News / Africa

More Than 200 Approved for New Somali Parliament

Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Somalia and head of the U.N. Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS), looks on during a news conference in Mogadishu August 19, 2012, in this photograph released by the AfricAugustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Somalia and head of the U.N. Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS), looks on during a news conference in Mogadishu August 19, 2012, in this photograph released by the Afric
x
Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Somalia and head of the U.N. Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS), looks on during a news conference in Mogadishu August 19, 2012, in this photograph released by the Afric
Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Somalia and head of the U.N. Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS), looks on during a news conference in Mogadishu August 19, 2012, in this photograph released by the Afric
MOGADISHU — The United Nations and members of the diplomatic community say they are satisfied with the progress made so far by Somalia's political leaders and elders as they face an August 20 deadline to end the transitional government and elect a new president. Somalia's Technical Selection Committee, which is screening members for a new parliament, approved 215 new lawmakers on Sunday. 
 
On the eve of the expected inauguration of Somalia's new parliament, representatives of the African Union, the U.N. and the international community reaffirmed their support for political leaders and elders who have worked hard for the past eight years to form a permanent government.  
 
Speaking at a base near the airport in Mogadishu Sunday, the United Nations Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, said the steps in implementing the road map to end Somalia’s transitional government have been achieved. 
 
“Working with all mathematical procession to tomorrow's date of the 20th I think the deadline to get this machinery of the last very last step has been achieved, we cannot say we have missed. At least 20th of August we are witnessing the beginning of the process of getting a government which can only take days," he said. 
 
Alexander Rondos, the European Union special envoy to the Horn of Africa, also welcomed the progress being made to form a stable government.
 
“Despite significant challenges, the process has endured and it has also ensured the selection of elders, the convening of the National Constituent Assembly, and the adoption of the Provisional Constitution through a representative and transparent process taking place inside Somalia for the first time in 20 years," he said. 
 
Somali political leaders were supposed to install a new government with an elected president by Monday - which marks the end of the U.N. mandate for the current Transitional Federal Government. Instead, a new parliament is expected to be inaugurated on that date.
 
According to Mr. Mahiga, the parliament members will elect the oldest member present as interim speaker.  
 
So far, the Technical Selection Committee has rejected more than 60 selected potential legislators because of their involvement in Somalia’s civil war.
 
Somalia’s transitional parliament has been characterized by political bickering, but Mahiga says this new parliament will be different.
 
“You need to look at the list, that in the list of the parliamentarians there are new faces, there are also old faces, but it’s going to be collectively a different parliament than anything you have witnessed before and certainly the beginning of legitimate, representative and accountable institutions which has never happened in 21 years of Somali crisis," he said. 
 
Earlier this month the Somali constituent assembly passed a new provisional constitution. Mahiga says the new parliament will vote for a new president in the coming days.  
 

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs