Somalia's parliament will hold its
first meeting today in the capital, Mogadishu after relocating from neighboring
Djibouti and electing new President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Somali
parliamentarians left to Djibouti as a result of peace negotiations between the
former Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for
the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS). Under the agreement parliament was expanded
to more than 500 accommodating members of the moderate Islamic ARS led by
Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. But the hard-line Islamic insurgent group al-Shabab
seized the temporary parliament building in Baidoa when parliamentarians left
for Djibouti. Somali parliamentarian Ahmed Hashi tells reporter Peter Clottey
that Mogadishu will be the permanent place for parliamentary meetings.
will be meeting today as we wait for the speaker to return from Nairobi today.
So in the coming hours, we will be holding our parliamentary meeting. And as
you will remember, that house is over five hundred MP's (Members of Parliament)
comprising of both the ARS and the transitional federal parliament. The task
ahead of us is very tough and very difficult, but we are going to start afresh,
a new era and a new system, in which hopefully, we are expecting Somalia to
prevail in peace and stability, beginning right now," Hashi noted.
said the new government of national unity under President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh
Ahmed is responsible for handling the security situation in the country.
security situation is really not our task. That is the responsibility of the
government as you are very much aware. But it concerns me because one of our
tasks or our duties is to investigate any matter of public interest. So since
security is part of public interest, we would be looking critically at it. And
we know without security, even parliamentary meetings would not be possible. The
government is responsible, but we will give them pieces of advice on how to go
about it as parliamentarians," he said.
said Somalia parliamentarians have now relocated permanently from the temporary
building in Baidoa to the capital, Mogadishu.
had a temporary location in Baidoa, and that was when we were only TFG, but now
we are together as an expanded parliament. The initial decision was that when
peace returns to Mogadishu, parliament would be relocated to the capital,
Mogadishu, and that was the big condition why we were in Baidoa. Now, in our
first meeting or second or in the future, hopefully, we will finalize or
approve the headquarters of parliament to Mogadishu," Hashi pointed out.