Ali Jama Ahmed and Abdalla Boss Ahmed were named as foreign and defence minister respectively, the same posts as they had held in the former transitional federal government.
The finance portfolio was split in two, Abdirahman Omar Osman, former protocol chief in President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's office, being named treasury minister alongside Finance Minister Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden. The impoverished Horn of Africa nation has been mired in civil war for 18 years, and the government controls only small pockets of the coastal capital Mogadishu. It is fighting groups including al Shabaab, which the United States says is al Qaeda's proxy in Somalia, with the help of pro-government militia across southern and central regions.
The Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca militia, fighting on the government's side, said it had captured the central town of Wabho, a day after it wrested Bulahawa from the militants. "Our forces have taken control of Wabho after a brief fight with al Shabaab," spokesman Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf said. "We shall continue our operation to oust al Shabaab from the country." One senior government official said Sharmarke seemed to have heeded demands from the president's Abgal sub-clan for more influence. Abgal elders held talks with Sharmarke in the Kenyan capital Nairobi last month. Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omaar was transferred to the water and mineral resources ministry, and Defence Minister Mohamed Abdi Ghandi became transport minister.
The new jobs raised the number of cabinet posts to 39.
Western security agencies say Somalia has become a haven for Islamist militants plotting attacks in the region and beyond. Violence has killed more than 18,000 civilians since the start of 2007 and driven another 1 million from their homes. Mogadishu-based analyst Abdirasaq Adan said the reshuffle would probably change little. "The reshuffle we were waiting for was a kind of a fresh start with new faces, but this one is repeating the same faces," he said.
"It has fallen below the expectations of the tribes, the local people and the international donor community."..more..http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LI625379.htm
"After lengthy discussions between the president and the prime minister, a decision was made to reshuffle the cabinet in order to help improve the situation in the country," Abdulkader Mohamoud Walayo, a spokesman for the transitional federal government (TFG), told AFP.
"I hope this cabinet will be able to perform better and restore stability in Somalia," he added.
Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke reshuffle comes three and half months into a bruising military offensive by a coalition of hardline Islamist insurgents groups aimed at toppling internationally-backed President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
One of the most notable changes was Mohamed Abdi Gandi's removal from the defence ministry. He was replaced Abdallah Boss Ahmed, a politician from the self-proclaimed northern region of Somaliland??..more..