(Xinhua) -- Somalia on Thursday hinted at
a delay of elections following what the Federal electoral body
termed as financial challenges and political concerns.
Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) said in a
statement issued in Mogadishu that it was convening a meeting Friday
with heads of the state’s electoral teams to find a solution to the
challenges even as the country prepares for elections Saturday.
The electoral body announced August the elections for the Lower
House will start Sept. 24 through to Oct. 10 while that of the Upper
House will be take a day to conclude on September 25.
But the FIEIT said it was also facing what it termed as political
and security challenges without elaborating. It indicated the elders
who are tasked with selecting the delegates had also not submitted
their final lists, barely two days to the polls.
"To deal with these challenges, we are convening a meeting with
the heads of the state level electoral implementation teams on
Friday," said FIEIT.
The elections budget is supposed to be shared between the Somalia
and the international community with the latter contributing 60
percent while Somalia clears the rest.
The announcement comes amid affirmation by the international
community that the elections must be held without delay.
A communique from a high level meeting on Somalia on the
sidelines of the UN General Assembly Wednesday called on Somalia to
ensure the polls are elected without delay.
"The international community highlights the importance of the
upcoming electoral process, as a crucial stepping stone toward one
person one vote elections in 2020," the international partners for
"We reiterate the need to keep to the timeline and for a
peaceful, credible and transparent process, in a climate of respect
for human rights and fundamental freedoms," they added.
African Union deploys
technical electoral support team in Somalia
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The Africa Union has deployed a short-term
technical electoral support team ahead of the electoral process in
Somalia to back up the AU mission.
A statement from the AU Commission received in Mogadishu on
Saturday said the team will also reinforce AMISOM’s Political Unit
and will be in Somalia until Nov. 5.
The two experts on the team, Hope Mary Nsangi from Uganda and
Jespa Ajereboh Tichock from Cameroon, will be tasked with duties
including collection of information on the implementation of the
2016 limited franchise electoral process agreed upon by Somali
"Their role will include contribution to the identification and
documentation of lessons learnt from the electoral process toward
the realization of the 2020 political road map," the statement said.
The team will also be tasked with liaison and coordination with
other international partners supporting Somalia’s electoral process
(including the European Union, the Union Nations; the Arab League
and Organization of Islamic Cooperation).
The deployment follows a Pre-election Assessment Mission
conducted by the African Union Commission in July to identify the
best form of technical assistance to support elections in Somalia.
The deployment of the AU Expert Team follows a decision at the
African Union Peace and Security Council meeting held in Addis Ababa
on Sept. 6 which requested the AUC to expedite the deployment of
technical experts and provide other relevant forms of support to
AMISOM in order to assist and reinforce the mission’s capacity ahead
of the elections.
AMISOM Political Affairs Officer Walters Samah said the AU
mission is pleased to have received this direct support from the
headquarters, noting that their deployment to Somalia is a further
demonstration of AU’s long term commitment to the country.
Somalia security bars
reporters from airport ahead of polls
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Journalists in Somalia will not be able to cover any
events at the Mogadishu airport for the next two months, aviation
authorities said Thursday.
In a statement, Aden Adde Airport director of security Abdi
Ashkir Jama said the decision was made out of security concerns.
Coming ahead of the polls set to start Saturday, the decree warns
that violators may face prosecution, court fines or a total ban of
reporting from any airport in the country.
The journalists union NUSOJ has however castigated the move as
damaging the interests of the media and the public.
"The airport is a major news maker especially now when most
candidates for the upcoming elections are trooping into the country.
"This is disappointing and regrettable," NUSOJ secretary general
Mohamed Moalim said in a statement.
Last week, the Interior Ministry ordered political parties and
groupings to cease any campaigns in the city citing security
Militant group Al-Shabaab has threatened to disrupt the polls and
called on its members to attack elders who will be participating in
Parliamentary elections are set to begin on Saturday and will run
through to Oct. 10. A new president will be elected by Oct. 30.
Somalia launches campaign to
promote women representation in parliament
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has
launched a national campaign for women in an effort to achieve a 30
percent quota of seats in both houses of the country’s next federal
Mohamud, who presided over the launch of the "All Women’s
Campaign", said the move will help women shape the destiny of the
Horn of Africa nation.
"We want a free and fair electoral process that earns the
confidence and acceptance of the public.
"We want the public to be confident that they are represented by
leaders of their choice," said Mohamud in a statement issued on
"Our country has unique challenges.
"We are not yet perfect, but we are on the right course to
perfection," Mohamud said, adding that the campaign is aimed at
realizing the 30-percent quota that guarantees women’s seats are
reserved in parliament.
Mohamud noted that 81 or more members in the next parliament will
The campaign will mobilize women to register for elective
positions and use lobbyists to sensitize clan elders on the critical
role women play in decision-making.
In her remarks, Zahra Mohamed Ali Samatar, the Federal Minister
of Women and Human Rights Development, urged women to mobilize more
female candidates to run for parliamentary seats.
"In the coming years, women will be able to vie for the seat of
Speaker of Parliament.
"The joy on our faces is a testimony to our satisfaction with the
achievements made and a victory for the Somali women," Samatar said.
Somalia is poised to begin the 2016 electoral process, which will
choose members of a new federal parliament who will in turn vote for
presidential candidates in late October.
Children in IDP camps in
Somalia hardest hit by food crisis
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The United Nations announced this week that five
million Somalis do not have enough food, with 1.1 million of these
being internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are housed in various
camps across the country.
It also reveals that the 5 million people include over 300,000
children under five who are acutely malnourished, and among them,
more than 50,000 are severely malnourished.
Doctor Lul Mohamud Mohamed, who is a medical practitioner in the
largest public hospital in Somalia, Banaadir Hospital, warned that
the situation is getting worse for children who live in IDP camp.
Mohamed noted that the impact of the food crisis is seriously
impeding the growth and development of children while at the same
time denying them the chance to education.
"We are recording deaths and serious medical conditions as a
result of malnutrition among children from displaced people’s camps.
For example, out of 600 children the hospital receives monthly,
25 percent of these are malnourished," Mohamed told Xinhua Thursday.
She said most of the children under the age of five are mostly
affected, noting there was urgent need to protect the children from
long-term conditions which could affect them much more in life.
Mohamed, who heads the children’s department at the hospital,
said lack of food denies most children access to education since
most of them have to look for food at the expense of education.
A large number of children in the IDP camps do not attend school
and are forced to work alongside their parents, a development which
risks the lives of the children more, Mohamed added.
Maryam Kusow, a mother of five in one of the camps in Mogadishu,
told Xinhua that the risk of her children facing medical conditions
which can affect them into adulthood is worrying.
"My husband died three years ago while working as a porter in a
"I am forced to bring up my children on my own. We used to
receive sufficient food rations from aid agencies in the past, but
now I am afraid my children are developing some medical conditions
because of malnutrition," said Kusow.
The story is the same for Amina Abukar who lives with her nine
children in a makeshift camp in Mogadishu.
"We depend on my daughter who works as a house maid in the city.
"My children do not go to school as I cannot afford to pay for
their school fees," said the mother.