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Somalia leaders ink new political roadmap
Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government. FILE|AFRICA REVIEW |

Africa Review
Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Authorities in Somalia held a consultative meeting to discuss the formation of a government to replace the transitional body and signed a new political roadmap on Saturday.

The UN sponsored convention took place in Garowe town, the capital of the semiautonomous state of Puntland, 1000 km northeast of Mogadishu.

The meeting brought together Somalia’s President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, as well as representatives of the breakaway Puntland region, the central Galmudug region and the pro-government militia Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa.

One issue that was discussed at length was good governance, with all the parties proposing a parliamentary reform before August 2012.

According to the new roadmap which is also known as Garowe Principle, Somali Parliament will be composed of 225 legislators instead of the current 550.

They will be selected based on clans with bigger ones getting major slots.

When the TFG was established following two years (2002-2004) of reconciliation talks in Kenyan capital Nairobi, 275 individuals were selected as MPs.

However, the number was doubled at the end of another reconciliation conference in Djibouti in 2008.

Bloody insurgency

The next Parliament which will have a Chamber of Elders (an equivalent of Senate) will remain functional for 4 years based on the prospective that the country will reach "one person, one vote" by 2016.

Continuous political wrangles and a bloody insurgency by a radical Islamist group, Al-Shabaab have undermined Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) which has been unable to carry reconcile the country and organise polls.

Meanwhile, Somalia’s minister for Internal Affair and National Security Abdisamad Moalim Mohamoud told Shabelle, an independent broadcaster in Mogadishu, on Sunday that the government was aware of air raids taking place in Southern parts of the country. He was reacting to reports that Kenyan military planes were frequently bombing towns and settlements in Jubaland and Gedo region.

The minister added the TFG was in continuous contacts with its Kenyan counterpart on military operations.

“You must be aware that the Kenyan and Somali governments reached an understanding on information exchange on operations against Al-Shabaab in October,” he said.

Responding to reports that the airstrikes affected innocent civilians, the TFG official said that his government would make the necessary enquiry into incidents involving civilians.


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