It has been less than two weeks and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is
already faced with violent retaliation. As a follow-up to my article response two weeks ago, Somalia is still under incredible turmoil. Despite the exceptionally corrupt elections held in Mogadishu, President Mohamed, who was largely seen as an underdog, ran on a platform of fighting against corruption. His miraculous election has sparked optimism in the hearts of many Somali citizens who are more than tired of corrupt leaders bleeding their country dry while the citizens bleed from terrorism.
Al-Shabab militant group has been in power of a large portion of Somalia for over a decade. The group arose out of the defunct Union of Islamic Courts back in 2006 and has carried out numerous acts of terrorism since then. Within just a few hours of President Mohamed announcing a new offensive against the al-Shabab, the militant group bombed a busy Sunday market killing at least 30 people.
The group, who set off bombs during the elections, is sending a clear message to Mr. Mohamed about who they think is really in charge. Shabab has accused the new president of being an American “puppet” due to his American citizenship and time working in the United States. Mr. Mohamed was a contracting officer for the New York State Department of Transportation for a number of years.
The president has quickly shown that he is not the corrupt politician Somalia is used to and has immediately acted on his word. This is indeed a turning point for Somalia. Whether it is for better or for worse remains to be unseen. The fate of the nation depends upon their new president’s ability to unite the splintered country and fight back against opposing groups like Shabab.