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Somalia lobbies to secure its former foreign minister top IGAD job

Hiiraan Online
Sunday January 7, 2018

Former Foreign Minister Abdusalam Hadliyeh Omer of Somalia addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

Mogadishu (HOL) - The Somali government is lobbying for its former foreign minister, Abdusalaam Hadliye Omer to be the next Executive Secretary of The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) - an eight-country trading block in East Africa.

The current head of the regional bloc, Mahboub Moalim is expected to step down after leading the organization for eight consecutive years since 2009.

Reliable sources at the Somali foreign ministry told Hiiraan Online that Somalia which never lead the bloc is seeking to get secure the Executive Secretary position.

The source said Somalia submitted the name of the country's former Foreign minister for the post as IGAD approaches its session to choose new Executive Secretary.

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"Abdusalam Hadliye Omer who has extraordinary experience has been endorsed by the Somali government to replace Mahboub Moalim as the Executive Secretary of IGAD," said the top ministry official who spoke to Hiiraan Online on condition anonymity.

Somali leaders have written to IGAD leaders urging them to support the candidate from the Horn of Africa nation which is now recovering from more than two decades of civil war, according to the official.

IGAD will choose new Executive Secretary this year as Mahboub's term is coming to an end.

Somalia never held the office of the Executive Secretary which has been rotational turn since the bloc was founded in 1986.

Abdusalam has held several position in Somali government. In 2013 he served as the Governor of the Central Bank of Somalia. He later served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs under Omar Abdirashid from 2015 to March 2017.

The current Executive Secretary, Mahboub is the fifth since the establishment of the organization.

Moalim who is a national of Kenya took over the office from Attalla Bashir of Sudan who had served two terms between 2000 and 2008.

Djibouti which hosts the headquarters of IGAD and South Sudan who joined the bloc after its independence in 2011 are among the countries yet to lead the organization.

Some of the troop-contributing countries including Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda and Ethiopia are Members of IGAD.

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