By Julie Mandoyan | September 13, 2012 - 16:00 GMT
Long affected by war, Somalia seemed to emerge from years of hopelessness on Monday (10 September) with the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud by the country’s transitional parliamentarians. Widely applauded by the international community, these elections nonetheless proved to be a challenge for a state that has suffered from a lack of effective governance for over 40 years. The newcomer will have to face a country divided between war and ‘money-lords’, Islamist militants from al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab, pirates and secessionist provinces, while the regional geopolitics of the Horn of Africa were also recently shaken by the death of long-standing Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi. As a proof of the challenging times ahead, the new Somali president — as well as the visiting Kenyan Foreign Minister — escaped a bomb attack yesterday (12 September) in the capital Mogadishu.
Ken Menkhaus, a professor of Political Science at Davidson College, is a specialist in the politics of the Horn of Africa. In an interview with The Global Journal, he provided his perspective on these latest events as well as how they might impact prospects for Somalia’s future.
Elections in Somalia occurred two days ago and have resulted in the victory of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud against the incumbent President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. What are your thoughts on the outcome?
The election results were a genuine surprise to most observers. Most of us anticipated that Sheikh Sharif, the incumbent, and his circles of supporters, who have constituted Somalia’s ‘money-lords’ over the past five years, would manipulate and purchase an outcome that would bring them back to power or keep them in power.
To read the full interview click here>.
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