Upper house

Somalia allows AU troops to take over security ahead of elections

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)
FILE PHOTO – Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble. /AFP-Getty Images

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Roble said on Tuesday that he had authorized the African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) to take over the security of the hangar (tent) where the election of the leaders of the Lower House is to take place on Wednesday.

Roble said the directive is due to security concerns over the impending elections of the president and two lower house lawmakers.

“Given the seriousness of the security issues hampering the completion of the elections, I have authorized ATMIS peacekeepers to immediately take over the security of the Air Force hangar as we complete the election. election of parliamentary leaders and as we prepare for the presidential election next month,” he said in a statement released in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

Key events are taking place under strict security measures in a hangar belonging to the Somali Air Force at Mogadishu International Airport.

Roble said the leadership of ATMIS will coordinate closely with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministries of Security and Defense as well as the parliamentary leadership to ensure peaceful elections.

He said the list of lawmakers to access the hangar will be prepared by the Acting Speaker of the Lower House, compiled by the Prime Minister’s Office and sent to the ATMIS leadership accordingly.

The election for the Speaker of the Upper House or Senate took place on Tuesday and analysts say the Lower House election could provide some guidance as to who among the candidates is likely to win the presidential elections in May.

The 54-member Senate and the 275-member Lower House are expected to jointly elect a new president in an indirect vote in Mogadishu, but no date has been set yet.