Thursday, November 11, 2010

AU cancels Somali parliament session


Thursday, November 11, 2010
 
African Union (AU) peacekeeping force has refused to give the green light to a meeting organized by dozens of Somali lawmakers in the capital Mogadishu.

“It was so surprising to us. We never expected something like this to happen. We urge the President (Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed) and AU officials to explain the move,” Radio Garowe quoted a lawmaker, Saleman Mohamed Ibrahim, as saying on Wednesday.

The fifty lawmakers who were kept from holding the parliamentary session said AU troops were in no position of authority to control them.

They stressed that the 6,100-strong forces are in Somalia only to support the country's Transitional Federal Government and to restore peace in the conflict-stricken Horn of Africa nation.

"AU forces unlawfully meddled in an affair which does not correspond to their main mission in Somalia," said a Somali member of parliament, Ismail A. Noor.

The latest report by the International Committee of the Red Cross says thousands of civilians have been injured in recent months in clashes throughout the Horn of Africa country.

The Geneva-based humanitarian institution said that a total of 5,000 patients with war injuries, including 1,900 women and children, were admitted to Mogadishu's Keysaney and Medina hospitals from January through September.

Compared to last year, the figures suggest an increase of 25 percent in the total number of war casualties and 72 percent in the number of hospitalized women and children.

Some 4,000 patients with war injuries, among them 1,100 women and children, were taken to Mogadishu's two referral hospitals in 2009.

Somalia has lacked a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Over the past two decades, up to one million people have lost their lives in fighting between rival factions and due to famine and disease.

There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced people in Somalia. Over 300,000 of them are sheltering in Mogadishu.

Most of the displaced live in poor and degrading conditions in makeshift camps in southern and central Somalia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Source: PressTV

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