By: Daniel furnad
This unprecedented move — Somalia had always chosen a new face for President — signals a desire for some stability and experience in the Executive chair.
Mohamud comes from the NGO world, and international partners such as the United Nations, World Bank and IMF are comfortable with him.
The dynamics in the immediate neighborhood may change though.
Mohamed Farmaajo’s regime cozied up to Ethiopia and Eritrea, while picking fights with Djibouti and especially Kenya.
One would expect a more level playing field with Somalia’s neighbors based on Mohamud’s previous track record.
It is also likely that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will be on equal footing as development partners, at least initially.
Ankara is likely to continue as a strong development and security contributor as Reccyp Erdogan’s government’s engagement with Somalia has spanned several administrations already.
Mohamud is likely to make some unifying gestures, as the nation’s election delay has led to much animosity among Somalia’s political leaders.
One would anticipate that some Farmaajo loyalists who have performed well may be retained.
Finance Minister Abdirahman Beileh and Planning Minister Gamal Hassan stand out.
There will be much anticipation over the handling of former spy chief Fahad Yasin and the investigation into the disappearance of agent Ikraan Tahlil.
Many will want Mohamud’s government to quickly reveal the details around thousands of Somali soldiers training in Eritrea as well.
The new leader has a number of challenges he will face immediately.
Al Shabaab’s recent spate of bombings perhaps puts security at the top of the list.
Attracting FDI, creating jobs for youth, finding an energy development partner who can be trusted and fighting corruption should all be priorities.
Writing a new Constitution that provides for universal suffrage elections should not wait too long either.
His experience from his first time heading the government should help him in deciding which areas to task to Cabinet Ministers and which to the legislature.
He is likely to handle security issues and international relations himself.