Mustafa Mohamed Omer a former UN staffer has been elected president of the Somali state in Ethiopia to replace Abdi Illey who was forced to resign last month following a staff-off with the federal government.
Omer, an economist with over 20 years’ experience with the UN, Ethiopian government and other international organisations was unanimously approved by the Ethiopian Somali People’s Democratic Party.
The Council meeting in the capital Addis Ababa Wednesday endorsed Omer to serve as president for the Somali state in the interim pending elections in May 2020.
Illey who has been accused of war crimes and human rights abuses exited office last month amid protests and violence in the eastern Ethiopian state which saw the federal government deploy the military to quell the unrest.
Omer has a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and 23 years working experience with the United Nations, the charity Save the Children and Ethiopia government at technical and managerial levels. He also has vast experience in the humanitarian sector and expertise in Food Security partnership and resource mobilization, and strategic planning.
The 45 years old leader was born in Degahbour in the Somali region of Ethiopia in 1973.
He has worked for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Somalia, United Arab Emirates and has to date been serving advisor to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.
The incoming leader is expected to bridge the divide among various clans in the state and address the question of human rights violations including torture at the infamous Jail Ogaden which has come under international spotlight.
Omer is believed to have the capacity and skill to develop the region and hold together the various clans in the state.