Somalia: Nairobi Hosts Draft Constitution Meeting
By George Okore
NAIROBI---The Technical Revision Committee on the Draft Somalia Constitution concluded in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday, with delegates expressing optimism that the new document will drive the Horn of Africa country towards a prosperous path.
The Nairobi working session followed recent Addis Ababa Signatories meeting where many constitutional issues were agreed and some of the provisions prepared by Independent Federal Constitution Commission has been amended after congenial political negotiations between the signatories of the Roadmap to end the transition which was adopted in Mogadishu last September.
The Technical Revision Committee’s mandate as per Addis Ababa’s Communiqué is to complete the constitutional process. The convener -Somalia Constitutional Affairs Minister Hoshi Jibril says the road towards ending of the transition is getting closer and closer by the day, and “we need to collectively work towards delivering a constitution that Somalia deserves and serves its people”. He promised further consultations before the draft goes to the constituent assembly for provisional adoption.
Minister Hoshi says this will begin with Shariah audit on tail end of next week in Mogadishu and will also include a targeted consultations including one with the Somali elders who are currently in Mogadishu. “A constitution that is shariah compliant, upholds the fundamental rights and which is bedrock for justice and peace. It is high time we put all our efforts into making sure that the draft is completed and to end the transition as demanded by the Somali public, said the Minister.
The four-day meeting was organized by International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in conjunction with UNDP/UNPOS Joint Constitution Unit (JCU) and officially closed by Somalia Parliamentary Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden who is member of the Signatories.
IDLO Country Representative to Somalia Shirwa Jama commended all parties for attending the constitutional implementation Roadmap and called on Somalis to fully participate in and contribute to all efforts aimed at bringing lasting peace to Somalia. He emphasized that long lasting peace in Somalia can only be achieved through constitutional reforms, improved security, good governance and reconciliation. Mr Shirwa called for support to all efforts aimed at the restoration of peace and stabilization Somalia through participatory peace process and decision-making.
The Speaker emphasized timely finalization of the constitution and reiterated the need to finalize it in a timely fashion. “The country awaits this constitution and we owe it to our people to produce a document that captures our values and culture, one that is Shariah complaint”, he said.
The meeting was attended by the international community, who pledged towards the finalization of the constitution. The Deputy Special Representative Peter de Clercq commended the dedication of the team which has been diligently engaged in the finalization of the constitution.
Nairobi based US Special Representative to Somalia Jim Swann congratulated the Signatories’ Technical Revision Committee and emphasized their support to the process. “The end result must be to end the transition and to prepare a constitution that is a Somali owned and Somali driven”, said Mr Swann. The meeting was also attended by representatives from Norway and Italy.