The President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has hailed the contribution of AMISOM and development partners in the formation of Hirshabelle state.
President Mohamud said it was the commitment of the local leadership and the never say die attitude of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and friendly nations that led to the birth of the new federal state.
“We got here because of our patience. We never left anyone behind. All those who felt disgruntled were convinced and were part of the journey.
Patience and resilience helped us achieve this and when people had lost hope, we remained steadfast. It is the confidence and trust that we had in each other that has helped us form this state,” said President Mohamud.
The head of state made the remarks in Jowhar, Saturday, during the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Hirshabelle, Ali Abdulahi Osoble, attended by top federal government officials, representatives of the international community, among them, the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Lydia Wanyoto, and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating.
Hirshabelle is the fifth federal state to be established following intense negotiations between representatives of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions.
The negotiations were brokered by the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and other development partners. Plans are already underway to hold elections of the upper house before month end.
President Mohamud, however, emphasized that the establishment of Hirshabelle is not the end to the state formation process, noting that there is need to address fundamental issues such as the status of Mogadishu and other regions.
“We have major tasks to accomplish but we are here today celebrating a milestone,” President Mohamud observed, pledging to help the country complete the state formation process.
“We are committed to being a united Somalia. We will not use force to unite Somalia but uphold negotiations,” President Mohamud explained.
DSRCC Wanyoto congratulated the residents of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle for agreeing to unite and form a new state.
“The timing is important because we are in the final stages of the elections whose objective will be ensure good governance and growth of Somalia and its institutions,” She noted.
The DSRCC urged the leadership of the new state to resolve clan differences, rife in the area and ensure women are elected to parliament.
“I would like to urge the Hirshabelle state to borrow examples from the other states that were formed earlier and make sure that women do not only get elected to the upper house but also to the lower house to enable them participate in the leadership of the country. This will enable the people of Somalia achieve their long eluded aspirations,” she explained.
Hirshabelle President called for unity, noting that the people of Beletweyne, hitherto opposed to the state formation process, now support it.
“I came from Beletweyne this morning and the people of Beletweyne sent a message in support of this administration and the new Somalia. They are ready to work with Hirshabelle administration,” he said.
President Osoble assured the country that the state will elect women as members of parliament, adding that the federal state believes in the development of the whole community.