Somali parliament fires Islamist-linked speaker

January 17, 2007 19:46

The Somali parliament stripped the speaker position from a top lawmaker closely associated with the recently ousted Islamic movement, a move the European Union said was disappointing and could hurt reconciliation efforts in the restive country. Diplomats said that former speaker Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden, fired Wednesday, was capable of pulling together moderate elements in Somalia's Islamic movement. Wednesday also saw the government's disarmament efforts receive a boost with three major warlords handing over vehicles and men. Deputy Speaker Osman Ilmi Boqore announced the move against Aden in proceedings broadcast live on HornAfrik Radio. Lawmakers cited his public criticism of a proposed African peacekeeping mission that parliament had endorsed and his meetings with Islamic movement leaders without authority from parliament.

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