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INTEGRATION

‘Integration a fiasco’: Gothenburg official

Gothenburg municipal officials described Sweden's integration policy as a "fiasco" to the US embassy, according to a document published by WikiLeaks.

'Integration a fiasco': Gothenburg official

Prior to a 2008 visit to Gothenburg by officials from the US embassy in Stockholm, Bill Werngren, head of the city secretariat’s information group and now Gothenburg’s election director and the husband of municipal executive board chairwoman Anneli Hulten, made contact with the embassy, according to newspaper Göteborgs-Tidningen (GT) on Friday.

He sent the embassy a series of articles from newspaper Göteborgs-Posten (GP) published in 2007 about the integration challenges in and isolation experienced by the city’s Somali community.

He wrote in a memo that the situation in Gothenburg reminded him of the phrase, “Houston, we have a problem.”

He also described the articles as “interesting and quite horrible reading” and welcomed the visit as a vehicle for engaging community leaders in dialogue.

Moderate Party member Abdirisak Waberi, who was elected to the Riksdag in September 2010, was invited to meetings with US embassy staff in his role as the principal of the Römosse school, a publicly funded, privately managed free school in the Gothenburg neighbourhood of Gårdsten.

According to the cable, Waberi was pessimistic about the situation for fellow Somali-Swedes.

“Those who have immigrated to Sweden ‘will never feel like Swedes’ which created a sense of alienation,” reads the report of the meeting.

The US Embassy later sent a report to Washington about its conclusions regarding its visit to Gothenburg.

“The discontent immigrant community leaders expressed at the discrimination faced by Muslim job seekers was matched by the frustration of city officials who, in the words of one official, feel that 30 years of programmes aimed at integrating Muslim immigrants ‘have not worked,'” the leaked cable stated.

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SOMALIA

Swedish citizen appointed next prime minister of Somalia

A Swedish-Somali engineer has been named the new prime minister of Somalia after his predecessor was ousted by a no-confidence vote.

Swedish citizen appointed next prime minister of Somalia
Mohamed Hussein Roble, centre, came to Sweden in 1992 and got his citizenship five years later. Photo: Somali Presidents' Office
Mohamed Hussein Roble came to Sweden in 1992, shortly after the armed coup that thrust the country into its long civil war. He became a Swedish citizen five years later. 
 
In 2000, he gained his masters in Environmental Technology and Sustainable Infrastructure from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. 
 
Most recently, he has been working for the International Labour Organisation in Nairobi, Kenya. 
 
 
Roble's appointment was announced by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Friday, with Abdinur Mohamed, his deputy chief of staff tweeting out a picture of the new prime minister on Friday. 
The appointment still needs to be confirmed by a vote of country's parliament. 
 
In a statement, President Farmajo called on Roble to “immediately form a capable government that will lead the country to elections and make significant efforts to consolidate security gains, rebuild the armed forces, develop infrastructure, expand basic services.” 
 
 
 
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