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AMISOM pledges neutrality amid political standoff in Somalia

AU troops had taken over Parliament's security after the Wednesday standoff

AMISOM pledges neutrality amid political standoff in Somalia

AU troops had taken over Parliament's security after the Wednesday standoff

07 April 2018 Saturday 17:45
AMISOM pledges neutrality amid political standoff in Somalia

MOGADISHU

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has vowed to remain neutral as a political crisis between senior government officials and the Lower House Speaker persists.

Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty of Somalia, saying the AU mission will not take control of Parliament unless requested by the government.

"AMISOM will, therefore, not take control of the House of the People unless the competent Somali authorities request it to do so in full respect and within the parameters of AMISOM mandate," Madeira said in a statement issued on Friday night.

The statement came after AMISOM Commander Paul Lokech said the AU troops had taken over Parliament's security after the Wednesday standoff.

Sources say the Somali government was not happy with AMISOM's intervention on Wednesday when lawmakers were due to debate a no-confidence motion against the speaker.

"The AU and AMISOM recognize and respect the right of the Somali Federal Parliament to determine when, where and how they conduct their business. It is therefore not the responsibility of AMISOM to determine where and how they should handle their parliamentary activities," Madeira said.

Lower House Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari has been accused by lawmakers of abuse of power and obstruction of constitutional reform. He has, however, survived a motion of no-confidence.

Jawari has instead blamed President Mohamed Farmajo and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire for escalating the political crisis in the Horn of Africa nation by asking him to resign.

In his statement, Madeira said the AU mission will continue to back the federal institutions until Somalia is ready to take over its security, and asked rival politicians to resolve the current stalemate in Parliament, which is now divided into two factions opposing each other.

Jawari who was re-elected in 2017 for the second term in office has blamed the prime minister for being behind a motion of no confidence against him and for ordering security forces to occupy Parliament.

Xinhua

Keywords:
AMISOMSomalia
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