Wednesday March 31, 2021
Mogadishu (SH) – Roads closed, security forces deployed ahead of the parliament meeting in Mogadishu.
Major roads in Mogadishu have been sealed off on Wednesday morning, and scores of security forces deployed ahead of the resumption of proceedings at the Lower House amid heightened fears MPs could pass a vote to extend President Mohamed Farmaajo’s four-year term.
The paramilitary unit, Haram’ad, has been stationed at Debka junction through to Daljir Dahsoon monument blocking entry to parliament buildings and Villa Somalia.
On Saturday, Mohamed Mursal, the House Speaker, called off a parliamentary session after being shouted down by MPs who believed that he was attempting to table a secret agenda. He responded by barring the 15 dissenting MPs for the subsequent five sessions.
However, in an act of defiance, many of the MPs vowed to show up anyways, saying the Speaker is not following the official standing orders.
Credible reports indicate that Mursal cancelled the Monday session after mounting international and internal pressure. He rescheduled it for Wednesday.
Abdirizak Mohamed, one of the MPs barred from Wednesday’s session, said the security resources used to prevent him from attending parliament were waste and should have been diverted to counter-terrorism efforts.
“This morning technical mounted vehicles, armoured APCs & about 30 NISA security & SNA made checkpoints near my house and blocked all side- roads leading to my house just to prevent me from attending parliament session. Resources that should be used for counter-terrorism. Resources paid mostly by western taxpayers for state-building goals are used to create a dictator.
The international community’s attempts to convince Farmaajo and Mursal against parliament’s meeting failed Tuesday evening, underlying a further political fallout and a difficult road ahead towards solving the electoral stalemate.
The opposition has accused Mursal, a close ally of Farmaajo, of using parliament to secure the president’s extended stay in office.
The international community had sought a delay of parliament meetings to allow the ongoing talks room for further debate.
However, Mursal agreed to a two days window period which has since elapsed with no concrete resolution.Hiiraan.com