of Somali Institute of Management and Administration Development (SIMAD) in 1999. It was the first institute of its kind since the collapse of the Somali state. The main purpose of SIMAD was to produce mid level management and administrative technicians for the post conflict reconstruction of Somalia. I became the first dean of the institute until I resigned in 2010. Currently SIMAD is a leading university in academics, consultancy, research, and training in Somalia. Close 4,000 student are registered in its undergraduate programs as of September 2011and more than 1,500 students graduated since 2002 at diploma and bachelor’s degree in various disciplines.

In 2001, I joined Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD) as a researcher in post conflict reconstruction of Somalia. I extensively traveled in south central Somalia conducting research in the post conflict reconstruction issues and local peoples’ priorities. Later on I became a principal researcher. In 2004, CRD appointed me as a focal point for the issues related to the civil society strengthening. In consultation with other prominent civil society members, I worked in establishing the Mogadishu monthly forum, which became the first open neutral space for the public to express their views regarding the pertinent issues of the time.

In late 2005, I became program coordinator in CRD. The civil society in Mogadishu collectively appointed me to lead the formation of Somali civil Society Forum – a conglomerate of networks, coalitions and action groups engaged in different sectors. Since then the forum became a unified voice for the Somali Civil Society.

In 2009 - 2010, I worked as consultant in the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC), Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in establishing Somali Aid Coordination and Management Unit within the Ministry.

Since 2007, I worked as a consultant and advisor in Somali political crisis with various international and local organizations. Among the organization I worked with include: 1. UNDP Somalia 2. Life and Peace Institute 3. Conciliation Resources 4. Oxford University, Center for Refugee studies. 5. International Peace Building Alliance (Interpeace) 6. Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD) 7. Department for International Development (DfID) 8. Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) 9. Unicef Somalia

In 2011, I became a founding member of PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT PARTY (PDP) in Somalia. The first political party established in Mogadishu. I became its first Chairman

Favorite Books

Justice and the society

Analysis
Somalia's 'Transition' Can Go Either Way
By MUBARAK 08/25/2012

In the past week, Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was officially no more; the cabinet ministers are acting on a caretaker basis, most of the new parliament members were sworn in, and a date was set for elections of the parliament speaker, after which the presidential elections will take place.

Despite everything not going according to schedule (presidential elections were due on August 20th), the process to move beyond the current transition is nevertheless steadily moving forward.

Somali people the world over are euphoric over the upcoming elections; websites and Facebook pages dedicated to supporting one candidate or the other have sprung up. In Mogadishu, the Sheikh Sharif campaign has been distributing campaign t-shirts since early July. Young men wearing the t-shirts ride motorbikes around Mogadishu, many of whom are reportedly members of the secret police, which would indicate Sharif is using government funds to campaign for president.

But the truth is that the public campaign is more for show than an attempt to really win votes; the president will be elected by the quasi-representative parliament of 275 members, many of whom have yet to be accepted by the technical committee.

Perhaps the public campaign is in line with the rather inaccurate perception that this indeed is the end of the transition and that the new government has more legitimacy and is more democratic than the one it is replacing.

To understand the similarities between the TFG and the incoming government, one has to look at the basis of both governments.

Somali Parliament
Somali Parliament

Both are based on the extremely flawed 4.5 system which shares out government positions on the basis of clan, and has been proven to be less than efficient with the TFG. This system was first used by the Transitional National Government (TNG) that was created in Djibouti in 2000.

The TNG was more based on the clans than the clan warlords; the latter – with heavy Ethiopian help – were mostly responsible for the destruction of the TNG, denying it the power to move beyond Mogadishu.

A lesson was learnt: no matter how much a Somali government had popular support (the TNG arguably had more public support than any Somali government in the past 20 years), it could not function without the consent of the warlords.

The answer was the TFG created in Nairobi, Kenya in 2004; this time the warlords would lead the process and thus be heavily represented in the new government. There is a little difference here between the TFG and the incoming government: while the elders with the warlords were responsible for naming the first Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) (the outgoing TFP was a product of the TFG – ARS peace deal of late 2008, which saw the parliament doubled in size), the elders are supposed to have sole powers in nominating the current parliament. Some of the elders were accused of being impostors or of selling seats to the highest bidders, but at least they had the final say on who would represent their clans, unlike during the formation of the first TFP.

