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Somali PM Hussein Emerges Unscathed After Vote of No Confidence 


Somali's embattled Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein reportedly survived a vote of no confidence in parliament after being accused of embezzlement and causing instability in the country. Only about seven of the 200 members of the Somali parliament present voted to oust Prime Minister Hussein, who had been accused by some lawmakers of embezzling state funds. But proponents who presented the impeachment proceedings against the prime minister contend that the procedure was flawed, claiming that members of parliament were not allowed to contribute to the motion before voting.

Ambassador Nicolah Bwakira is the African Union's envoy to Somalia. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from Kenya's capital, Nairobi that the move is a demonstration of Somalis being ready to work together to restore the country's peace and stability.

"My personal opinion is that the peace process is gaining a strong momentum within Somalia. You know the peace agreement, which was signed in Djibouti was negotiated outside Somalia with the two parties the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) and the ARS (Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia). But having been for several days in Mogadishu two weeks ago, I have seen a strong support among the population for the Djibouti peace process, and the prime minister has played a key role in moving ahead with the peace process in reaching out to the opposition. I think that is a confirmation that both the members of the parliament and the public in general are in favor of peace," Bwakira noted.

He said Somalis are demonstrating that they want to rescue their country from destruction.

"Somalis in general are in favor of peace and the population is tired of violence. I have heard today that the sector of education was going on strike just to protest against violence," he said.

Bwakira said the agreement recently signed by the president and the prime minister is a sign of good will that would bring about unity of purpose within the transitional government.

"I think that was a rededication of the three parties, the president the prime minister and the speaker of parliament that they will respect the competencies of each organ of the state within the transitional federal institutions. Secondly, I think they have agreed that they have to cooperate one cannot walk in isolation from the other. They spent about 10 days discussing this issue. They have to come to the agreement that they have to work together, and they have gone forward to explain to the members of the parliament. So, I'm not surprised that members of the parliament, their vast majority accepted to support the government of the prime minister," Bwakira pointed out.

He said there was a need to have a ceasefire fully implemented.

"One first and very important step is for them and ARS to put in place a ceasefire. Secondly, to establish a joint TFG-ARS force to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire. Thirdly, to facilitate access to humanitarian activities and assistance and in so doing they would be sending a good message to the population displaced throughout the country that they can come back to a secure environment, to law and order because law and order must be re-established," he said.

Meanwhile, since its inception four years ago, internecine squabbling has reportedly plagued Somalia's internationally backed transitional federal government. Prime Minister Hussein and President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed last week signed an agreement to end months of infighting that undermined the fragile interim government, but they were jeered in Parliament as they attempted to outline its details.