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President Mohamed Abduallahi Mohamed.

Somali President Replaces Former Prime Minister Ahead of Elections

President Mohamed Abduallahi Mohamed has announced Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble as Somalia's new prime minister ahead of upcoming elections.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmaajo, has reportedly announced new prime minister, Hussein Roble. This news comes after the ousting of former prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire in July for allegedly not supporting the upcoming elections in 2021. Farmaajo's Deputy Chief of Staff shared the announcement on Twitter hours after reaching a final agreement with regional leaders in Mogadishu.


Roble is reported to have studied civil engineering in Sweden and previously worked for the International Labour Organisation, a United Nations agency. Robel carries dual citizenship with Sweden and Somalia. He fled to Sweden in 1992, shortly after the armed coup that thrust the country into its long civil war. He became a Swedish citizen five years later.

Somalia has been under civil wars since 1991. The country on the horn of Africa has experienced civil unrest due to al-Shabab terrorist attacks, pirates on the coast affecting international trade and government that often often silences the public by shutting down internet access. Since African Union's peacekeeping efforts in 2017, Somali youth diaspora are reportedly returning to the country even though government corruption is reportedly rising and regional power struggles remain.

Farmaajo is expected to run for a second presidential term next year competing against at least two other former presidents. The African Union hopes next year elections will follow democratic process of one man one vote but it is unclear if this will be fulfilled. Somalia's previous elections have consisted of clan delegates choosing members of parliament, who in turn chose a national leader. Roble's appointment has yet to be officiated in parliament.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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