Somalia faces constitutional crisis, UN rep says

Posted on 30/03/2011


NAIROBI, Kenya.  A U.N. official says Somalia’s weak government is facing a constitutional crisis that threatens to unravel hard-won gains in battles against al-Qaida-linked militants.

Somalia’s oversized parliament voted itself a three-year extension in February, a vote the U.S. sharply criticized. Now Somalia’s Cabinet says it wants a one-year extension. Somalia’s parliament hasn’t passed a law in six years, and the government cannot provide even basic services.

The extension requests come in the middle of an offensive against Islamist militants that appears to be going well.

The U.N.’s Somalia representative, Augustine P. Mahiga, says the international community is likely to support a one- year extension for parliament but wants to see a new government voted in by August.


March 30, 2011