Archive for the 'Somalia' Category

Members of the Somali Parliament Vote by a Show of Hands in Mogadishu, Dec. 2, 2013

Here is some excellent news. If only more national “leaders” could move on when they know the game is over.

somalia map


Somalia’s Democracy a Pleasant Surprise

Yesterday, Dec. 2, Somalia’s parliament voted Abdi Farah Shirdon, the prime minister, out of office. For too long we have been hearing about tribal conflicts, pirates’ practices and terrorism by so-called al-Shabab and almost no other news of any significance.

The Arab League and the African Union should support the nascent democratic transition in Somalia.

Author Clovis Maksoud Posted December 3, 2013

The prime minister asked parliament on Sunday that he be allowed to defend his government against charges, but his request was rejected. The speaker provided the result of the vote in parliament to the Somali president as well as to the prime minister. A new prime minister will be named by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who said, “I welcome parliament’s role as a strong signal of Somali democracy at work.” The president further added, according to a report in The New York Times, “It is important to emphasize that the constitution has been our clear guidance throughout this situation,” and expressed appreciation for the work of the departing prime minister.

The United Nations special representative for Somalia said, “Parliamentary business was managed in accordance with the provisional constitution,” adding, “Somalia’s institutions are coming of age!”

While this event constitutes a positive development and evidence of a growing democracy, it behooves the Arab states — especially the Arab League — to make this development an opportunity to empower this evidence of democratic governance by providing economic and financial aid in order to help bring about the capacity to sustain human development, the unity of Somalia, and to help build viable institutional infrastructures.

It is true that this positive development shows a serious commitment to a civilian regime, yet what has taken place in parliament constitutes an opening to enhance its capacity to unify Somalia to be empowered, to curtail what has for too long made Somalia a failed state.

This is a challenge for the Arab states in general — and for the international community in particular — to enhance this significant development, sustain the course of democratization, but more and equally urgent to empower its civil society and its ability to put an end to forces that have undermined its unity and its potential for stability.

Somalia deserves to have a renewed opportunity to render its democracy sustainable and, believe it or not, perhaps a sign of a spring that has arrived. When I say it is a pleasant surprise, it is because it comes as a desirable interruption in the sad sectarian conflicts taking place in other parts of the Arab nation.

The challenge of continued progress in Somalia is faced by both the Arab League and the African Union Mission; Somalia is a member of both.

Amid what is taking place, this is a development that seriously interrupts a hopefully temporary, prevailing despondency.

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