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Somali PM optimistic about rebuilding country
www.chinaview.cn 2004-11-13 17:03:41

    NAIROBI, Nov. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Somalia's new Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi has expressed his belief that his nation stands at a historic turning point and there is unprecedented momentum in the fractured country for change, local newspaper The Standard reported on Saturday.

    In the first interview since his appointment last week, Ghedi disclosed that "I see us going to Somalia early next year, most likely January or February. As soon as I name the cabinet, we willbe sending missions to Somalia to assess the situation on the ground and to create the necessary awareness about our political, social and economic goals for the people."

    The new Federal Republic of Somalia would be guided by three principles -- reconciliation, reconstruction and recovery, he said,adding that "if you take responsibility, you must address the challenges."

    According to the prime minister, reconciliation is the first important thing in the Horn of Africa country. He maintains that there are no more warlords or faction leaders, because they were accommodated during peace talks in Kenya, becoming members of parliament in the Republic of Somalia. By following the peace process, they have accepted peace and are now part of the new Somali government.

    The task ahead for the new government is enormous and challenging, but with the reconciliation continuing, the main workinvolves ensuring security, restoring law and order and the beginning of reconstruction activities, he said.

    Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed on Nov. 6 appointed the 51 year-old animal doctor Ali Mohammed Ghedi as the prime ministerand asked him to form the Transitional Federal Government for the country in a period of one month.

    "I pledge to form a government of reconciliation and reconstruction which will restore good relations in the region andI urge my fellow Somalis to support me as I embark on the task of building Somalia," Ghedi said upon his appointment.

    Somalia has been without an effective government since 1991 when the regime of Muhammed Siad Barre was toppled, following which the country plunged into anarchy and factional violence.

    Since the breakdown of the Somali central government, conflict and famine have killed hundreds of thousands of people.

    Under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, which groups Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Somalia, Somali National Reconciliation Conference began in October 2002 in the western Kenyan town of Eldoret, and was moved to Nairobi in February 2003.

    As a result of the conference, Somali Transitional President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was inaugurated on Oct. 14 in Nairobi.

    Ghedi admitted that the task of reconstruction and recovery areenormous after a decade and a half of civil war that has devastated the country and left millions of Somalis dead, maimed or displaced.

    However, the momentum of the Somali people in supporting the new president and his appointment as prime minister is overwhelming and would provide the inspiration needed to chart Somalia's future, he said.

    The pulse of the Somali nation is beginning to beat again. There is optimism in the air as the government sets up structures and institutions in readiness for its return, according to the prime minister.

    "The people of Somalia are still celebrating the birth of a newbaby, the rebirth of Somalia and they are eagerly waiting to welcome their new government home with open arms so that it can provide them with the expected social and economic services," saidGhedi. Enditem

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