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Ethiopia vow to work closely with new Somalia president

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Civilians celebrate the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in the streets of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, February 9, 2017. (Feisal Omar/Reuters Photo)
By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

February 10, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia Thursday convoyed a congratulatory message to the newly elected president of Somalia and vowed to extend support to the new administration in the east African nation.

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’ was elected a President of the Federal Republic of Somalia in the election held on Tuesday in Mogadishu.

The newly elect who holds dual Somalia-US citizenship was declared on Wednesday as the new president of Somalia and he was immediately sworn-in to assume a four- year tenure in office.

He won the historic election held after over quarter a century by sweeping 184 votes, compared with 97 secured by incumbent President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

In his congratulatory message, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said the fact that the presidential race had been conducted peacefully and successfully was a major achievement for the people of Somalia and a landmark in the process of building peace and stability in the country.

He said he was convinced that Mohamed’s election would further strengthen the longstanding friendly relations and the strategic partnership existing between Somalia and Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian premier further vowed to work closely with the new Somalia leader to get the war ravaged east African neighbour back to on its feet after more than two decades ago of war and destruction.

Hailemariam said his country will continue to extend all the necessary support to the new leadership in Somalia to improve its security and free the country from Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda allied Somalia militant group which had long been a regional security threat.

The Ethiopian prime minister assured the new president that he could always count on Ethiopia for all necessary support as he leads Somalia into what "would be a bright future for its people"

Somalia’s election has saw a battle among 23 candidates after it was delayed four times.

Former president Hassan Mohamud, who accepted defeat and conceded the election, avoiding a third and final vote.

He said "History was made, we have taken this path to democracy, and now I want to congratulate Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo".

After taking the oath of office, ‘Farmajo’ said: "This victory represents and belongs to the interest of the Somali people and this is the beginning of the era of the unity, the democracy of Somalia and the beginning of the fight against corruption."

The AU, the US and UK has also congratulated the new Somali president on his victory.

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, commended the successful completion of the electoral process saying the process had been intricate, requiring negotiations and compromises to overcome challenges that once appeared insurmountable, butt congratulated all "for making this historical moment a reality."

The Commission appealed to the president and all leaders to work together in uniting the country by pursuing reconciliation to enable Somalia tackle the political and socio-economic challenges affecting the country.

While congratulating the president and people of Somalia over the successful completion of the election, the US State Department said it looked forward to working closely with President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

It said the transition represented an important step forward for the country and looked forward to the timely formation of a new government.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also congratulated Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’ on his election and said the UK remained committed to supporting the Somali people and he looked to agreeing a new partnership between Somalia and the international community.

(ST)

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