Somalia sworn in almost all of the members of its lower and upper houses of Parliament on Thursday. The 290 new lawmakers took oath of office at a ceremony heavily secured in the capital Mogadishu. The electoral process has been delayed for months amid a power struggle between the current president and the prime minister.
"It is a great honor for me to attend this historical event that marks the swearing of MPs for the 11th parliament of the Somali Federal Republic for both houses after a long-delayed election process which was indeed marred by many obstacles.", said Mohamed Hussein Roble, Prime minister of Somalia.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's mandate expired in February 2021 and his efforts to remain in power for two more years were fiercely condemned and met by clashes. Dozens more legislators are yet to be appointed. Once elected both houses are due to hold a vote to choose a new president.
"Today is great and very crucial for the people of Somalia as the members of the 11th Parliament were sworn in. In fact, the country has experienced hard times and the election has been trailing for about two years. The country is going in the right direction.", reacted a newly elected MP, Mohamed Ibrahim Moalinuu.
Last month, the UN security Council voted for a new peacekeeping force in Somalia, where the Al-Shabaad group linked to Al-Qaeda has been waging an insurgency for years.
UN agencies warned this week that millions of people in Somalia were at risk of famine, with 40 percent of the population, or six million people, now facing extreme levels of food insecurity.