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Washington Post: Prof. Menkhaus on Expectations for Somalia's New President

Prof. Ken Menkhaus
Prof. Ken Menkhaus

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a former prime minister and U.S. dual citizen, won Somalia's long-postponed presidential election Wednesday. Voting took place at the international airport under heavy security. Somali citizens were not able to directly participate in the vote due to threats from extremist group al-Shabab, but Farmajo's victory was widely seen as a reflection of popular support, according to Max Bearak and Kevin Sieff in a Washington Post piece.

Among the difficulties Farmajo will face–the terror group al-Shabab's continued control of large swaths of the countryside.

"People were equally excited for [incumbent president] Mohamud when he was elected," said Kenneth Menkhaus, a professor at Davidson College and an expert on politics in the Horn of Africa. "But as a matter of political survival, he was co-opted by a system that relies on dealmaking and corruption. Progress in Somalia is contingent on reducing that corruption."

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