Today in Mogadishu the Somali Federal Parliament confirmed the appointment of Hassan Ali Khaire to the office of prime minister. 231 members of parliament voted to approve his appointment, a major confidence booster for newly elected Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.
Somali parliament today approved PM Hassan Ali Kheyre, the entire attended members of 231 voted for Yay.
— Sagal Bihi (@SagalBihi) March 1, 2017
Khaire is a dual Somali-Norwegian citizen with experience in humanitarian work and the oil industry. Last year he was investigated by the U.N for possible illicit contact with the outlawed terror organization Al-Shabaab after a tip-off, but the investigation found no evidence of no wrongdoing. Khaire’s appointment received praise from both Somalis and non-Somalis who have worked with him, or know him. Many praised him for his integrity and work ethic.
— Fadumo Dayib (@fqdayib) February 23, 2017
However, some were also very concerned with the appointment, pointing out the new prime minister’s previous work with Soma Oil and Gas, a company that has been accused of corruption. After his appointment, he resigned from the company and divested his shares.
Khaire is Murusade, a relatively marginalized sub-clan of the larger Hawyie clan-family, which is one of the dominant clan families in South-Central Somalia. The Abgaal and Habar Gidir, two fellow Hawyie sub-clans, have traditionally dominated Hawiye politics and have assumed the clan family’s seats in national political offices. The appointment of Khaire is, therefore, a deviation from the norm and was something of a surprise, although not a complete one as the Murusade supported Farmaajo‘s campaign and his wife hails from the clan.
Because of their relatively marginalized political status, many Murusade individuals have joined Al-Shabaab. Some analysts suspect this appointment may peel away supporters from the group.