Somalia to get first female foreign minister

Reuters

Somalia is to get its first female foreign minister in a cabinet formed by new Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon. Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan is among 10 politicians joining a cabinet that has been significantly reduced in size.

She described her inclusion as “historic” for both the country and Somali women in particular.

However, correspondents say Mr Shirdon may struggle to get his choices through parliament because some clans feel they have not been properly represented.

Mr Shirdon, an ex-businessman, took office last month after his nomination – by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud – was approved by MPs.

The election of Mr Mohamud in September was considered the first fair poll in the capital Mogadishu for 42 years.

They take on a country that has been without effective central authority for more than 20 years while clan-based warlords, Islamist militants and Somalia’s neighbours all battled for control following the 1991 overthrow of President Siad Barre.

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