As the warlords were very much responsible for its creation, the first TFG administration was filled with the who’s who of Somalia’s warlords; the bigger the warlord’s area of influence, the more powerful a post he got in the cabinet. Almost all of Mogadishu’s warlords were given ministerial posts.

Quickly, it became clear that not one of the warlord ministers was interested in moving to the government headquarters in Jowhar and later Baidoa. Muse Sudi, a Mogadishu warlord gave a hint of the warlord mentality when he said that the then-Somali president Abdullahi Yusuf was “putting on shoes that were bigger than him”, alluding to the fact that the Mogadishu warlords were not happy with someone who wasn’t from their clan being the president.

The Mogadishu warlords were only fired when Mogadishu had mostly fallen to the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in 2006, and many of them had humiliatingly run to Baidoa for cover.

Today the technical committee overseeing the nomination of the current parliament reportedly tried to block the nomination of the more notorious warlords, but did accept the Islamist warlords (Sharif's pals).

While the old warlords’ influence in Somali politics is minimal – the Islamist warlords are more powerful now – they should not have been allowed to be part of this attempt to move beyond the tarnished TFG past.

There are people who are responsible for a decade and a half of hell in southern Somalia; if anything, they should be tried for their crimes, not allowed to be part of the process to move beyond that hell.

Perhaps more dangerous than the warlords to the future of a now-distant truly democratic Somalia is the presence of the three most powerful men in the TFG: Sheikh Sharif, the outgoing president; Sharif Hassan, the outgoing parliament speaker; and Abdiweli Gas, the outgoing prime minister.

These three men have turned the Somali government revenue to their own personal bank accounts, overseeing a massive scheme that saw the siphoning off of as much as 70% of government income before it even reached the central bank, according to this year’s UN SEMG report. Imagine how much more was stolen after reaching the central bank.

Arguably, the federal government’s corruption and lack of support for the local administrations of Mogadishu may have caused the rampant corruption of said administrations’ officials. These guys openly steal food aid meant for IDPs in their areas; some of them still have extortion checkpoints in the city.

While the men on top have been busy stealing government funds, they forgot to pay the men who are supposed to die for Somalia: the Somali national army has not been paid for months, according to presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Mohamed Farmajo – also accused of being a government funds embezzler by other government officials.

The unpaid soldiers have in turn turned on the unarmed populations of the frontline districts such as Afgoi (Afgoye), where they are accused of looting and killing at will. The president visited Afgoi many times to reprimand the commanding officers, but let us face the truth: an army created from warlord militias with no discipline can not be expected to behave itself when not paid in time, especially with their constant need of the relatively expensive Khat.

For this transition to have been of a great significance, the individuals who have been guilty of sabotaging the Somali state from within should be held accountable for their actions and denied the chance to once again lead Somalia – if by lead we mean drag into an abyss.

The new government has challenges even before it is born: it claims to represent all of Somalia, including the secessionists in northwest Somalia who call themselves Somaliland, and the areas still in Shabab hands in central and southern Somalia.

Translating that claim into reality will be harder said than done; Somaliland leaders have spoken against elders representing their region, saying that they don’t represent them. As for the Shabab, they held counter conferences with clan elders who support them in their areas of control and have said that they will fight the new government as they fought the old one; for them, it is business as usual.

While Somaliland officials say they will continue talking with the new government, there is little hope that they are ready to renounce their secessionist ideas any time soon. Even if that were to happen, I doubt they would want to join a government heavily manned by the most corrupt people on earth.

The Shabab used their more moderate leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir, to deliver the message at the end of Ramadan in the coastal city of Barawe that the group had no intention of stopping the war.

However untouched the topic of talking with the Shabab is, it shall have to be done sooner or later. The group has lost a lot of territory in the past one and a half years; their biggest city, Kismayo, is now under threat and may fall soon.

Al-Shabaab in Afmadow
Al-Shabaab in Afmadow

Sure, continuous loss of territory has the tendency of radicalising some fighters, but some factions may, just may, decide to get a deal for themselves.

As for the clans who totally support the Shabab no matter what, some of them apparently have second-degree elders present in Mogadishu. For example, the firmly pro-Shabab Gaaljecel were represented by the brother of their supreme leader who had given his pledge of allegiance to the Shabab.

Elders will switch loyalties if they see it as being of the best interest to their people, so the elders in currently pro-Shabab territories just may decide to accept the new government if it conquers all of Somalia.

