CAPE TOWN (Sh.M.Network)—South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday reaffirmed his country’s desire to enhance its relation with Somalia under the leadership of newly-elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud.
“The Government of the Republic of South Africa wishes to reaffirm its desire to further enhance our relations with the Government of the Republic of Somalia,” Zuma said, “We look forward to continuing a fruitful collaboration and interaction between our two countries at various levels.”
He said South Africa stands with the people of Somalia and is ready to work and share experiences with Somalia as they proceed with their project of nation-building, reconciliation, reconstruction and economic development.
Congratulating Somalia for its “successful and peaceful presidential elections,” Zuma said: “This is new dawn for Somalia as it ushers in a new age of governance which must lead to stability and development for the benefit of the people of Somalia.”
Zuma commended the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for ensuring that the elections take place in a secured atmosphere. “We take this opportunity to encourage and express our best wishes to the people of Somalia for the next task of forming a government that will help take the country forward,” he said.
In presidential elections held earlier this week, Mohamoud defeated incumbent Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to become Somalia’s new president.
The UN hailed the election as a sign of improving security in the war-torn country. It was the first time that a new leader has been elected since the 1991 overthrow of President Siad Barre.