Somalia gets first ever acting female president as Hassan Sheikh visits UAE


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia made history on Sunday after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud left the country for the United Arab Emirates [UAE] for a two-day state visit, just a few days after he was officially sworn in as the leader of the Horn of Africa nation.

Sheikh Mohamud, who defeated Mohamed Abudualli Mohamed better known as Farmajo, served as president from 2012-to 17 before bouncing back in May this year. He is a staunch supporter of federalism which he has backed got decades.

Upon his trip to the UAE, he left history behind given that the country is now under the hands of Sadia Yasin Samatar, the First Deputy Speaker of the House of the People [Lower House] given that Speaker Aden Madobe is not in the country at the moment.

Hassan Sheikh's trip to the Emiratis is his first overseas journey ever since he was elected president about one month ago. Speaker Aden Madobe is also out of the country for official national duties, making his deputy the senior-most leader in perking order.

Historically, Somalia has struggled with the empowerment of the female gender given that the community embraces patriarchy. However, in recent years, the political class and civil society have pushed for the participation of more women in politics.

The acting president of Somalia Sadia Yasin said the women are not given the chance to take up senior positions and raping girls are "same abuses" that had to be addressed. Her remarks come On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

President Hassan Sheikh left the country upon the invitation of Mohamed Bin Zayed. The Villa Somalia said the leaders will discuss travels, trade and cooperation between the two countries. This is his first overseas visit since he was re-elected on May 15.

Just after the elections, UAE had to donate $9.6 million to Somalia to help in the eradication of hunger following a severe drought, just days after Somalia had returned the money which was seized three years ago. The money was meant to cushion Somali National Army but Farmajo decided to freeze them.

During Farmajo's regime, UAE struggled to have a smooth relationship with Somalia but the situation has dramatically changed ever since Sheikh Mohamud took over. Farmajo worked closely with Qatar, a country which has also strained in terms of relationship with the UAE.


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