This is not to say that we have seen the last of the Shabab or that they are on their way out. They may very well outlive it as they outlived the TNG and the TFG. Dealing with them cannot and should not be limited to military action; they do represent a section of the population that is fuelling them with men and arms.

Already there are signs that there are better days ahead for Somalia: the top three corrupt men may not win as 20 candidates are reportedly deciding to field one candidate. Most of these candidates have decent backgrounds and stand a chance to win if they decide on one candidate.

Let us hope that four years from now Somalia will be able to have its first truly democratic government in more than half a century and that this government will not be as bad as its predecessors.

The bar is not set high; let us hope they don’t set it lower.

Former Warlord Col. Abdi Awale Qaybdiid Wins Election
By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 08/01/2012
Abdi Hasan Awale Qaybdiid, Newly Elected President of Galmudug
©Somalia Report
Abdi Hasan Awale Qaybdiid, Newly Elected President of Galmudug

The newly elected parliament of Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Galmudug today elected Abdi Hasan Awale Qaybdiid as the new president of Galmudug. Colonel Qaybdiid, a former warlord, obtained 22 votes while other candidate, Abidsamad Nuur, only earned one.

Col. Qaybdiid will replace the current president, Mohamed Ahmed Calin, to become the second president of Galmudug, a state which declared it's autonomy in 2006 when it merged Galgudud and Mudug regions.

Galmudug parliamentarians, presidential candidates, traditional elders, former cabinets and others came together in Galmudug’s parliament hall for today's election. The 25 lawmakers officially elected Qaybdiid as president and Abdisamad Nuur Gulled as vice-president.

Abdisamad was also vice president under former President Calin, who is currently seeking medical treatment in Nairobi, Kenya.

"Yes, the election happened peacefully and Abdi Qaybdiid was elected the new president of Galmudug. He got 22 votes which is the majority of the members of parliament, as the high court announced today," Ahmed Basto, Galmudug's former interior minister, told Somalia Report.

The chairman of the electoral commission, Professor Abdiqadir Mohamed Shirwac, led the meeting and the chairman of Galmudug’s high court high court, Sheikh Ahmed Sheikh Yusuf (Ilka Dahab), announced the results.

Other report said supporters of former President Calin elected Dr. Kalif Mohamud Elmi (Tima Kalajeh) as the new president of Galmudug.

The election comes just two days after Galmudug's new parliament was sworn in and selected a new speaker and two deputies despite heated conflict over the election and protests by the current president.

Who is Colonel Qaybdiid?

Col. Abdi Hassan Awale (Qaybdiid) was born in Galkayo, the capital city of Mudug Region in 1948. He earned his secondary certificate from the British college Nairobi, Kenya in 1974.

From 1980-1988 he worked at the Somalia embassy in China as the military attaché. After he returned to Somalia in late 1988, he was appointed head of foreign affairs of the ministry of defense. But after a year Qaybdiid and other colonels managed to escape and fled the government led by Mohamed Siyad Barre and joined the United Somali Congress (USC) opposition group aiming at overthrowing Barre's regime by force.

In July 1991, he became a committee member of the USC after President Barre fled Mogadishu. The group elected Gen. Mohamed Farah Aidid as chairman and later Qaybdiid became his interior minister.

In 2001 Qaybdiid participated in the Carta conference which elected Abdi Qasin as Somalia's president, and Qaybdiid became an MP.

He was arrested in 2005 in Sweden on suspicion of genocide, but released for insufficient evidence.

In 2006 he returned to Galmudug and regrouped his militia.

By 2007 he returned to Mogadishu was appointed an officer of the Somali National Police.

In 2009, Qaybdiid was appointed minister of mineral and water of Somalia's transitional government.

Qaybdiid speaks Somali and English and understands Italian, Arabic and Chinese. He is a member of the Sacad sub-clan of the Habar Gedir clan.

Constitution Approved by 96% as Two Suicide Bombers Attempt to Target Gathering
By MOHAMED ODOWA 08/01/2012
Assembly Approving Constitution
©AFP
Assembly Approving Constitution

Just as Somalia welcomed an historic day and ushered in a new era of governance by overwhelmingly approving the new Somali constitution after months of heated debate, the scene was marred by violence.

At least one Somali government soldier was killed and more than three others were reportedly injured in what seemed to be suicide attacks targeted at the General Kaahiye police station in HamarJajab district where over 825 delegates, including the country’s constituent assembly and tribal elders, were meeting over the last eight days to debate and vote on the new draft constitution, witnesses and officials on Somalia Report on Wednesday at morning.

