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The ceremony, held in the ministry of internal affairs in Mogadishu, named President of the Shabelle Valley Administration (SVA) Abdifatah Hassan Afrah as the chairman of the TFG provisional chairman in Hiiraan. The ceremony was attended by government ministers, members of parliament (MP), elders and elites. A written statement from TFG President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed was read in the ceremony.
Chairman Abdifatah Hassan Afrah spoke to the local media after his nomination said that he welcomes the nomination by President Sharif and wil immediately begin to carry out his obligations.
“A heavy responsibility was assigned to me, but I will carry out my duties as expected if Allah allows me. I urge the people of Hiiraan to cooperate with the new administration and work for the security of the region,” he said.
There are four deputy chairmen, and Osman Barre Mohamed was named to be the mayor of Beledeweyne.
Mogadishu has in recent days hosted Hiiraan delegates, headed by the new chairman. Meetings were held with senior leaders of the TFG, including the PM, the President and the minister of internal affairs.
The elders of Hiraan region welcome the new administration of the region, while calling on the newly-named members to work to strengthen security in the region.
“I am very happy as the region has an administration for the first time for four years, and as the government should have established before. We hope the new administration will conclude the instability in the region over the past three months,” Sheikh Mohamed Fidow, an Hiiraan elder, said to Somalia Report.
“Security of the region can only come when these merciless militias are totally eradicated from the region. Secondly, we have to work to bring back those people who fled the region due to al-Shabaab,” he added.
On December 31st, Ethiopian troops along with the TFG, Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa and the SVA took control of Beledweyne, which had been under the control of al-Shabaab forces for a long time. Since then, there have been rifts over who will manage the town.
The forming of new administration in Hiraan region comes at a time when the Somali Prime Minister Abdiwali Mohamed Ali stated on Saturday that they are planning to create regional administrations for the areas newly captured from al-Shabaab, and urged Somali people to support the stability of the country and work closely with TFG forces to bolster security in the country and prevent the return of al-Shabaab.
Somalia Report will be publishing a larger report on all of Somalia's ministates this coming week. Stay tuned.