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Somalia transitional parliament extends term three years, prompting criticism

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Mohamed Sheikh Nor/AP

(Read caption) This is an Oct. 31, 2010 file photo of Somali lawmakers as they raise their hands during a confidence vote in Mogadishu, Somalia. On Feb. 4, the United States sharply criticized a vote by Somali parliamentarians to extend their term by three years, saying the unilateral decision is a disservice to the Somali people and is a setback to the establishment of a legitimate and effective government.

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On Thursday, Somalia’s parliament voted to extend its term by three years. The move is of questionable legality and has evoked criticism from Somali clan elders and from the UN, the US, and the UK.

UN:

“This is a disappointing decision taken in haste without the required level of discussion and consultation on how to end the transition,” the UN’s special representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, said.

US:

“Our concern is that the international community has urged the Somali government to consult very wisely with Somalis – including those in the diaspora – and their international partners to find a way forward,” said Matt Goshko, public affairs officer at the US Embassy’s Somali affairs unit in Nairobi, Kenya.

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