Somali security forces shot two suicide bombers outside of the compound as the attackers were attempting to enter inside the General police Station compound where the conference was taking place. There were no details on whether the wounded included foreigners like the African Union Peacekeeping forces (AMISOM) in the area.

Initial information obtained by Somalia Report indicate the attackers were two suspected al-Shabaab fighters who were pretending to be delegates just in order to confuse the security forces at the one of the first frontline checkpoints but the two men were shot to death after attempted to pass forcefully into the hall without identifying themselves.

An elder who is participating in the meeting who asked not be named spoke to Somalia Report. "I was not far from the checkpoint where the TFG forces were checking everyone entering into the conference’s hall by asking his or her for identity card."

“I saw an ambulance evacuating some wounded Somali government soldiers to hospitals and I do not know whether civilians were among the wounded. But I saw the bodies of the suicide bombers with my own eyes in this morning. They were two men and were shot several times by the forces,” said the elder.

However the interior minister who also serves as a security minister, Abdisamad Ma’alin Mohamud, told reporters that the Somali forces thwarted the suicide bombers who were wearing with explosive vests in the morning.

"I give thanks to the Somali security forces and police force that prevented from these attacks. Two suicide bombers were shot dead in an attempted attack on this tented site before the attackers set off the explosions," the interior minister told local reporters.

"In this incident no serious harm was caused to anyone else and only the suicide attackers were killed," a senior security official told Somalia Report.

Al-Shabaab officials claimed responsibility for the attack.

Despite the attack, the new Somali constitution was passed by representatives of the Somali population who collectively are called the National Constituent Assembly. It will serve as an interim constitution for Somalia in the next five years.

645 of 825 members attended the meeting.

621 voted for the constitution
13 members voted against the constitution
11 members abstained from voting

“We are very happy today that you... responsibly completed the procedure by voting for the constitution,” Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali told the assembly.

The nine-day meeting is taking place amid tight security after the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabaab group vowed it will conduct attacks on the gathering. Vigilant armed soldiers of African Union Peacekeepers (AMISOM) along with hundreds Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces can be seen around the areas of General Kaahiye police station.

Security in the capital has been intense just for the gathering. All the roads to the meeting area are blocked and there are far more checkpoints by the allied forces. Extra forces have also been seen today on the streets near the area and no one is able to enter inside the hall without having identity cards.

Exclusive
An Interview with Haji Mohammed Yassin
By JD 07/30/2012
Presidential Candidate Haji Mohammed Yassin
©Somalia Report
Presidential Candidate Haji Mohammed Yassin

As Somalia gears up for presidential elections in August of this year, Somalia Report will be providing a forum for candidates to publish their platforms. Without endorsement, we will offer equal footage to each candidate and an opportunity for the public to learn more about those who wish to represent them. The third candidate to speak with Somalia Report is Haji Mohamed Yassin Ismail and this is his message.

In His Own Words

My name is Haji Mohamed Yassin and I was born in 1953 in Mogadishu. Although my parents are originally from Puntland, I have grown up and gone to school in Mogadishu.

Between 1972 to 1978, I worked as an auditor for the government of Somalia. I then resigned to join an opposition group against former president Mohamed Siad Barre. The opposition group, Somali Salvation Democratic Front, was formed in Ethiopia and led by former President Abdullahi Yusuf.

I served in the opposition for three years and when Barre's government collapsed I resigned and got into the real estate business in Zimbabwe.

I have my first degree in public administration and studied management, politics and business administration.

I have three wives and 18 children.

This will actually be my second attempt at running for Somalia's presidency. In 2004 I was a presidential candidate but lost to Abdullahi Yusuf.

Being a Somalia national I feel that I have a responsibility to make Somalia not only a peaceful country but a better place. Somalia has had over 21 years of instability that has shattered its economy, infrastructure, lives and led to many splintered regions as well as a rise in religious and tribal extremism. Apart from that we are also plagued by piracy, poor leadership and Somalia is currently the most corrupt country according to the 2010 corruption index, making it a failed state.

I am vying for the presidency to bring the country back to its feet under a government that will revive the rule of law.

As a country Somalia never failed, but its leaders did, especially the regime of Sheikh Sharif. They were handpicked and imposed on the people. They rose to power with no program or plan to tackle Somalia’s problems. Their aim was to acquire power through foreign sponsors and amass wealth for themselves.

