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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.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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