Somalia: Constitution Committee meets refugee elders of Kakuma camp
The committee preparing Somalia’s national constitution has on Thursday met Somali refugee elders of Kakuma refugee camp in a conference held in Nairobi.
The conference was organized by International Development Law Organization, as part of a wider consultations and gathering of suggestions that may be used as amendments to the proposed law.
Dignitaries who attended the meeting included TFG minister of Reconciliation and Constitutional Affairs, Abdurahman Hosh Jibril , Somali ambassador to Kenya, Mohamed Ali Nur, officials from the International Development Law Organization and elders from Kakuma refugee camp.
The minister for Reconciliation and Constitutional Affairs stated firmly that the 800+ members who supposed to pass on the draft constitution will be selected from all Somali clans.
The minister stressed that no one will be accepted without the complete nomination of the accredited traditional elders.
“Somalis know each other, and we all know the long-serving traditional elders. No one will be accepted without their approval” said Hosh.
Hosh also added that the constitution is handed over to an appointed a nine-member Committee of Experts.
“The constitution falls under hands of Somali experts who constitute men and women. They are assigned to finalize the mending of the constitution. And before that we will be gathering the views of the citizens concerned,” said the minister.
Shirwa Jama, a country representative for IDLO Somalia and the organizer of the conference, stated that the conference was intended to consult with committees from Kakuma refugee camp in regard of the constitution-building process. Shirwa emphasized the need for engaging Somali communities who are living in the refugee camps.
“Today, we have committees from the Kakuma refugee camp and we are going to listen to their views and recommendations in regard of the draft constitution mending,” said Shirwa.
The Somali ambassador in Kenya, Ali Nuur America who was among the invited officials in the conference, welcomed the need to involve Somali people living in the camps and to encourage them to take part in rebuilding the nation.
“The country seems to be regaining hope and the people living in the refugee camps are Somali citizens who have every right to take part the process. I am happy today that they are called upon consultation in the draft constitution-building process, “expressed by the ambassador in a smiley face.
An emotional speech was delivered in the conference by Batuulo Ahmed who is an official for Reconciliation and Constitution Affairs Ministry. Batuula urged Somalis to feel pity and patriotism for their country.
“Who brought the foreign intervention?” asked Batuulo “It is us who neglected our country thus our country went beyond our control. We should stand for our country, we still have a chance to rebuild our nation,” said Batuulo who heartily earned the applause of the audience.
Finally the leaders from Kakuma Refugee camp committee commenced to give their views on the draft constitution-building process. The leaders also pledged to take part in rebuilding the nation.