They have sustained the crisis and war in Somalia because they are using conflict as a cash cow with nobody holding them accountable. Sharif's regime has also used their influence to avenge against those tribes that don't pledge allegiance to them. Through the help of foreign patronage, they have intensified animosity between various communities instead of using money from the international community to build trust and promote reconciliation.

There have been three governments in the last 10 years all of which were geared towards reconciling the rival groups and none has made any significant step. The past regimes were supposed to establish federalism in the country but they failed as well. They were tasked to prepare an acceptable constitution for the country but that failed. In actual fact they have been busy keeping Somali in turmoil and lengthening their tenure so they can continue accumulating their wealth.

I believe such failed leaders are responsible for the past and present crisis. Since there is no central government, other groups like religious extremists have taken advantage. They now control many regions in the country; equally piracy has become a huge menace because there is no ground force which holds them to account.

Political Party

Candidate Haji Mohammed Yassin and his political party - Justice, Peace, Progress (JPP) - seek to preserve the unity and integrity of Somalia. JPP also aims to strengthen the forces of peace and promote economic growth through competition and self-reliance with an emphasis on quality and social justice.

JPP is committed to establishing a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Somalia that creates opportunities for all Somalis to reach their personal and national goals and dreams.

"Justice is the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, fairness, and equity. Peace describes a society or relationship that is operating harmoniously and without violent conflict. Progress is the idea that the world can become increasingly better in terms science, technology, modernization, liberty, democracy, and quality of life," the candidate explained.

Interview

To learn more about his platform, Somalia Report interviewed Haji Mohammed Yassin in Nairobi, Kenya.

You are returning for a long trip overseas. Tell us about your recent trip abroad.

I visited a number of countries including Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In Turkey I met Turkish officials and including education officials. I also met with a number of businessmen and visited their companies. I also visited Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to learn more about their policies, which is important for a president. By learning about international affairs, I can help Somalia if I am elected.

In Somalia one of the strongest problem is piracy. If you become president what is your plan against piracy?

The root of this problem is lack of government. We have the longest coastline in Africa with more than 3,300km which are unsecured. There is illegal fishing in our sea and sometimes those ships destroy the equipment of local fishermen and steal our fish. This is what caused the piracy; finally fishermen decided to work together to defend against these illegal fishing vessels.

The solution of this problem is first to get the central government on the case. There are not more than 500 pirates so only 2,000 troops highly trained can beat them. But, the aim is not only to fight with pirates. First we have to give a chance to Somalia’s fishermen. We have respect them. They must get their rights.

The sheikhs have been taking a larger part in Somalia's policymaking in recent years. How does this affect your candidacy?

When the leadership becomes bad, they will make bad decisions and this causes a lack of confidence among the people. Today many Somali leaders are looking to get elected only for fame and money. All sheikhs are not bad, nor are all military leaders are not bad. While the population has lost confidence in some moderate sheikhs, I am still in my white shirt and believe people still have faith in me. I am not looking at the presidential place as a personal right, but my team - made up of men and women- are looking to lead the country as a team. We can help this country.

What is your plan against the opposition?

The opposition forces are Mullah ‘sheikhs’ and they are fighting with another Mullah who is leading the country. The Mullahs who are fighting can be part of the solution. Most of the current candidates are not sheikhs and they are promising if they win they will destroy armed militants who are mullahs.

I have different idea from this. If elected, I will begin to solve the problem with negotiations before using power. Power will be the last option. Also in my plan you need funding. The newly elected person must have the money to pay for his administration's first year. I am confident I can do this.

Furthermore, I am a sheikh and the current problem in the country is between Mullahs and only moderate sheikh like me can get the solution of this problem.

I am also a well known businessman and businessmen are those the government need to pay taxes. I understand the problems of business and can work with them.

How is your relationship with the current leaders of the country?

I have strong relations with the current leaders and also I have an affect on all Somali regions. In Puntland were I come from, I have a relation with the current President Abdurahman Shiekh Mohamed Farole. We know each other and we have worked together before. That is the same with Somaliland’s President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo). I also have good relations in the southern regions.

Do think that the election will happen on the August 20th deadline?

The Road map signers promised the world, the international community and the Somali people that the election will happen on 20 August, insha'allah. The people are so tired of the current government.

Editor's Note: This comes as part of our reports on who is running for president and Somalia's political parties. To read the political platforms of other candidates, please see: Abduraham M. Abduallahi (Baadiyow) and Abdirahman Abdishakur.