Opposition Concerns Fuel Discussions on Somalia’s Constitutional Amendments Amid Al-Shabaab Resurgence

Members of both chambers of Somalia have convened today for crucial discussions on the ratification and completion of long-awaited amendments to the Provisional Constitution, which has remained unfinished for several years.

The day commenced with the distribution of copies of the proposed amendments to all representatives, followed by comprehensive briefings from the Constitutional Review and Oversight Committee, representing both bodies.

The committee also presented a detailed schedule for the debates, which are anticipated to span multiple days.

Chapters 1 through 4 have been prepared by the Constitutional Review and Oversight Committee for these significant discussions, with Chapter 1 set to be deliberated upon from 14th to 19th February.

Following Chapter 1, the debate on Chapter 2 is scheduled to take place from 21st February to 4th March, while the discourse on Chapter 3 is planned for 6th to 11th March.

Finally, the deliberation on Chapter 4, marking the conclusion of the second phase of discussions on Chapters 1 to 4 of the Republic’s Constitution, will occur from 13th to 23rd March.

This progress signifies a significant step towards the completion and reform of the country’s constitution.

In a joint statement, former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, ex-Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, and the current envoy for drought relief, Abdirahman Abdishakur, expressed their concerns regarding the challenges and threats faced by the nation, particularly from Al-Shabaab and Ethiopia.

The opposition leaders allege that the President has shifted his focus away from the fight against Al-Shabaab insurgents, allowing the militants to regain control of territories previously captured by government forces in the initial phase of the offensive.

Likewise, the former leaders expressed apprehension concerning the government’s strategy in countering Ethiopia’s attempts to annex parts of the country’s north.

They pointed out that the President’s failure to appoint foreign and security ministers is indicative of a lack of seriousness in preventing Abiy Ahmed’s aggression.

 

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