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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Impeachment motion against Somali President
Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo fails  

MOGADISHU (Xinhua) -- A no confidence motion filed against Somali President Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo has been declared invalid after some of the lawmakers who reportedly signed it denied supporting it.

Abdikarim Haji Buh, Secretary General of Somalia Parliament, said 14 out of 92 lawmakers said to have appended their signatures to impeach president Farmajo denied having signed the petition, saying the list was submitted without their consent.

“My office has received complaints from 14 members of the House whose names were listed in the sheet of members moving the motion against the President of the federal republic,” Buh said in a letter to the Lower House Speaker.

He said the 14 legislators said they did not support the motion which was filed on Sunday, noting that their signatures had been erroneously included in the petition.

Buh said the remaining number of petitioners could not reach the required constitutional threshold to table the impeachment motion as per article 92 (2) of the provisional constitution of Somalia.

“If you deduct 14 from the previous 92 the result is 78, thus according to article 92 sub article 2 motion cannot proceed as per the constitutional requirement,” Buh said.

According to the constitution, the president can be dismissed by a joint session of the parliament comprising of 276 lawmakers of the Lower House and 54 Upper House with a two third majority.

Buh said the petition could not take place as petitioners failed to gather enough support to move to the next stage.

On Tuesday, first and second deputy speakers Abdiweli Mudey and Mahad Awad said such motion against a sitting president will only create unnecessary political crisis in the country given there is no constitutional court to rule on the legality of the motion.

The move comes after Speaker Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman confirmed officially receiving and approved the filed motion from 92 lawmakers, a third of the House.

The lawmakers accused the president of abusing the oath of office and presidential powers by authorizing the rendition of the leader of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) Muse Qalbi Dhagah from Somalia to Ethiopia.

The motion also accuses Farmajo of signing “secret agreements” with the foreign governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea and also of interfering in regional politics and unprocedural military appointments or abuse of military codes.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Somali parliament deputy speakers slam motion to impeach president

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia’s deputy speakers of Parliament on Monday dismissed the impeachment motion which was filed against President Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo on Sunday.

First and second deputy speakers Abdiweli Mudey and Mahad Awad said in a joint statement that such motion against a sitting president will only create unnecessary political crisis in the country.

“The constitutional court shall preside over any motion dismissing the president to see whether it has legal grounds. Then, the president may be dismissed by two third majority of the total members of the two Houses,” said Mudey who quoted the section of the constitution.

The grounds for the move were unclear. Sources within the presidency however have dismissed the motion as the work of external forces.

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Somalia signs United Nations-backed plan to tackle corruption

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia joined the world on Sunday in marking the International Anti-Corruption Day with the signing of the United Nations-backed plan aimed at tackling the vice in the country.

Somalia’s Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) inked the Project Initiation Plan (PIP) which aims at strengthening government institutions to fight corruption and promote accountability.

“We are on our way to establish an Anti-Corruption Commission; they need a secretariat, they need training, they need help in all aspects,” said minister of justice Hassan Hussein Haji in a statement issued by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

The minister who spoke at the United Nations-backed event in Mogadishu announced series of steps to strengthen government’s commitment to combat corruption and reinforce transparency in order to build more accountable institutions.

He said the project would particularly enhance accountability in some of the country’s key institutions, such as the Office of the Auditor General, among others, and that it would be followed by more at the end of the PIP.

“So, I think this Project Initiation Plan will lead us to develop this institution that will make it easier for us to sign and ratify the UN Convention against Corruption,” Haji said.

George Conway, UNDP Country Director for Somalia, said the newly-signed PIP allows the government to tackle corruption in a comprehensive way.

“The PIP builds on significant engagement we have had with the government at federal and state-level for many years, to address issues of good governance, accountability, transparency, support to public financial management and the broader application of the rule of law,” Conway said after the signing ceremony.

The PIP will be implemented over a six-month period, after which UNDP will roll out a full multi-year program to support the government of Somalia in its anti-corruption efforts. 

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Somali capital is most crowded city in Africa due to displacements: charity 

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia’s Mogadishu has become one of the most densely populated city in Africa as families flee to the capital to seek shelter, protection and aid, according to a report launched by a global charity on Tuesday.

The report by Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) blamed massive displacements on conflict and natural disasters experienced between 2017-2018.

“Somali families are fleeing to Mogadishu seeking shelter, protection and aid. With nowhere else to go, they crowd into camps that are unhealthy and unsafe. This influx has made Mogadishu the most densely populated city in Africa, with more people arriving every day,” said Evelyn Aero, Regional Adviser for NRC.

The charity said conflict was played out in Mogadishu for many years, making the city both a battlefield that has triggered urban displacement and a sanctuary for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing insecurity and lack of opportunity in rural areas.

For many internally displaced people (IDPs), however, the arrival in Mogadishu does not mark an end to their plight, says the report. According to the report, 2.6 million people are displaced within Somalia.

Drought, competition for resources and poor living conditions has fuelled fighting in rural areas, and pushed people towards Mogadishu, said the charity.

This, it said, has made Mogadishu the second most densely populated city in the world (after Bangladesh’s Dhaka) and the most densely populated city in Africa.

Aero said conflict and natural disasters force families to flee to cities, noting that many that flee fighting escape in a hurry, with just the clothes on their backs.

“They arrive in Mogadishu without shelter, food or any means to support their families. More aid is needed to ensure that these people have a safe place to stay, with enough basic humanitarian aid to survive,” said Aero.

The report says Somali cities with overstretched resources are unable to cope with the demands of their fast-growing populations, and the added arrivals of people fleeing crises in rural areas. Mogadishu has been their main destination by far.

“It is home to about 600,000 displaced people, most of whom live in informal camps. Between 2017 and mid-2018, 32 percent of new displacements recorded in the country were to, or within, the capital Mogadishu,” the report says.

The charity called on the international donor community to scale up funding to respond to the crisis, saying about 1.2 million children are projected to be malnourished in Somalia.

           

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