Somalia inaugurates elected president after 20 years strife

By REUTERS
September 16, 2012 18:10

 
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MOGADISHU - Somalia's new president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office on Sunday, calling for an end to terrorism and piracy in a nation mired in conflict for more than two decades.

Mohamud's inauguration, the first of its kind since the country slid into civil war after warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, follows a regionally-brokered, UN-backed effort to end fighting in which tens of thousands of people were killed and many more fled.

Mohamud is a relatively new face in Somali politics, but the one-time academic will have to encounter old problems: acrimonious clan politics, rampant corruption, maritime piracy and a stubborn insurgency by al Shabaab Islamist rebels.

"We want Somalia free from piracy, terrorism and asylum seekers abroad. We want to create a united community so that Somalis and the neighboring countries can live peacefully," Mohamud said during his inauguration at a ceremony in a fortified hall in Mogadishu's police training camp.

"Somalia has now turned a fresh page."

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