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ATMIS supports public engagement on Somalia’s constitutional amendments in Mogadishu.

Thursday , 29 Feb,2024 {HMC}  A public consultation meeting to review the first four chapters of the constitution concluded in Mogadishu with a plea to parliament to adopt a document that reflects the views and aspiration of the Somali people.

The two-day meeting, organised jointly by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia’s Political Unit, brought together over 200 representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

The objective was to gather insights on proposed constitutional amendments, complementing ongoing federal parliament debates.

Somalia President’s Advisor on Constitutional Affairs Dr Hussein Sheikh Mohamud emphasized the crucial role of public involvement in the constitution-making process, stating that such forums align political representatives with the public vision.

“These forums are very important as they will align the vision of the political representatives with that of the public. The government intends to engage far and wide on these constitutional amendments to help come up with a better document,” Mohamud said.

On his part, Somalia’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Hassan Maalim Mohamud, thanked the civil society representatives for their active engagement in the discussions and promised to share their views with parliament for consideration.

“Such engagements complement the ongoing debates within parliament and provides linkages between public and parliament which is currently discussing these same four chapters you discussed here,” Minister Mohamud observed.

ATMIS Political Officer Sayid Abdi Hersi underscored the constitution’s vital role in achieving peace and stability, particularly in defining and guiding Somalia’s security architecture, both during the transition phase and post-ATMIS.

“The constitution is the backbone of the state building and will support peace and stability of this country. It promotes reconciliation and social cohesion, crucial for strengthening good governance and the successful Somali transition plan,” Hersi added.

Participants welcomed the engagement and urged the federal government of Somalia to organize more meetings in various parts of the country to gather additional views and seek clarification on the review process.

Mariam Taqal Hussein, a civil society member, expressed satisfaction with the discussions seeing it as an opportunity for the civil society to share their views and seek clarifications on the constitution review process.

“Discussions held here were very helpful. I am happy our recommendations will be presented to parliament. I really hope all our concerns will be heard and incorporated into the constitution,” Mariam said.

Participants were divided into small groups to discuss the four chapters on declaration of the Federal Republic of Somalia, fundamental rights and the duties of the citizen, land, property and environment and representation of the people. Their recommendations were captured and will be presented to parliament.

The event was attended by the Joint Parliamentary Oversight Committee and the Independent Constitutional Implementation Review Commission, the two main bodies tasked with the constitution review process.

Somalia’s provisional constitution was approved in 2012. And last month parliament resolved to initiate the process of constitutional amendments to ultimately produce a final document crucial for Somalia’s nation building and political stability.

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