DJIBOUTI (Somaliguardian) – Djibouti’s president Ismael Omar Guelleh raised concerns that Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab will have members in the new parliament of Somalia that could give them extra powers to govern the country independently.
In a recent interview with the Africa Report, Mr Guelleh said he was deeply concerned about upcoming elections in the war-torn nation.
Djibouti has thousands of troops in Somalia under the African Union forces fighting Al-Shabaab, a group that controls large swathes of territory in the south and central regions of the country.
President Guelleh stated that Al-Shabaab was able to buy support of some of the law makers following reports that the group was in control of the MPs’ selection process after it had earlier called the 2016 electoral delegates to the towns under its administration.
“Somalia’s parliamentary elections are expected to take place in 2021 and I fear that the election of lawmakers is indirectly controlled by Al-Shabaab will end as they can buy the support of some lawmakers,” said the Djiboutian president.
Similar concerns had been earlier raised by opposition figures but Mr Guelleh becomes the first African president to comment on Somalia’s upcoming elections.
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