Former Somalia President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has declared that he will once again offer himself for the country’s top seat.
Sheikh Sharif, who served as the Head of State from 2009-2011, said the inability of the current leadership to restore peace and security in the Horn of Africa country had compelled him to make a come-back to politics.
Speaking during an interview with The Standard yesterday, the ex-president said during his tenure, he successfully waged a war against Al Shabaab, noting that since he left office, members of the extremist group had made a resurgence.
“When I was president, we managed to restore security in Somalia. We brought back peace and the country was united. Sadly, all the gains we made have been eroded at the moment,” said Sharif.
Sheikh Sharif who spoke a week after the 14 Riverside Drive terror attack, explained that if he is elected to office, he will lobby the international community to help strengthen the capacity of his country’s security forces to make the fight against the terror group successful.
Members of the militia still control large parts of rural Southern and Central Somalia.
The group, which claimed responsibility for the last Tuesday’s deadly attack in Nairobi, has in the past also carried out high-profile attacks in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country.
Next year, the Horn of Africa nation that has been ravished by internal conflict for years will conduct historic elections. This will be the first time the country will hold a one-person-one-vote polls, since the country experienced a military coup in 1969.
The country’s geo-strategic importance and long instability contribute to the high stakes of the upcoming elections.
Yesterday, Sharif revealed he had formed a political party, Himilo Qaran (National Vision) that he will use to run for the top seat.
“I confirm that I will be the presidential flag-bearer of Himilo Qaran in the 2020 elections. I feel the current leadership has given the Somali people a raw deal. I want to unite Somalia and make it stronger,” he said.
Under his leadership, the Transitional Federal Government succeeded in driving out Al Shabaab from Mogadishu and surrounding areas with the help of AU forces.