Somalias constituent assembly endorses draft constitution
Somalia's constituent assembly endorsed a draft constitution Wednesday, billed as a key step to ending decades of civil war, and shortly after two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the gates.
"We are very happy today that you... responsibly completed the procedure by voting for the constitution," Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali told the 825-strong assembly after it approved the draft by a landslide 96 percent.
"I announce that Somalia has from today left the transitional period."
The special assembly -- chosen by traditional elders in a UN-backed process -- took eight days to debate and vote on the new constitution for war-torn Somalia, as the graft-riddled government approaches the end of its mandate on August 20.
"This is an historic day -- today we have witnessed the completion of a task that has been worked on for the last eight years," said Abdirahman Hosh Jabril, Somalia's constitutional affairs minister.
"This morning around 645 members of the constituent assembly gathered, and fortunately 96% of the members have voted for the new provisional constitution."
Shortly before the vote, two suicide bombers blew themselves after they were stopped by security forces, killing only themselves.
"Security forces stopped their ambitions of attacking...they were shot and then they detonated their vests," Interior Minister Abisamad Moalim told reporters, adding that one security guard was wounded in the blast.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which follows a string of explosions including roadside bombs and grenades that have rocked the Somali capital.
The provisional constitution applies immediately, but it must be finally ratified by a national referendum.
The complicated process is seen as a key step as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) ends its mandate on August 20, after eight years of infighting and minimal political progress.
Somalia has been without a stable central government since the ouster of former president Siad Barre in 1991.
Mogadishu has seen a series of such attacks since the Shebab abandoned fixed positions there last year and switched to guerrilla tactics against the government, propped up by a 17,000-strong African Union force.
The Shebab face increasing pressure from pro-government forces and regional armies, having lost a series of key towns and strategic bases in recent months. However, experts warn they are far from defeated and remain a major threat.
AFPTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rallies supporters after riot police again clash with thousands of anti-government demonstrators in a second week of nationwide unrest.Three people have died in the protests against Erdogan and his Islamic-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP), in power since 2002.Following are the main events of the past days:- May 28: A peaceful local protest
AFPTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing one of the biggest challenges of his decade in power with anti-government protests that critics say have exposed growing discontent with his increasingly authoritarian and conservative agenda.Here are the key events since Erdogan's Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) assumed power in the predominantly Muslim but staunchly
AHRAM ONLINEFounders of Egypt’s 'Rebel' campaign, a newly established movement that aims to withdraw confidence from President Mohamed Morsi by collecting citizens' signatures, spoke at an open forum on Wednesday to discuss the campaign, which has recently gone viral online and on the streets.'Rebel' campaigners hope to collect 15 million signatures and hold a mass sit-in on 30 June –
BBC SportWhen it's put to him that he might be the most talented athlete in the world to hold a racquet, a bashful Ramy Ashour admits "that's pretty great".The 25-year-old Egyptian is more than just the current squash world number one - his elastic, unorthodox brilliance and charisma could be the key to squash breaking out beyond its four walls and regaining a place on the wider sporting