1 March 2013

Somalia: Somali Prime Minister Proposes Extensive Reforms

Somalia's Prime Minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon, said human rights and judicial reform are at the centre of the government's legislative agenda. He made the statement following the submission by the Cabinet of a package of legislation to Parliament for debate.

The Prime Minister and the Cabinet approved four draft laws covering human rights reform, judicial reform, and reform of district and regional authorities. The Prime Minister said the government was working overtime to draft new legislation that "will be essential for the rebuilding of a new Somalia", and this demonstrates its commitment "to radical human rights reform, a complete overhaul of our judicial system and redefining the balance of power between the centre and the regions".

He said every week the government was introducing new legislation, which he described as the "the foundation of a functioning state". The Prime Minister is expected to address the legislature on Sunday (March 3rd) to give an account of the achievements of the government's first 100 days.

The Cabinet has also agreed on the need to devise new legislation governing the restructuring of police and security forces. The government's ambitious reform program also includes plans for new legislation governing the Central Bank, the creation of specialized anti-terrorism, anti-piracy and anti-trafficking institutions, and additional laws to govern refugee issues and legal aid.

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