AFRICA/SOMALIA - "A promising future, the new President could be a pleasant surprise," said Mgr. Bertin

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Mogadishu (Agenzia Fides) - "The future is promising, it seems to me this could be the turning point to see the revival of the State" says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Giorgio Bertin, Bishop of Djibouti and Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu, commenting on the election by the Somali parliament of the new Head of State, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud. "Certainly there will be a transition phase that will last a long time, even though we have reached a good point in restoring state institutions. The international community will have to, however, continue to support this effort of rebirth" emphasizes Mgr. Bertin.
With regards to the new President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, Mgr. Bertin admits: "even for me it was a surprise, and could be a pleasant surprise. It was known, however, that a Hawiye personality would have been chosen, and in particular a Hawiye Abgaal, because an unwritten rule had been established, according to which the President of Parliament had to be chosen among the Rahanweyn of the area of Baidoa, while the Head of State had to be a Hawiye or a Darod. A Hawiye Abgaal was chosen again, which means that Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud will choose the new Prime Minister among the Darod."
So –we point out to Mgr. Bertin - beside and under the parliamentary "western" form of the new Somali institutions, there are still balance games among the different clans. "One could not do otherwise after 22 years of chaos. To recompose the State one starts again not with simply personalities but with people who are members of a clan" replied Mgr. Bertin.
The Shabaab now seem to be on the defensive both at a military and political level. "One will, however, have to be careful that the Shabaab do not get confused among the civilian population in order to continue to act and take action against the new institutions," warns the Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu, who concludes: "The new government will be supported by the Somalis to the extent that it will indeed be at the service of the people. " (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/09/2012)