Somalia: Garowe conference comes to a close 19 Feb 19, 2012 - 3:54:02 AM
GAROWE, Somalia Feb 18 2012 (Garowe Online) – Despite long deliberation and much consultation the second Somali national consultative constitutional conference which was held in Garowe has successfully come to a close.
The Garowe II principles after much deliberation between leaders was signed by President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Gaas, Speaker of Parliament Sharif Adan Sharif Hassan, Galmudug President Mohamed Ahmed Alim, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a representative Khalif Abdulkadir Noor and Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole.
As reporters, civil society, MPs, Ministers and security, watched as the leaders entered to have a private meeting, nobody thought the deliberation would take until 1 am. The respective leaders came out of the room with the signed Garowe II principles ready to hold a press conference on the recent accomplishment. The Minister of Constitution and Reconciliation Abdirahman Hosh Jabril opened the press conference by outlining major achievements in the Garowe Principles II, including that women will have 30 percent of the seats in the National Constituent Assembly (NCA). Minister Hosh added that the agreement states that there will be a new parliament with an upper and lower house, membership of the lower house will consist of 225 seats and the upper house which will be based on the new configurations of future federal states will consist of 54 seats.
President Farole who gave a brief speech at the late press conference first thanked the people and the respected delegates for the patience and attendance. President Farole said, “It is a great milestone for a Somali constitutional conference of this stature to occur and take place in Somali soil.”
He went on to discuss the recent achievements of the TFG and its allies in forcing Al Shabaab from the strongholds adding that it was important to ensure the presence of the TFG government in these areas to avoid a power vacuum. Lastly President Farole thanked the Puntland security forces for the hard work in securing Garowe.
Augustine Mahiga UN special representative for Somalia, who spoke about the Garowe principles and the allotted seats for women in the NCA, the ambassador said the signing of the Garowe principles II was a victory for the Somali people and a triumph for the Somali women.
President Sharif was the last to take the podium and gave a lengthy speech he started off by thanking the Puntland people and the government for the warm welcome and thanked the delegates and people for the patience. President Sharif told the audience how happy he was to be in Garowe and to accomplish the signing of the principles. “I am elated to be here in Garowe tonight because we successfully signed the document and we hope it will change our future for the better,” President Sharif said.
As the respected leaders and delegates attended a late party and got whatever sleep they could, the officials left Garowe on Saturday. Puntland President and his delegation left to prepare for the London conference on Somalia that is being held on the 23rd of February.