new President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan said a main priority of his future government
would be to disarm militias and offer their members vocational training.
will not kill the boys (militiamen), but give them vocational training in exchange
for weapons to achieve peace," said Salat, in a his first address to Somalia's
parliament based in Arta, in neighboring Djibouti.
transitional parliament was formed in Arta after reconciliation talks sponsored
by Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh. Somali delegates attending the talks
were mostly drawn from the diaspora and civil society.
has lacked a central government since the 1991 overthrow of Mohamed Siad Barre.
Since then, the lawless nation has been ruled by rival warlords who have rejected
the newly-formed parliament, the president, and have vowed to fight against the
imposition of a future government.
who was sworn in on Sunday, pledged loyalty to the Somali nation, describing himself
as the president of all Somalis, including those who did not approve his nomination.
The new president also said his government would go to New York to claim a seat
at the United Nations.
said his administration already had the support of the United Nations, the European
Union, along with French and Italian governments. "It would, however, be awful
to go overseas without visiting Somalia even for two single days," Salat said.
Salat's speech coincided with an Islamic court warning in south Mogadishu that
it would use force against opponents of the new government.
whose government is expected to rely on support from Islamic courts active in
the south, pledged: "My government is the government for the poor, women and the
weak. I would give equal justice to all Somalis." Raising the question of relations
with the Arab world, Salat said he would be attending the next Arab League meeting.
"I would go to
the Arab League with the founding father of Somalia, Djibouti President Ismail
Omar Guelleh," he said.
Somalia's reconciliation talks, which started on May 2, was initiated and hosted
by Guelleh, but its outcome has been rejected by major warlords who hold sway
in Mogadishu, and by the breakaway Republic of Somaliland in the northwest and
the regional state of Puntland in the northeast. Salat, 58, is a former deputy
prime minster and interior minster in the Siad Barre regime.