Weekly Press Conference on the Progress of the Government

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The interim Minister of Information, Mustafa Duhulow, today addressed the media, providing an update on the progress of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) over the last week. The Minister discussed various issues: Parliament’s approval of the new Prime Minister, the ratification of the Convention of the Rights of Children, talks between the Federal Government and Somaliland, the approval of the legislation of the Borders Committee, the opening of a Ministry of Transport office in Jowhar, the removal of Sheikh Atom from the UN Sanctions list, Humanitarian Assistance, over 1000 Somali Commandos completing their training, the Minister of Defense visit to Tiyeglow, and Somalia’s membership to ITSO.

Parliament’s approval of the new Prime Minister

The Interim Minister of Information began to speak on the parliament’s approval of the new Prime Minister: “Somali Parliament on 24th December 2014 approved the new Prime Minister of Somalia. H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of Somalia made a formal request for MPs to give a confidence vote to the PM appointed. H.E. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke also spoke to the parliament and requested their support to approve and to give him the legitimacy to conduct his duty. Out of 224 Members of Parliament, 218 unanimously voted yes while 6 were absent during the vote. The Chief Justice has sworn in the new PM in the parliament with the presence of the President. On 25th December H.E. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the new PM officially took office from former PM H.E. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed. The handover event happened in the presence of the President of Somalia.”

The ratification of the Convention of the Rights of Children

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the ratification of the Convention of the Rights of Children: “Somali Parliament ratified the Convention of the Rights of Children on 24th December 2014, without the articles of 14, 20 and 21 due to Somali culture, religion and the provisional constitution. This is a huge progress as Somalia was part of the three countries that were not signatories of the convention, such as Somalia, US and South Sudan.”

Talks between the Federal Government and Somaliland

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the talks between the Federal Government and Somaliland: “H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of Somalia led a delegation that visited Djibouti on 20 and 21st December 2014 and held talks with Somaliland delegation led by H.E. Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud Silanyo. Both delegations discussed the urgent need to speed up and to continue talks between the two sides that had been on pause for some time. H.E. Ismail Omar Gelle, the President of Djibouti facilitated the talks. Presidents of the Federal Republic of Somalia and Somaliland signed an agreement at the end of the meeting, and agreed to meet again and to convene the next meeting in Istanbul on 26 and 27 February 2015, where sensitive political issues that are important to the talks will be on the agenda. Both sides also agreed to invite Djibouti in future talks if the need arises. This is a huge step forward towards the six pillar policy framework of President Hassan Sheikh Moahmud.”

The approval of the legislation of the Borders Committee

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the approval of the legislation of the Borders Committee: “Somali Parliament on 21st December 2014 approved the legislation of the Borders Committee. 129 out of 145 MPs voted in favor, while 13 MPs voted against and one MP abstained. H.E. Abdullahi Godah Barre, the Interim Minister of Interior & Federal Affairs thanked MPs for their approval, as this legislation was one of key priority items that are necessary to the implementation of Vision 2016.”

Ministry of Transport opens an office in Jowhar

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the opening of the new Ministry of Transport office in Jowhar: “On 20th December, the Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation opened an office in Jowhar district in Middle Shabelle region. The Federal Government is committed to reaching out to all regions in order for citizens to receive basic services. The new office in Jowhar will provide all services from the Ministry of Transport, such as issuing driving licenses and vehicle registration documents. The Ministry of Transport has also established traffic police and wardens in Jowhar, as this will hugely help the smooth running of vehicles in the region.”

The removal of Sheekh Atom from the UN Sanctions List

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the removal of Sheikh Atom from the UN Sanctions List: “On 20th December 2014 the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) welcomed the UN Security Council’s decision on 23 December to delist former Al-Shabaab leader Sheikh Mohamed Said (ATOM) from the UN Sanctions List 1844. Sheikh Atom has previously announced that he renounced violence and joined the peace process. The FGS negotiated with UN and member states of the UNSC in order to delist Sheikh Atom, a Somali citizen from the UN Sanctions List. This was a huge progress that will help all those who are willing to renounce violence and want to join the peace building of the nation, as this is the universal way towards peace. The FGS once again calls and offers olive branch to all those willing to stand against violence and ready to lay down their guns for peace. Every Somali citizen has a responsibility to take part the rebuilding of the nation.”

Humanitarian Assistance

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the humanitarian assistance: “On 22th December 2014, the Interim Minister of Women & Human Rights Affairs provided humanitarian aid consist of medicine, clothes and other assistance to the National Disability Council, Banadir Hospital and Drs Qamar Institute. Nile Organization and Kimsiyoke from Turkey provided these humanitarian aids to the Ministry of Women & Human Rights Affairs. H.E. Khadija Mohamed Dirie, the Interim Minister of Women & Human Rights Affairs, thanked Turkey for its generosity by providing the humanitarian aid to vulnerable people. The National Disability Council was given some of this assistance such as disability equipment, clothing and medicine. Banadir hospital was donated some of medicine and disability equipment and Drs Qamar Institute received some of these humanitarian assistance.”

Over 1000 Somali Commandos completed training

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on Somali Commandos training: “H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of Somalia on 22nd December 2014 attended the closing ceremony of training of over 1000 Commandos. H.E. Mohamed Sheikh Hassan Hamud and Gen Dahir Adan Elmi (Indha-Qarsho) were present at the event. Dannan Commandos, which is the second part that received quality training and it is expected that they will make valuable contributions in the fight against terrorists. These soldiers that completed the training demonstrated their professionalism and ability to protect citizens in front of the President of Somalia. H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, praised them and said that they need to bring peace and stability in the country as the people have high expectations of them.”

Minister of Defense’s visit to Tiyeglow

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the Minister of Defense’s visit to Tiyeglow: “H.E. Mohamed Sheikh Hassan Hamud, the Interim Minister of Defense visited Tiyeglow district in Bakol region on 23th December 2014. The aim of the visit was to encourage Somali Military forces presently operating in the area so that they can redouble their efforts to fight against terrorists, and to evaluate their overall needs. The Minister spoke to them in public and said “The FGS and the people of Somalia expect you to conduct your duties to the best of your knowledge and experience while ensuring the human rights of citizens. Soon Military Court will open their offices in Tiyeglow in order to ensure that all military forces’ behavior remains professional. It is important that you redouble your efforts to the fight against terrorists and I thank you for your bravery for completing trainings in Tiyeglow.”

Somalia’s membership to ITSO

The Interim Minister of Information finally spoke on Somalia’s membership to ITSO: “The Interim Minister of Posts & Telecommunications visited Washington on 23th December 2014 and formally submitted Somalia’s application to the membership of International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO). The ITSO membership will help Somalia to manage and approve Satellites over its air space. Mr Jose Toscano, the Director General of ITSO welcomed H.E. Mohamed Ibrahim Adan, the Interim Minister of Posts & Telecommunications and praised the efforts of Somalia and the progress to bring peace and stability. Somalia will be able to monitor and oversee the spectrum and frequency of all satellite using Somalia air space in order to ensure that the countries’ telecommunications is safe from interferences. The Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications will soon open a dedicated office that deals on all satellite maters. This is the first time Somalia becomes a member to ITSO.”