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Galmudug shrugs off UN’s call to remove Senator’s name over questionable record

Storyline:National News
The International Community Sunday stood its ground calling for removal of names of candidates with a history of human rights violations but Galmudug has dismissed the calls as an infringement of rights of citizens to elect their own leaders. Oct 17, 2016| Photo: UNSOM

Galmudug has dismissed calls by the UN to drop the name of Abdi Qebydiid from the list of senators elected from the state assembly terming the demand a violation of the rights of the people of Galmudug.

The State Assembly speaker Ali Ga’alo Aseyr told reporters in Adado the international community must respect the will of the people.

“We call upon the UN to respect the wishes of Galmudug people and support those who were elected by the people,” said Aseyr.

Aseyr also raised issue with the timing of the letter saying it ‘came in late when the state assembly was finalizing the electoral processes’.

In a letter dated October 14, UN Special envoy to Somalia Michael Keating called on Galmudug President Abdikarim Guled to remove the name of Qebydiid from the list of candidates for the senatorial race arguing Qebydiid’s past was ridden with gross human rights violations and that his election would return Somalia ‘to dark days of warlordism’.

“Given Abdi Qebydiid’s past history, in particular his role during Somalia’s civil wars, his inclusion in the list of Upper House candidates is a matter of serious concern. His candidature and the potential election of any individual with such a history represents a regressive step,” said Keating.

In a media statement Sunday, the international community re-affirmed its earlier position calling for efforts to end endorsement of candidates with questionable record.

“A rejection of parliamentary candidates who have been implicated in some of the country’s worst human rights abuses will reaffirm Somalia’s commitment to end the culture of impunity in the eyes of its own citizens and the world at large,” said Keating.

The UN also issued letters to Jubbaland and Puntland over names of former warlords Abdifitah Mohamed Ali and Mohamed Hersi Mogan respectively who are also contesting for Senatorial seats.