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Somali Parliamentarians Seek to Remove Prime Minister Over Graft Allegations


Somalia's Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein is coming under intense pressure after some parliamentarians presented a motion seeking to remove him from his position. The parliamentarians accused Hussein of embezzlement and mismanagement of public funds, as well as undermining the country's security. They also accused Prime Minister of lacking a vision to develop the country. Some political analysts say the removal of Prime Minister Hussein would seriously jeopardize the recently signed Djibouti Agreement, which seeks to bring peace and stability to Somalia.

Ambassador Nicolah Bwakira is the Africa Union's special representative to Somalia. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from Kenya's capital, Nairobi that the accusations against Prime Minister Hussein are preposterous.

"First of all I don't think those graft allegations are founded. Secondly, I know for having been talking to both the president of the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) and the Prime Minister Nur Hassan and they are in very serious talks about the difference of interpretation about the constitution. I have also been talking to the speaker of the parliament whom I have met last week on Friday. I think they are resolving their differences in a very reasonable way to support the Djibouti Agreement," Bwakira pointed out.

He said if the motion in parliament to remove the prime minister succeeds, the recently signed Djibouti Agreement would be significantly affected.

"I would agree that if he (Nur Hassan) was removed the Djibouti agreement will be in trouble indeed. But Somali political leaders are very wise leaders. The speaker of the parliament whom I met Friday last week has told me he was in touch with the deputy speaker and the bureau of the parliament and I don't expect the (removal of the prime minister) to happen. Of course in any parliament, it is free to vote a motion of no confidence, but if it happens it will be done after considering the highest interest of Somalia. And the highest interest of Somalia at this moment is the implementation of the Djibouti Agreement. That is why I think this is more a stage than on reality," he said.

Bwakira said there was need to fully implement the Djibouti Agreement to restore the country's peace and stability.

"My advice to Somalis is that the most important consideration should be the peace and stability of Somalia. The second would be for them to consult with both the speaker and the President Abdullahi Yusuf whom I have also met on Friday. I think none of them will like to jeopardize the Djibouti agreement and the peace process. I'm convinced of that because I've seen the three leaders on Thursday and Friday last week and I'm confident that wisdom will prevail," Bwakira pointed out.

The Somali Deputy Parliament Speaker Mohamed Omar Dalha reportedly said that members of parliament have two days to study the motion before voting, which requires 139 votes of the 275 members to pass.

It is, however, not certain whether the motion will muster the required majority.

The Djibouti Agreement, which was signed in early June by the transitional government and the main faction of the opposition coalition of the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS), aims to usher in a new era of stability in Somalia's future.

The Djibouti Agreement also stipulates that a ceasefire should take effect throughout Somalia 30 days after its signing. Under the pact, Ethiopian troops in Somalia, who crossed into the country in late 2006 to help Somali government forces oust an Islamist administration in south and central Somalia, would withdraw within 120 days after deployment of a" sufficient number" of UN stabilization forces.

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