VIDEO: Al-Shabaab not the biggest challenge: Somali presidential candidate

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Somali presidential candidate Fadumo Dayib said the biggest challenges facing the country are “corruption” and “incompetency” rather than the militant group Al-Shabaab.

She made the remarks in an exclusive interview with China Central Television (CCTV) in the Somali capital Mogadishu last month.

“I am of the opinion that the biggest trap that is facing Somalia is corruption, it’s incompetency, and not really Al-Shabaab. I believe dialogue to be the way forward, I believe peace and reconciliation to be the corner stones in the foundation to a prosperous and peaceful Somalia. Unless we do that, we will never ever attain peace,” Dayib said.

The 44-year-old candidate warned that Al-Shabaab “will continue to recruit because they know the drivers to the conflict,” and called upon politicians to enter into dialogue with the militants, as well as “addressing the social-economic disparities” in order to promote peace talks in the future.

Dayib raised three pre-conditions for staging peace talks for the militant group, urging them to “stop killing Somalis”, “disarm” and “renounce their relation with international terrorism”.

She also replied to concerns over her uniqueness as a female candidate.

“Although we speak about Somalia being a male-dominated society, actually a lot of female politicians globally, wherever they are, are facing the same challenges – it’s a global challenge. Take [U.S presidential candidate Hilary Clinton] for example, she is not running in Somalia, and she is facing massive challenges compared to many other female candidates. There are actually a couple of them in addition to myself,” Dayib said.


She voiced her confidence in Somalia to embrace a new change in leadership, saying the country needs a president that could also be “female”, “youthful”, “educated”, and “one that also ushers in hope and a new way of doing things in Somalia.”

“Had we had democratic elections this year, I think my chances would have been really, really high. But nonetheless, I still think that I stand a good chance despite all the challenges,” Dayib added.

The country’s presidential elections are set to take place at the end of November. Dayib is among eighteen candidates vying for the presidency.

She also spoke to eNCA’s Joanne Joseph via Skype, saying the lives of 12 million Somalis are top of her agenda. — Additional reporting: eNCA

* Watch the full interview in the video above.

Source –  ENCA