Somalia Elects New PresidentFebruary 15, 2017 in Somalia
On 8 February, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was elected Somali’s new president, in the second presidential election to take place in the Horn of Africa nation since 1991. The election was held amidst tight security due to ongoing security threats by al-Shabaab.
Below is a timeline of developments over the past 25 years in the war-torn country:
President Barre deposed, chaos ensues
- In January 1991, President Mohamed Siad Barre, who had been in power since 1969, is deposed by rebels and flees the country. The rebel alliance soon falls apart and clan-based fighting breaks out later that year.
- From December 1992 to 1995, the international community intervenes with 38,000 troops in a bid to end a major famine and restore peace. The United Nations’ mission however ends in failure with the deaths of eighteen American soldiers.
New Government Barred from Mogadishu
- In 2005, a new government formed the previous year after protracted talks in neighbouring Kenya enters the country, however it cannot reach the capital, Mogadishu, which is under the control of warlords. The authorities opt to set up their headquarters in Baidoa, which is located west of the capital.
- In 2006, the Islamic Court movements, which is accused by the United States of harbouring al-Qaeda extremists, captures Mogadishu after heavy fighting.
Al-Shabaab Emerges and Joins al-Qaeda
- In December 2006, Ethiopia, with Washington’s support, invades Somalia. Al-Shabaab, the Islamic Courts’ armed wing, emerges to stage a bloody insurgency in the capital and in the southern region of the country.
- In 2007, an African Union (AU) force is deployed in Mogadishu to back up a transitional federal government, which comes to the capital.
- Ethiopia withdrawals from Somalia in 2009, however just days later, al-Shabaab seizes control of Baidoa while the United Nations holds talks in Djibouti with the entire Somali parliament. Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed becomes president of a transitional administration.
- In 2010, al-Shabaab proclaims its allegiance to al-Qaeda and claims responsibility for a double attack, which kills 76 people in Kampala. The attack is in retaliation for Uganda’s participation in the AU force in Somalia.
- Au troop drive al-Shabaab militants out of the capital city in August 2011 however the militants continue to control rural areas and launched a number of attacks in the capital city.
- In October 2011, an al-Shabaab suicide bombing targeting a ministry in Mogadishu kills 82 people. Later that month, Kenyan troops cross the border into southern Somali, while Ethiopian forces arrive in November.
- Al-Shabaab targets the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on 21 September 2013, where at lest 67 people are killed and around twenty go missing. The group states that the attack is in retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.
- In April 2015, another al-Shabaab attack kills 148 people at the university in Garissa, eastern Kenya. Kenya continues to see a number of attacks, particularly in the border regions with Somalia.
Parliamentary and Presidential Elections
- A new Somali parliament is sworn in on 20 August 2012 following the adoption of a provisional constitution.
- The new parliament, which is comprised of deputies nominated by 135 clan elders, elects Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as president on 10 September. It is the first presidential election to take place in Somalia since Barre was deposed in 1991.
- From October to December 2016, around 14,000 clan-based delegate electors – from a total population of 12 million – vote in a second parliamentary election.
- On 27 December 2016, a new batch of 275 Somali deputies take the oat of office.
- On 8 February 2017, former premier Farmajo is elected president after incumbent Mohamud admits defeat in a second round of voting by lawmakers.