MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, while giving his first interview to the international media, has said that Somalia is facing a security challenge and the country has been struggling to provide security for its citizens.
“The most important challenging issue that exists today in Somalia is the security, and we are struggling to provide security for our people,” he said.
When speaking about al-Shabaab- an al-Qaeda-affiliated group- that has been fighting against the Somali government and AU peacekeepers for over a decade, he said his government’s prescription in facing the group is a ‘military solution.’
“The military solution is the number one priority,” he said.
The newly elected president said the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia overstayed the country but has done good for the country and made sacrifices for Somalia.
The president said the mission was supposed to leave Somalia a long time ago.
The president said they are going to end the protection process in the country by Somali national security agencies taking over the security of the country.
“We need to build our security forces. Once we have done that, we will be taking over the security for the next couple of months,” Mohamud said.
The new president also emphasized on the restoration of political stability in the country after more than one and half years of division over the election stalemate.
“Political stability means building the foundation of a democratic state,” he said.
For the first hundred days, President Mohamud said he will bring about reforms that would bring people together and build bridges between the social and political groups in the country.
He said that his government will also commit to reconciling among political elites and the Somali people.
“I will be reopening the political space for the people to get together and discuss among them wherever they want,” he said.
He declared that he is willing to work with his opponents and listen to their views on Somalia’s state-building.