In a field of dozens of candidates, President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed is confident of re-election later this month. It’s a sign that while in many ways everything is changing for Somalia, in other ways nothing is. “I believe I am a strong candidate and I am very confident I will win,” the transitional leader said in an interview in Mogadishu. “We are coming to the end of the transition and beginning the process of full government for the first time in 20 years.” In Mogadishu’s corridors of power, all the talk is of “ending the transition.” The political jostling is frenetic. But widely reported corruption is dashing the hopes of many here.
Overlapping wars ripped Somalia apart for more than two decades, since the collapse of the last stable government in 1991. They’ve now been replaced by a fragile peace that has held in the capital for most of the last year. It has allowed businesses to flourish and Somalis to resurrect their daily lives without the constant fear of violent death. While terror attacks are still frequent in Mogadishu and Al Shabaab militants, who are affiliated with Al Qaeda, still control much of the countryside, a feeling of hope is ever-present on the capital’s streets.
Full Article: Somalia’s brave new world | GlobalPost.