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Somalia MPs Flocking to Baidoa

 

ogadishu, Somalia ¡V Large number of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia¡¦s Members of Parliament (MPs) are flocking to the city of Baidoa which at the present serves as the temporary headquarters of TFG.

It is reported that the MPs are arriving in Baidoa from Mogadishu and Nairobi, among other places, because of a call from the Speaker of the Parliament to report to Parliament. First Deputy of the Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mohamed Omar Dalha said that the MPs will work on some important issues of which are of sensitive in nature.

Information we received from some MPs tell us that the current rift between the President and the Prime Minister has divided MPs into two factions and that some MPs who support the President are preparing a motion against the Prime Minister while others who support the Prime Minister are preparing a motion against the President.

Although the Speaker of the Parliament has not spoken of the rift between the President and the Prime Minister, observers will closely watch how the Parliament approaches the issue and any developments related to it. The rift resulted from the dismissal of the former Governor Benadir region who was also the Mayor of Mogadishu Mr. Mohamed Dhere by the Prime Minister and the cabinet but the president opposed the decision.

The current Parliament¡¦s time in office ends on August 22, 2009. Unfortunately, during its existence it spent a lot of precious time proposing motions against existing governments. It is believed that most of these no confidence motions are proposed by Parliamentarians who are sour because they were not included in the cabinet.

Nigerian ship hijacked in Somalia

LAGOS (Xinhua) -- Somali militants have hijacked a Nigerian merchant ship, holding its captain, Graham Egbegi, and its crew hostage, local media reported Sunday.

The militants are demanding a ransom of 1 million U.S. dollars for their release.

Trigo Egbegi, the captain's elder brother, disclosed this in a text message to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

Egbegi, a journalist and Secretary of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, said the captain was allowed to contact his family after five days in captivity.

He said the ship, Yenagoa Ocean, belonging to ESL Integrated Services, had berthed in Mogadishu to seek medical attention for some crew members who were sick.

Egbegi said the ship was on its way from Dubai through the Pacific when it was hijacked.

He said the captain had earlier obtained a clearance to head for Mogadishu for the treatment, adding after the ship's berthing, the militants stormed the ship and seized it.

He said although the captain and his crew were well, the militants, who had reportedly contacted the ship's owners, had been threatening to kill them unless the ransom was paid.

Piracy has been rife off Somalia since the country slid into chaos after warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Many pirates claim to be "coastguards" protecting their waters against illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste.

Narrating their son's ordeal to newspaper The Guardian, spokesman of the Egbegi family, Trigo Egbegi, said Captain Egbegi and his crew went to Dubai to take delivery of the vessel, Yenagoa Ocean, via the Pacific route and on their way back to Nigeria,

"Mogadishu was the nearest city to them and they decided to berth in the city for urgent medical attention to the man," he said.

"They radioed the Mogadishu port and got permission to berth there. On their way, the ship was intercepted by pirates, who seized and took the crew to an unknown destination. Now the pirates are demanding for a $1 million ransom, failure which they have threatened to kill all the crew,'' Egbegi said.

He revealed that the owners of the ship, ESL Integrated Services, have been doing their best to ensure that the ship and its crew were released, "but up till now, they have not succeeded. Now, we have been left with no other option than to alert the federal government and Nigerians on the plight of the crew," he said.

Egbegi, who said he had found it difficult to get in touch with the managing director of ESL Services because he was said to have traveled out of the country, said the family depends on the Federal Government to help it secure the release of Captain Egbegi and his crew.


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