SomaliPress.com

Somali Prime Minister to Face Parliament Over Security Training, Airport Deals.

Published on Wednesday 29th December 2010

Somalia's parliament has asked Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (alias Farmajo) to appear in parliament to answer questions regarding agreements signed with foreign companies over security training and airport management, Radio Garowe reports.

Somali MPs in Mogadishu reportedly asked Prime Minister Farmajo to appear in parliament to answer specific questions, legislative sources said. The MPs expressed their frustration that the TFG signed two agreements with foreign companies "without parliamentary approval," the sources added.

On Monday, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia announced that it has signed a 10-year agreement with a company called SKS, which will manage Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport. The airport is a major base for the 8,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force (AMISOM) mandated to protect TFG assets in Mogadishu.

TFG officials did not specify which government official signed the agreement with SKS, but a company official identified as David Tom Chris reportedly signed the agreement on behalf of SKS.

According to TFG officials, SKS will manage airport services for a period of 10 years but the announcement did not specify revenue-sharing percentages between the company and the interim government in Mogadishu.

Separately, TFG Information Minister Abdikarim Hassan Jama has defended the TFG deal with Saracen International regarding security training for the presidential guard.

He claimed that agreement was signed by the former administration of Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmake, who resigned in September after serving since February 2009.

On Tuesday, Mr. Sharmake told the VOA Somali Service that he has "never heard of" such an agreement and labeled the agreement "illegal" during his VOA interview.

It is not clear when Prime Minister Farmajo will appear in parliament, but his new administration has been in office since October and is facing critical security challenges including a three-year-old insurgency spearheaded by Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab rebels.

Mogadishu has been marred by insurgent violence since early 2007, as the insurgents have vowed to overthrow the TFG and its AMISOM backers and install an Islamist regime in its place.

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