he faces ``great challenges,'' Somalia's newly elected president
Abdiqasim Salad Hassan called on Arab nations Sunday to help
him rebuild his war-ravaged country.
today, more than ever, needs the aid of its brothers in these
fateful and tough circumstances,'' Hassan told the biannual
meeting of Arab League foreign ministers.
was inaugurated Aug. 27 as Somalia's first president since
1991. He was chosen by Somalia's Parliament-in-exile in neighboring
Djibouti, host of an ongoing peace process. Hassan said he
faces an uphill battle as he begins work on establishing peace
and security and rebuilding the country's ``collapsed'' infrastructure.
tragedy is great and destruction is total,'' said Hassan.
``The tasks are difficult. Ahead of me and the Parliament
are great challenges.'' Hassan said that instability in Somalia,
one of the Arab League's 22 members, could threaten its neighbors.
descended into chaos and has had no central government since
opposition leaders joined forces to oust dictator Mohamed
Siad Barre in 1991. Factional leaders then fought with each
other, turning the nation of 7 million into battling fiefdoms
ruled by heavily armed militias.
talks began on May 2, bringing together Somali civic and military
leaders at the invitation of Djibouti. Several key faction
leaders in Somalia oppose the process.
new parliament sits in the small town of Arta in Djibouti.
A prime minister and Cabinet have not been named yet.