Thursday, May 14

Good time for a training

I suppose if I were a member of Somalia's parliament, now - with Islamist insurgents continuing their week-long assault on the government - would seem like a pretty good time to go attend a training in Nairobi. From Garowe :
International organizations are expected to host the training in Nairobi, where members of the Somali Parliament, which includes some 275 new lawmakers, will be taught about parliamentary conduct, activities and good governance.

The timing of the lawmakers' trip to Kenya comes as Islamist rebels, led by Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, have intensified the armed campaign against the interim Somali government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, former leader of the Islamic Courts movement.
A parliament source confidentially told Garowe Online that the trip to Kenya was scheduled, but noted that the date of the trip was "sped up due to security concerns."
To be fair, this is the most presence a Somali parliament has had in Mogadishu for quite some time. The "Transitional Federal Parliament" was created in Nairobi in 2004. It moved to the central town of Baidoa in 2006, but Baidoa has since been taken over by the hard-line Al-Shabab militia. Then, for a while, most of the parliament was hanging out in Djibouti. When the current president took over at the end of January, many of the lawmakers moved back to Mogadishu, though 160 or so have been staying in Nairobi (the fashionable coffee houses near my office downtown are favorite haunts for well-to-do Somalis).

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