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Author: Georg-Sebastian Holzer

An Unhappy Homecoming in Mogadishu for President Sharif

An Unhappy Homecoming in Mogadishu for President Sharif
On the heels of Somalia’s new President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed’s return to Mogadishu, fighting in Somalia is in the headlines again. Recent clashes in and around the capital are the worst in weeks and have left 81 people dead. Meanwhile, Islamist insurgents are gaining ground outside the capital, after they were forced to withdraw from the towns of Guriel and Dusamareb in central Somalia last month following clashes with rival militias and former warlords. President Sharif is attempting to reach out to the Islamic insurgents, known as the Shabaab. However, the Shabaab’s aggressive response to the new president shows the ...
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The Most Difficult Job in the World?

The Most Difficult Job in the World?
Somali political leadership met last Saturday in Djibouti, where they went ahead and rushed the process of voting in a new president, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. A relatively moderate Islamic cleric, 44-year-old Ahmed studied in Libya and Sudan, and worked as a geography teacher in a Mogadishu secondary school. The leader of a local Islamic sharia court, Ahmed became chairman of the Islamic Courts Union, or ICU, which drove the warlords from Mogadishu and ruled the capital for six months in 2006 before being ousted by Ethiopian troops. Ahmed’s political credibility is derived from this brief period when the ICU was ...
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