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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

United States Concerned over TFG Attempts to Block Travel

U.S. Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya

May 10, 2011

The United States expresses its concern about the Transitional Federal Government’s (TFG) decision to prevent more than 40 Somali parliamentarians, including MPs who are American citizens, from leaving Mogadishu on May 9, 2011. According to accounts, several parliamentarians were threatened with weapons and at least three were physically assaulted by security personnel.

The majority of the parliamentarians were en route to an elections workshop in Nairobi. Some parliamentarians were en route to a separate event in Ethiopia. Several others were departing on personal travel. The TFG reportedly blocked the parliamentarian’s travel because it opposed their participation in the workshop, which had been organized to discuss modalities for holding elections for the Parliamentary Speaker and TFG President later this year.

This action follows other efforts by the TFG in recent weeks to stifle peaceful political discussion and to silence its critics. The United States reminds the TFG of the commitment it made to the United Nations Security Council to enhance reconciliation and complete the transitional tasks which include completing the constitutional process that will end the transitional period and bring sovereignty and legitimacy back to Somalia.


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