In the view of some what is underway in Sudan, in the South, in Darfur, in Nubia
and other parts is more significant than the ending of apartheid in Southern Africa.
Its impact will depend on how effectively we Africans understand the process and implement
the lessons to be learnt to our advantage.
The recent election of Gadaffi as Chair of the AU, with all the mischief he has and continues to do against our interests for the benefit of the Arabs, shows how little we have learnt from Sudan, Mauritania and the Borderlands.
It is also the Americans who are leading in seeking to cover up the implications of Arab expansion in the Borderlands. People like Farrakan are heading this US initiative.
It has been in part my responsibility, after my time in Juba, to spread the word. The problem
is that Africans are so ignorant about where their real interests lie
Africa In Focus: New Somali President Vows to End 18-year Conflict
"Moderate Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed was sworn in after winning Somalia’s president on Saturday and vowed to end conflict in the Horn of Africa nation, make peace with neighbours and rule with honesty and justice.
"We will govern the Somali people with honesty and justice, and give them back their rights," he said.
Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was elected as Somalia's president on January 31, leaving him in charge of a fragile peace process aimed at ending 18 years of civil conflict.
Analysts say Ahmed has a real chance of reuniting Somalis, given his Islamist roots, the backing of parliament and his acceptability to the West. But reconciling 10 million people and stopping 18 years of bloodshed remain a daunting task.
Ahmed headed the sharia courts movement that brought some stability to Mogadishu and most of south Somalia in 2006, despite being accused in the West of Islamist extremism, before Ethiopian troops invaded and drove it out.
"The conflict in Somalia will be resolved. We are urging our brothers in armed conflict to join us in peace-building,“ he told parliament. "We will govern the Somali people with honesty and justice, and give them back their rights.“
Ahmed was sworn in at a hotel in Djibouti on Saturday morning after an election by legislators that stretched into the small hours.
His immediate task is to try to put together a unity government -- the 15th such attempt since Somalia descended into anarchy with the overthrow of the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
His election was held in Djibouti due to the instability at home. But the legislators hope they have elected a man able to isolate or even possibly bring on board hardline insurgents, even if violence may spike in the short term.
Despite the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops this week, and the U.N.-brokered Djibouti peace process intended to reconcile the government and opposition, hardline Islamist insurgents led by al Shabaab have vowed to fight on.
Al Shabaab, which is on Washington’s list of foreign terrorist groups, said just before the vote that it would start a new campaign of hit-and-run attacks on the government -- whoever came to power.
The group’s spokesman, Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Mansoor, urged jihadists to make ready in comments after prayers in Baidoa, the former seat of parliament that al Shabaab overran this week.
"Sheikh Sharif and the election in Djibouti is not something to be supported,“ Sheikh Hassan Yacqub, al Shabaab spokesman in the southern city of Kismayu, told Reuters on Saturday.
"MISINTERPRETATION OF ISLAM"
Ahmed said those fighting to impose a strict version of Islamic law throughout the country had misinterpreted the religion and he would try to correct that.
He also said his government would not tolerate any abuse of power or corruption and treat neighbours with respect.
U.N. envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, hailed Saturday’s vote and called for a spirit of unity.
The Arab League also sent congratulations and urged "comprehensive Somali reconciliation.“
Somalia expert John Prendergast, co-chairman of the U.S.-based advocacy group the Enough Project, cautioned that the election was just a "tiny step“ towards peace.
"What lies ahead in a best-case scenario is a painfully slow political process,“ he said.
"The tent that Sheikh Sharif will preside over will have to be wide and deep, and consciously include genuine representatives of all clans, ideologies and regions ... (or) Somalia will continue to bleed.“
In the past two years, more than 17,400 civilians and an unknown number of combatants have died during an Islamist-led insurgency against the government and its Ethiopian allies.
A third of the population relies on food aid.
Under Somalia’s complicated clan system, Ahmed, a Hawiye, will now seek to appoint a Darod prime minister to ensure representation of the major groups.
Many Somalis doubted that Ahmed’s election would bring peace, saying the armed threat from hardliners remained, and an election brokered abroad may lack legitimacy in the eyes of some.
"Sheikh Sharif will face a security challenge from al Shabaab. These chaotic Islamists will take no heed of his election. He will never tackle Somalia’s crisis unless he is fully supported by the international community,“ said a Mogadishu local elder, Abdiqadir Farah".