Somali PM unveils downsized Cabinet

Somali Prime Minister Nur Hasan Husein on Friday announced a new downsized Cabinet after weeks of consultations.

“I announce the fifteen ministers and five assistants of my Cabinet now and I wish to nominate the members that are left soon,” the premier said in the town of Baidoa.

Three more ministers remained to be confirmed, which will bring to 18 the final number of ministers in the new Cabinet. A previous government that was announced in November included almost twice as many ministers.

Among the newcomers in the new line-up are several ministers from outside Parliament, including the ministers of defence and finance.

The country’s Interior Minister, Mohamed Mohamoud Guled, lost his position while Ahmed Abdi Salan, co-founder of Horn Afrik Media Corporation and a Somali-Canadian, was appointed deputy prime minister and information minister.

Somalia’s fractious political scene has struggled to agree on a Cabinet following the October resignation from the premiership of Ali Mohamed Gedi.

In recent months, Somalia has been rocked by daily violence, mainly in Mogadishu, between Ethiopian-backed government forces and the remnants of an Islamist militia that briefly controlled parts of the country.—Sapa-AFP

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