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Somalia votes for change as it elects a new president


Somalia

Somalia votes for change as it elects a new president

Somalia has voted in political newcomer Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as president in the first free and fair elections for decades.

Mohamud unexpectedly defeated incumbent President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed who has long been criticised for corruption.

Mohamud is a moderate Islamist academic as well as a civic activist and who has worked for several peace and development organisations.

His election is being seen as a new era for a country which has lacked an effective central government since the outbreak of civil war since 1991.

However he faces major challenges from militants, pirates, and local militias all vying for control of parts of Somalia.

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