From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Nov 05 2008 - 07:16:28 EST
Many Somali lawmakers displeased with IGAD conference
Nov 5, 2008 - 4:39:42 PM
NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 4 (Garowe Online) - Somali lawmakers visiting the Kenyan capital have complained that the East African regional body IGAD did not pay expenses and allowances after inviting the MPs to a Nairobi summit.
MP Awad Ahmed Ashara told reporters Tuesday that IGAD has failed to provide for the airplane that would transport the lawmakers back to Baidoa, seat of the Somali parliament.
He indicated that the MPs are "ready to go home" after IGAD stopped covering hotel expenses.
Other MPs said they were "unaware" of the reason the entire 275-seat parliament was invited to Nairobi, saying: "They [IGAD] leaders did not ask us anything."
Another MP, who spoke with Garowe Online on the condition of anonymity, said: "It seemed as if IGAD has internal divisions like the Somali government leaders."
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development is a seven-member regional body that includes Ethiopia and Kenya, Somalia's immediate neighbors.
The leaders of Sudan and Eritrea, both member-states, did not attend the Nairobi summit due to strained relations with other IGAD member-states over issues related to Somalia.
The group of IGAD leaders at the summit in Nairobi issued a document detailing benchmarks to be met by the Somali government, including a call for a new Cabinet and the completion of a constitution within the next six months.
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