Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has called on Somalis to unite and avoid tribalism, which previous fueled the civil war in the horn of Africa country.
Addressing hundreds of Somalis living in South Africa on Sunday night, Mohamed said Somalis were fortunate because of their homogeneous nature, and should use this to unite.
“We speak one language, have one religion (Islam) and have a similar facial look. But we are divided along tribes,” He said in a speech delivered in Somali language.
The president urged fellow countrymen to follow other nations that are not homogeneous but have found reason to unite and live peacefully.
Mohamed also urged Somalis in the Diaspora to invest and rebuild their country which has faced two decades of conflict.
He said his government, with the help of citizens, has started rebuilding destroyed historical and national sites such as the national theatre.
Mohamed, a dual U.S.-Somali citizen, previously served as Prime Minister before he was elected by parliament as president in 2017.
Amir Sheikh, chairman of the Somali Community Board which organized the event, thanked the president for honoring their invitation.
Somali nationals in South Africa were also given a platform to explain some of the challenges they face in their host country to the president so he could address these issues whenever he engages with his South African counterparts.