Somali prime minister names cabinet of 60 people

Somalia’s newly appointed prime minister named a giant cabinet of 60 people, as he warned of the “huge task” ahead to bring peace to the war-torn nation.

Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, endorsed by parliament last month after the president fell out with the previous premier amid bitter infighting, released his choice of names for lawmakers to approve.

The 60 members include 26 ministers, 25 deputies and nine state ministers, an increase of five posts from the previous cabinet. Many of those named were in the previous cabinet.

“There is a huge task ahead….we will put our efforts into bringing peace among Somalis,” Sharmarke told reporters.

Somalia is due to vote on a new constitution next year ahead of elections in 2016, but Al-Qaeda affiliated Shebab fighters remain a major threat and stage regular attacks.

The Somali government, which took power in August 2012, was the first to be given global recognition since the collapse of Siad Barre’s hardline regime in 1991.

Billions in foreign aid has been poured in, with the government initially hailed as offering the best chance for peace in a generation.

But, like its predecessors, it has since become mired in political in-fighting and corruption.

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