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22 Somali Ministers Demand No-Confidence Vote on Government


Twenty-two members of the Somali prime minister's Cabinet are demanding that parliament hold a no-confidence vote on the country's transitional government.

Speaking to reporters in the western provincial town of Baidoa Thursday, the 22 ministers said the government of Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi government has failed to meet the needs of the Somali people.

There are conflicting reports on whether the 22 ministers have resigned or merely have threatened to resign. It remains unclear when or if parliament may vote on the proposed no-confidence motion.

Mr. Gedi went to parliament headquarters in Baidoa this week to meet with lawmakers.

Officials say the prime minister was not hurt Thursday when a suspected suicide bomber blew up a car near the hotel where Mr. Gedi is staying. The attack targeted an army base used by Ethiopian troops who assist the Somali interim government. The bomber and two soldiers were killed.

Mr. Gedi has survived several previous attempts on his life. Insurgents frequently attack Somali government targets as part their efforts to topple the government and drive out Ethiopian troops.

The insurgency began in January, after a joint government-Ethiopian offensive ousted a rival Islamist movement from power in the capital, Mogadishu, and other Somali cities.

Since then, the interim government has struggled to contain violence or assert control across Somalia. The war-torn Horn of Africa country has not had a stable central government since 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.