|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives|
Premier Opposes Parliament Meeting In Somalia
The 16-month-old legislature formed in neighboring Kenya will meet for the first time in Somalia on February 26, UN envoy to Somalia, Francois Fall, said on Monday after divisions between various arms of the Somali transitional government over its priorities and location.
"I am unhappy with the speaker's decision to appoint Baidoa and the timetable for the meeting," Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi told reporters.
"I suggested that we should go and visit towns and cities in the country to build a bigger consensus for this decision of convening the parliament."
'I am unhappy with the speaker's decision to appoint Baidoa'
Gedi is an appointee of President Abdillahi Yusuf Ahmed, who signed a deal in Yemen on January 5 promising to patch up differences with Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden to allow the transitional government to begin working effectively in Somalia.
Somalia has not had an effective central government since clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991.
Warlords then turned on each other, carving the country of an estimated 8,2 million into a patchwork of fiefdoms.
The transitional government formed after two years of peace talks in Kenya raised some hope, but its members quickly split.
Yusuf and Gedi set up operations in Jowhar, 90km northwest of the capital, Mogadishu, saying the city is unsafe.
Aden went to Mogadishu along with scores of legislators and some Cabinet members. He has repeatedly argued that the rest of the government should move to Mogadishu, recognized under the constitution as the capital, and said that it can be made secure.
Holding the first parliament in Baidoa was seen as a compromise solution between the two factions and one that would break the deadlock over the peace process.
Fall said on Wednesday that the diplomatic community would continue to support the peace process, but would not be drawn in on the parliamentary deal.
"We are here to offer every support to the Somali peace process but we have nothing to do with the scheduling of the internal set up.
"That is for the Somalis to decide."