Reconciliation, security new premier priorities

The main priority of the newly appointed prime minister of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, Ali Muhammad Gedi, will be reconciliation and security, his director of communication, told IRIN on Tuesday.

Hussein Jabiri said that the prime minster's "first priority will be national reconciliation".

He said: "He [the prime minister] has been busy meeting various groups to deepen the reconciliation. Everything else depends on that."

Jabiri said that another pressing issue for the new government will be security. "Security is another priority where the prime minister is devoting time and energy as he puts his government together."

According to Jabiri, the prime minister is determined to return to Somalia, particularly the capital, Mogadishu.

"He [PM] has already announced that as soon as a cabinet is formed a committee consisting of ministers, members of parliament and elders will be dispatched to Mogadishu," he said. "The committee's task will be "to pave the way the return and the relocation of the government to Somalia."

Jabiri told IRIN that a cabinet "will most likely be in place by end of this week or early next week". According to the interim charter [constitution], the prime minister must name his cabinet within 30 days of his appointment. The prime minister was appointed on 3 November and should have a cabinet in place by 3 December.

Gedi was appointed by President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who was himself elected on 10 October by members of the transitional federal parliament.

The election of the president was widely seen as the culmination of a two-year reconciliation conference in Kenya that brought together representatives from Somalia's various clans and factions.

The regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) sponsored the peace talks aimed at ending anarchy and violence in Somalia, which has had no effective government since the overthrow in 1991 of the regime of Muhammad Siyad Barre.