Somalia's new president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed speaks during the inauguration ceremony in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, Feb. 22, 2017. Somalia's new president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, widely known as Farmajo, was inaugurated on Wednesday at a colorful ceremony attended by regional leaders who pledged support for the new government. (Xinhua/Faisal Isse)
MOGADISHU, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Somalia's new president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, widely known as Farmajo, was inaugurated on Wednesday at a colorful ceremony attended by regional leaders who pledged support for the new government.
African leaders from Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia attended the ceremony, which was held at the fortified Mogadishu International Airport.
Speaking after being inaugurated as the ninth president of Somalia, Farmajo pledged to restore dignity to the Horn of Africa nation by tackling security and economic challenges.
Farmajo, who was elected on Feb. 8 and vowed to make security his top priority, also said his government would try to deal mainly with drought crisis, confidence building and fixing economic challenges.
"There have been conflicts and droughts for the last 26 years, so it will take another 20 years to fix this country," he said and appealed for support from the international community.
Farmajo's election is seen as a step forward toward democracy for Somalia, which has not had an effective central government since the collapse of Siad Barre's military regime in 1991 that led to civil war and decades of anarchy.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government was committed to working with Somalia's new administration in search for sustainable peace.
"I assure you of Kenya support, my government will stay steadfast in search for sustainable peace in Somalia," said Kenyatta whose country hosted a protracted negotiations that culminated in the formation of transitional government of Somalia in 2004.
"You assume office at a time of great expectations; this is both here and in the diaspora," he told the new Somalia leader, lauding the peaceful transfer of power.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the Somalia's presidential election was a good example for conflict-riddled countries in Africa and congratulated Farmajo on his success over the election.
"We stand side by side with Somalia on its journey to stand with its feet," said Desalegn.
The ceremony took place amid tight security in Mogadishu as security forces were deployed to the venue and the rest of the capital including all main roads to prevent disruption by Al-Shabaab.