Somalia Assembly Convenes to Form New Government

Somalia’s National constitution assembly (NCA) for the first time has convened on Wednesday in Mogadishu to adopt the new provisional constitution for war-torn Somalia.

The meeting was scheduled before final ratification of the constituion by a national referendum.

The National Constituent Assembly (NCA) is composed of 825 delegates chosen by traditional elders. The elders are reportedly representing all Somali clans.

Reports says the meeting at former police academy in Mogadishu was under AMISOM protection for nine days beginning today on Wednesday.

A woman holds her severely malnourished young child in a camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Mogadishu. Somalia is affected by a severe drought that has ravaged large swaths of the Horn of Africa, leaving an estimated 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

UN Photo

NCA is tasked with the adoption of the new constitution. In addition, the NCA is responsible for the selection of the new lawmakers of the next parliament of Somalia before August 20, 2012, the ending period of the current UN backed Transitional Federal Government.

Today at DC, Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the United States welcomes today’s convening of Somalia’s National Constituent Assembly (NCA).

She states that the NCA will meet for nine days to review and vote on a draft Provisional Constitution that will serve as Somalia’s legal framework until future adoption of a permanent constitution by national referendum.

The launch of the NCA is a key milestone in completing the political transition in Somalia, Ms. Nuland stressed.

The major next step is for Somalia’s traditional elders to select a new parliament that will in turn elect a speaker of parliament and president, she added.

According to Ms. Nuland, the United States is urging that these remaining tasks be completed quickly and transparently so that the transition ends on schedule August 20 and Somalia is able to usher in a new era of governance that is more responsive, representative, and accountable.

The United States is deeply concerned by the humanitarian emergency that is occurring in parts of Somalia, the ongoing conflict and political instability within Somalia, and the escalating refugee crisis across the region.

The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa region, now providing over $750 million in life-saving assistance to those in need. This assistance has reached nearly 4.6 million people, many of whom would otherwise have died from starvation or related diseases.

The United States remains committed to breaking the cycle of hunger and famine in the Horn of Africa and to this end will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need and call on others to join it in supporting the UN’s $1.5 billion 2012 Consolidated Appeal for Somalia.

Somalia has been in constant wars for past two past decades since the collapse of the Somali state in January 21, 1991. Millions of lives were lost and countless number of people had been internally displaced.

Somalia is the country worst affected by a severe drought that has ravaged large swaths of the Horn of Africa, leaving an estimated 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.