The Star (Nairobi)

7 May 2012

Kenya: Somali MPs Cry Foul Over Making of Constitution

A SECTION of Somali MPs want the current constitution-making process stopped and left to be handled by the next government. Speaking in Nairobi yesterday Awad Ashareh, who chairs the transitional Parliamentary Committee for Information, Culture and Heritage, said the process is being carried in an "opaque" manner without proper and full participation of all the Somali nationals.

"Constitution making is and must have everyone's participation to make it acceptable to the people, but as a leader we feel the process is being rushed without people's involvement and this may be detrimental to bringing stability and cohesion in Somali and this is what we are opposed to," Ashareh said.

He further accused the UN, African Union, and the East African Intergovernmental Agency on Development of failing to recognise the need to have public participation in the whole process of drafting the Somali peace roadmap and now the constitution making.

Last month the bodies issued warnings that they will impose sanctions against leaders who may be out to derail the constitution making, terming them "spoilers to the peace process".

"Somali parliamentarians regards these statements as an infringement to our freedom of speech and expression as well a violation of Somali's individual rights," they said.

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