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Somalis In Uganda Upbeat About New Parliament, President

Somalis living in Uganda say they are hopeful of Somali’s future ahead of today’s swearing of the country’s first formal parliament in 20 years.
Somalis living in Uganda say they are hopeful of Somali’s future ahead of today’s swearing of the country’s first formal parliament in 20 years.

 

Today marks the end of the mandate of Somalia’s transitional government and with it a new parliament that will elect a new president.

 

Hussein Hassan, the leader of the Somali Community in Kisenyi, says they are following the developments in Mogadishu with keen interest because it has a bearing on their lives and future.

 

Hassan says while many now call Uganda home, many want a stable and prosperous Somalia too.

 

Absallam Sid, an 18-year-old student of Somali origin who was born in Uganda, says he would like to go to Somalia once peace returns.

 

Several young Somalis thronged internet cafes, all run by Somalis in what has come to be known as Little Mogadishu in Kisenyi slum, to get updates on the goings on in Mogadishu.

 

Yusuf Mahad says he, like many other young Somalis, is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the presidential elections.  

 

Outgoing moderate Islamist President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, in power since 2009, is regarded as a favourite.

 

Other strong candidates include Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and former parliamentary speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden.

 

Mahad says he wants the new parliament, composed of representatives from clans, to choose the best candidate for president. He declined to name his preferred choice.

 

Mahad says many of the tens of thousands of Somalis living in Uganda were born here and have never been to their motherland.

 

Most Somalis Uganda Radio Network approached, however, declined to give comments preferring their leaders and the elders to do so.

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