Global media is reporting that international leaders are calling the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, described as tied to the Somali Muslim Brotherhood, as “a great step forward” for Somalia. According to a BBC report:
International leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, have hailed the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as a ‘great step forward’ for Somalia. Mr Cameron congratulated Mr Mohamud on his victory and welcomed the role played by his predecessor, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. However, Islamist militants said the election was organised by the ‘enemies of Somalia’. Somalia has suffered 20 years of war. Accepting his defeat, former President Ahmed said it was the first fair election in Mogadishu for 42 years – since Mohamed Siad Barre took over in 1969. ‘Nefarious geopolitical agenda’ President Mohamud, a moderate Islamist academic, was sworn in immediately after it was announced that he had beaten Mr Ahmed by 190 to 79 votes in a ballot of newly elected MPs. Continue reading the main story Who is Hassan Sheikh Mohamud? Born in central Hiran region in 1955 From the major Hawiye clan Married, speaks Somali and English Linked to al-Islah, Somalia’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood Studied engineering at the Somali National University and became a lecturer in 1981 Five years later went to India to study, obtaining an MBA from Bhopal University Stayed in Somalia during the civil war, working as a consultant with non-governmental groups, UN bodies and on several peace initiatives Helped set up the Simad University in 1999, and was its dean for 10 years Founded his Peace and Development Party (PDP) in 2011 Elected an MP in August 2012 Profile: President Mohamud Can President Mohamud tame Somalia? ‘I promise that Somalia reclaims its place in the world community as of today – and to do that, we must ensure that we move forward,’ he said in his victory speech.
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The BBC report goes on to say that Mohamud “has links to al-Islah, Somalia’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.” A 2007 article on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website confirms that Al-Islah is, in fact, the Somali branch of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. A Somali web portal recently described Al-Islah as follows:
Al-Islah, the internationally-recognized MB outfit, can best be described as a small organization with an elitist bent. Many of the rank- and- file members are educated and have no commonality with the average Guled or Maryam. Whereas the Egyptian MB shares the same elitist quality with its brethren in Somalia, it was nevertheless able to articulate its political and social agendas with the Egyptian masses. Al-Islah, on the other hand, has generally steered of being part of Somalia’s political process because it lacked vision, grass-roots support among the masses, and a willingness to cooperate with other–and in some cases bigger– Islamic movements in the country. For the last two decades, al-Islah has distinguished itself by telling the international community that it is not Salafi, and hence militant. The leadership has failed to define its movement other than reciting that it is not Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI) or al-Shabab.
A post from February 2009 discussed the Muslim Brotherhood ties of the previous Somali President.
For more info on Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, go here.
For a self-description of Islah, go here.