Somalia News

UPDATE 1-Somali president nominates Mohamed Abdullahi as PM

* Nominee a former Somali diplomat to United States

* Parliament to approve his nomination (Adds details, quotes)

MOGADISHU, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed on Thursday nominated a U.S. educated diplomat to be the next prime minister in the conflict-torn Horn of Africa nation.

“I hereby nominate Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to be the prime minister of Somalia,” Ahmed told reporters in his office in the capital Mogadishu.

Abdullahi will replace Omar Abdirashid Sharmake who resigned last month, paying the price for the government’s failure to beat back an Islamist insurgency that has killed tens of thousands of civilians since the start of 2007. [ID:nLDE68K0GY]

“My first priority is security, and performing my duties for the Somali people,” he told Reuters.

“We have to deal with the insurgents who are behind the meaningless bloodshed in Somalia, either by fighting them or by reconciling with them, if they are ready for that,” he said.

Abdullahi has worked in the Somali embassy in the United States as well as with human rights organisations. The next step in his appointment is parliamentary approval of his nomination. (Additional reporting by Sahra Abdi in Nairobi; Editing by David Clarke)