Political parties are the best way forward for Somalia, says ex-president


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Former Somalia President Sheikh Sharif on Wednesday condemned the DusitD2 terror attack as he called on the international community not to neglect his war-ravaged nation.

Sharif, who spoke to the Star in an interview in Nairobi, said all international resources should be channeled towards wiping out the Somalia-based terror group, al Shabaab.

The militia claimed responsibility for the January 15 terror attack in which 21 people were killed and scores injured.

“There is definitely a lot of ground remaining to extinguish the al Shabaab,” Sharif.

Sharif is known as "The Father of Modern Somalia" because of his achievements when he served as President of the Transitional Federal government between 2009 and 2012.

His administration managed to repulse al Shabaab from the capital Mogadishu and its environs and established government institutions from scratch after decades of war.

He also oversaw the historic new constitutional order and fostered reconciliation largely because of his diplomatic skills.

Somalia's elections are scheduled for August next year August with Sharif expected to go neck-to-neck with the incumbent President Mohamed Farmajo of Tayo party and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who succeeded Sharif in 2012.

Sharif, who has announced his intention to seek the presidency through his ‘Himilo Qaran’ party, said Somalia's government institutions which he pioneered must be strengthened.

”Political parties are the best way forward for Somalia,” he said.

He maintained that the region cannot know peace if al Shabaab continues to roam freely in the streets of Mogadishu.

Sharif said more needs to done to build the capacity of the Somalia forces as the militants still control some parts neighboring Mogadishu.

“We can better deal with the al Shabaab menace if we empower Somali police and the army through capacity building interventions,” Sharif said.

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