Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed: Somalia’s New American Prime Minister

US Citizen Was Official in Buffalo's Local Government

by Jason Ditz, October 14, 2010

From Mogadishu to Buffalo is quite a long trip, but Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, the new Prime Minister of Somalia went from Mogadishu to Buffalo and back again, having held positions in the local government of Buffalo, New York before his latest appointment.

As Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Somali government, Mohamed will replace Omar Sharmaarke, who resigned last month following disputes with President Ahmed. He will be responsible for assembling a cabinet to oversee a small portion of the city of Mogadishu, which includes a presidential palace, the bombed out airport, and a small amount of coastline.

Mohamed promised that he will form a “competent” government, which would be a first in the nation, which has spent the last 20 years expelling numerous self-styled governments. The only period of comparative calm they enjoyed was at the beginning of the current “government’s” attempt, when they remained in Kenya in a hotel and didn’t attempt to do anything inside Somalia itself. During that period, the nation’s economy was actually growing at an impressive clip, though that came to a grinding halt when they were kicked out of the hotel for non-payment and tried to move to Mogadishu.

Mohamed’s role will likely be extremely limited, however, as most of the power in the system rests with the President, not the Prime Minister. They retain control over their portion of Mogadishu primarily because of thousands of Ugandan troops deployed by the African Union to prop them up.

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