(Formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

New cabinet named

The prime minister of the Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia, Hasan Abshir Farah, has named the members of his cabinet.

The 31-member cabinet included a former member of the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC), and a woman, a TNG senior official told IRIN.

Abshir made his announcement at the presidential palace in the capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday evening, the new information minister, Abdirahman Adan Ibrahim Ibbi, said. The cabinet, which was sworn in before President Abdiqassim Salad Hassan, would have to win a vote of confidence in the Transitional National Assembly (TNA), he said.

"The government will soon have to present its political and economic programme for the country to the parliament - before the vote," a source close to government told IRIN on Monday. The government was likely to win the vote of confidence, he predicted.

Abshir postponed the naming of his cabinet for several months in order to give the reconciliation process a boost by sending a message to the TNG's opponents that anyone willing to join the government would be accommodated, said the source. The line-up now includes Husayn Muhammad Usman Jimbir, a former senior member of the opposition SRRC.

Also included in the cabinet was Dr Saynab Aways Husayn, as the minister of women's and family affairs, Ibbi told IRIN. This was the first such appointment in Somalia, Somali political observers told IRIN. "Women had been appointed to minor cabinet positions before, but not to a fully fledged cabinet post," one of them said.

Missing from the list, however, are members of factions who signed a peace deal with the TNG in December last year in Nakuru, Kenya. They had been excluded because they requested that their names be withheld until a parliamentary committee set up to look into ways of increasing the number of parliamentary seats so as to accommodate them released its recommendations, said Ibbi.
"They basically want to know how many parliamentary seats they will be allocated before their names are announced," he said.

"Their cabinet posts will be filled when they are ready to take them up," he added. Other sources told IRIN that some of the factions were also "engaged in an internal reconciliation process" and wanted more time to resolve their differences.

Hasan Abshir was named prime minister on 12 November to replace the former premier, Ali Khalif Galayr who was voted out of office by the TNA in a vote of no-confidence in late October. The newly appointed prime minister told IRIN a day after his appointment that his first priority would be national reconciliation. "We must complete the reconciliation process as we promised," he said at the time. "Everything else depends on that."

According to Ibbi, this cabinet is all-inclusive, "with clan equilibrium". "I am confident that we will learn from past mistakes and forge ahead in giving this country good government," he said.

The following is the list of cabinet members.

1. Mahmud Umar Farah Indhabur, Justice and Religious Affairs
2. Dahir Shaykh Muhammad, Internal Affairs and Rural Development
3. Ambassador Yusuf Hasan Ibrahim, alias Yusuf Deq, Foreign Affairs
4. General Abdiwahhab Muhammad Husayn, Defence
5. Husayn Mahmud Shaykh Husayn, Finance
6. Dr Husayn Elabe Fahiye, International Cooperation
7. Dr Sayyid Ahmad Shaykh Dahir, Livestock and Animal Husbandry
8. Dr Yusuf Ma'alin Amin Badiyow, Industry
9. Dr Ahmad Muhammad Handulle, Minerals and Water resources
10. Dr Muhammad Warsame Ali, Public Works
11. Dr Abdiguled Muhammad , Air and Land Transport
12. Dr Abdiweli Jama Warsame, Ports and Shipping 1
13. Engineer Abdi'aziz Shaykh Muqtar, Science and Technology
14. Professor Abdirahman Adan Ibrahim Ibbi, Information
15. Dr Muhammad Nurani Bakar, Health
16. Dr Husayn Muhammad Usman Jimbir, Education
17. Dr Zakariya Mahmud Haji Abdi, Higher Education
18. Hon Abdullahi Muhammad Shirwa, Labour
19. Dr Abdi'aziz Muqtar Qaridi, Sports and Youth Affairs
20. Dr Muhammad Nur Jiley, Local government
21. Hasan Farah Hujale, Tourism and Wildlife
22. Hon Umar Hashi Adan, Monetary Affairs
23. Dr Muhammad Meydane Burale, Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution
24. Dr Ali Abdirahman Hirsi, Constitution and Federalism
25. Dr Abubakr Abdi Usman, Environment
26. Dr Saynab Aways Husayn, Women's and Family Affairs
27. Ali Mursal Muhammad, Culture and Heritage
28. Dr Abdiqadir Aw-Yusuf Muhammad, Reconstruction and Resettlement
29. Dr Abdiqadir Muhammad Abdulle Madahe, Disabled and Rehabilitation
30. Dr Sa'id Warsame Abokor, Energy
31. Ahmad Abdullahi Jama, Diaspora and Refugee Affairs

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