Statement By Hon. Sharif Hassans Sheikh Aden Speaker The Transitional Federal Parliament of the Somali Republic At The ICG Meeting

Statement By Hon. Sharif Hassans Sheikh Aden Speaker The Transitional Federal Parliament of the Somali Republic At The ICG Meeting

February 7, 2012 Moment Media
Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates 

I am honoured to address this meeting on behalf of all the Members of the Transitional Federal Parliament of the Somali Republic. Let me at the outset express our appreciation to the Government and people of the Republic of Djibouti for hosting this meeting. Allow me also to extend our profound gratitude and appreciation to H.E. Ismail Omar Ghelle, the President of the Republic of Djibouti, for his unwavering support to the Somali Peace Process. The current Transitional Federal Institutions of Somalia were incepted here in Djibouti in 2009 thanks to the extraordinary efforts exerted by H.E. the President, the Government and the people of the Republic of Djibouti. 

Let me also reiterate our gratitude and appreciation to the International Community for its firm commitment to Somalia’s peace, security and reconciliation. The Somali people are deeply appreciative of the International Community’s support and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia. The humanitarian assistance provided by our international partners has greatly contributed to the alleviation of the famine and drought that has recently devastated the country.

Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates 

The Transitional Federal Parliament of the Somali Republic reaffirms that the Djibouti Peace Agreement, the Transitional Federal Charter, the Kampala Accord, the Political Roadmap, and the Garowe Principles represent the basis for ending the transition in August 2012. When I last addressed the ICG Meeting, I briefed all those who were present on the Transitional Federal Parliament’s firm commitment to the provisions of the Agreements and to the priority tasks of the Political Roadmap. 

I have also assured the ICG Meeting in Copenhagen that the Parliament would do its utmost to ensure that the provisions of the Kampala Accord and the Political Roadmap on ending the transition are fully respected and are by no means undermined. The Parliament will also play an important role in the implementation of all the required tasks for ending the transitional before 20 August 2012. 

And as it is clearly spelled out in the Garowe Principles, the National Constituent Assembly will soon be established and will provisionally adopt the Draft Federal Constitution. This will be followed by the establishment of the new Somali Federal Parliament, which shall be made up of 225 members, with 20% women members. Since the prevailing security situation will preclude direct elections, the new Somali Federal Parliament will be selected on the basis of the 4.5 formula. It should, however, be clear to everyone that 4.5 formula shall not become the basis for power sharing in the future when proper census is conducted in the country.

Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates 

Reaffirming the role of the Parliament in the Somali peace and reconstruction processes presuppose reforming it to make it more effective and efficient in its response to the challenges that the country faces. The impetus to reform our Parliament is to ensure that the Members that constitute it are equipped to deal with these challenges. When the ordinary Somali citizens, inside the country and in the diaspora, feel that their Parliament and its Members cannot address the issues affecting their lives and livelihoods, the Institution and its Members lose its credibility and relevance.

It is, therefore, incumbent upon all of us now in the Transitional Federal Institutions to remain cohesive and work collectively, in close collaboration with the different Somali stakeholders and the International Community, to ensure that the reform process of the Parliament is speeded up and carried out on the basis of the provisions of the Political Roadmap and the Garowe Principles. We believe that a reformed and most efficient Parliament will fulfill its mandate as the most important Institution in the country, and ensure long-term stability and a peaceful and prosperous future for the Somali people.

Our position on the reform of the Parliament is well-known. It is absolutely unacceptable to continue with a bloated Parliament that is ineffective. We urge those who have vested interest in maintaining the status quo to give due and fair consideration to Somali people’s legitimate demand for institutions that are more representative, more democratic and more accountable.

We hope that the current ICG meeting and the upcoming London Conference will recognize the centrality of the new Somali Federal Parliament in setting the agenda for a Somalia that will be at peace with itself and at peace with its neighbours. We have already expressed our unwavering support to the London Conference on Somalia. We are confident this Conference will build on the progress so far made and give more impetus to issues pertaining to the implementation of the Political Roadmap and the Garowe Principles. To ensure the success of the Conference, the Transitional Federal Parliament, the Transitional Federal Government, and the other Somali stakeholders present at the meeting in London, should show unity and cohesion and dispel any divisive feelings that can hinder the deliberation of the agenda of the Conference. 

Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates 

The Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia welcomes the Press Releases issued by IGAD Council of Ministers and the African Union on 9 January 2012 and 16 January 2012 respectively, which both express concern over the behaviour of a small group of Somali MPs. We believe that the conduct of these MPs runs counter to the spirit of the Transitional Federal Charter, the Standing Rules and Procedures of the Transitional Federal Parliament, the Kampala Accord of June 2011, and the Mogadishu Political Roadmap of September 2011.

We hope that these MPs, who are for the perpetuation of the status quo and are opposed to the Kampala Accord, the Political Roadmap and the Garowe Principles, will soon refrain from engaging further in acts that are damaging to the reputation of the Transitional Federal Institutions, and realize that it is indispensible to put their country above self. It is our firm belief that divergences can be mitigated through reconciliation and dialogue. But these MPs must also be reminded that spoilers and detractors of the Somali peace process will not be tolerated.

Members of the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia must all be fully engaged in the implementation of the priority tasks as spelled out in the Political Roadmap and in the Garowe Principles. They must all comply with the provisions of the Kampala Accord, which has paved the way for the adoption, on 6 September 2011, of a Political Roadmap to end the transition. The Kampala Accord has also led to the signing of the Garowe Principles, which should guide the finalization of the draft constitution and the process of ending the transition. Furthermore, Members of the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia must take part in post-liberation relief operations, including the establishment of schools, hospitals, and other vital infrastructures in the areas that are being liberated from the control of Al Shabaab. 

The Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia intends to dispatch its Members to the liberated areas to help in the establishment of the local administrations and assist in the launching of viable programmes with the view to ensuring the return of the IDPs to their niches to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. We believe that these challenges can only be effectively resolved through a sustained cooperation among the Somali stakeholders. The Somali Parliament must continue to be at the centre of this agenda and play its role without any bias and prejudice.

Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates 

The Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia is indeed delighted to learn that the joint operations by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and the TFG Forces conducted in pursuit of Al Shabaab in South and Central Somalia are proceeding well. The Parliament fully supports these operations and welcomes the support by the Ethiopian Government to these operations. The Somali Armed Forces together with the Ethiopian Armed Forces have recently succeeded in wiping out Al Shabaab in the Hiraan Region of Somalia. The Parliament acknowledges the sacrifices and continued commitment made by the Governments and people of Burundi and Uganda in their contribution to AMISOM. We are pleased that the Djiboutian and Kenyan Forces – now part of AMISOM – will also play a crucial role in bringing about a lasting peace in Somalia.

The Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia is very much aware of the fact that the country is nowadays witnessing very serious diplomatic efforts aimed at boosting peacekeeping forces. There are efforts that aim at expanding the AMISOM force strength. The world and regional powers appear to be more determined now to tackle the crises in Somalia more effectively, given the fact that the problem is no longer a Somali one only. The Parliament must be proactively engaged with the world and the regional powers in these endeavours.

Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates

The Parliament welcomes the relocation of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia to Mogadishu after an absence of 17 years. Being on the ground, UNPOS will be able to interact directly with the Transitional Federal Institutions and other stakeholders. We wholeheartedly welcome Ambassador Augustine Mahiga and his team to the Capital City of the Somali Republic. His presence with us will enable him to be more informed about the reality on the ground. We hope that the other UN Agencies that are still in Nairobi will soon follow suit.

Thank you for your kind attention

Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden Issac
The Speaker.

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