New Somalia president reiterates call for peace
The newly-elected President of Somalia Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, who arrived in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday, called armed groups in the country to accept peace, Xinhua reported.
"We are happy that we have arrived in the capital of the country after the election. We came to have consultations with the people and to inform them of the new phase we are entering and to call people for peace and call those outside the peace process to accept peace," Ahmed told reporters at the airport in Mogadishu.
Ahmed, a former opposition leader, was elected as president in a parliamentary vote in neighboring Djibouti where the enlarged Somali legislative body held its last session late last month.
He was welcomed by cheering residents who lined along the roads leading to the airport in Mogadishu and waved portraits of the president and placards with pro-president slogans.
Meanwhile, the leader of the newly formed coalition of insurgent groups, known as Hezbul Islam or the Islamic Party, Omar Iman Abu Bakar, said the new Somali leader "is not different from the former Somali President Abdulahi Yusuf Ahmed".
"This government is a result of concessions at the expense of the case. There is no way we will stop fighting since the aims of our struggle has not been released," said the leader of Hezbul Islam.
Abu Bakar, who recently returned from exile abroad, held a press briefing in Mogadishu to coincide with the arrival of the new Somali president in Mogadishu, saying since this government was implementing the secular constitution and not the Islamic law, "it is an apostate government not different from the previous one. "
The new Somali President is expected to name a new prime minister in the coming days and the new premier will in turn form a Government of National Unity.
The entire Somali parliament, which now includes nearly 200 new MPs from the president's opposition faction, The Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS), is currently based in neighboring Djibouti and will relocate to Mogadishu after its base was taken over by radical group of Al-shabaab which also opposes the new Somali government leadership.