Monday, October 19, 2020

On Baidoa visit, International Representatives discuss elections, security and economic issues

On a visit to Somalia’s South West State today, representatives of some of the country’s key international partners highlighted the importance of the Federal Government and Federal Member States working together for the good of all Somalis.   

“We are encouraged by the revitalization of the dialogue between the Federal Government and all of the Federal Member States. This has included the series of meetings in Dhusamareb in recent months and consultative meetings in Mogadishu in September during which the agreement on the elections model was reached,” said the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan.    

“We appreciate President Abdiaziz’s leadership at many stages of this process,” he added, at a brief press conference in the interim capital of Baidoa following a group meeting with the President of South West State, Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed ‘Laftagareen.’   

The UN envoy traveled to Baidoa with the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Ambassador Francisco Madeira; the European Union’s (EU) Ambassador to Somalia, Nicolas Berlanga Martinez; and, from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Head of Mission, Jamal Ahmed Ibrahim. 

In his remarks, Mr. Swan said the results of the Dhusamareb and Mogadishu meetings demonstrated what can be achieved when Somalia’s leaders come together in a spirit of consensus and collaboration.   

“We urge the leaders to continue with the preparations for the national elections so that they are underpinned by transparency, fairness and inclusivity,” the UN Special Representative said. “This applies to all aspects of the electoral process, such as the formation of federal- and state-level independent electoral committees, the Dispute Resolution Committee and Elections Security Committee.” 

Mr. Swan also noted the importance of close collaboration to ensure security around the elections, and recognized the efforts of the South West State administration in this regard, despite persistent threats from Al Shabaab.

The partners also encouraged Somalia’s leaders to extend their cooperation further in areas such as the constitutional review and other processes that can help advance national priorities, democratic reforms and essential freedoms, such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press.    

“These are all key components of a lively democratic system that will allow Somali voices to be heard,” Mr. Swan, adding that the AU, EU, IGAD and UN will continue to stand with the people of South West State as they build a better future.   

On the economic front, the international partners recognized the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruption of economic growth in South West State, and also underscored the importance revenue collection and good governance for the future development of the state. 

This post first appeared on Caasimada Online. Read the https://www.caasimada.net/on-baidoa-visit-international-representatives-discuss-elections-security-and-economic-issues/original article

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Court rules Muslim doctor who refused to shake woman's hand as she presented him with citizenship certificate has lost the right to become a...

Monday October 19, 2020 A Muslim doctor has been denied German citizenship after refusing to shake a woman's hand when she gave him his certificate.The 39-year-old Lebanese national was on the brink of becoming a German after living in the country for 13 years, completing his medical studies and passing a citizenship test with the highest possible mark. Ads By Google But he failed at the final hurdle after refusing to shake the hand of the female official at the ceremony in 2015, leading state authorities to deny him citizenship. Five years later, a court has backed their decision - saying the man's 'fundamentalist' views were at odds with his integration into German society. The man had moved to Germany in 2002 and lived there legally ever since, marrying a woman of Syrian origin about 10 years ago - promising her that he would never take the hand of another woman.  He started his application for citizenship in 2012 and signed the necessary paperwork vowing to uphold the constitution and reject extremism.But the court in Mannheim said the handshake incident was incompatible with the constitution's guarantee of equality between men and women.  'If the applicant refuses to shake hands for gender-specific reasons which are incompatible with the constitution, there is no integration into German living conditions,' they said.'This applies in particular if the refusal to shake hands with the opposite sex - as in this case - serves to further a Salafist conviction about the relationship between men and women.'  Germany has long held concerns about the fundamentalist Salafists, who make up only a tiny proportion of the country's Muslim population.The man's refusal to shake hands with the official came from a belief that women posed a 'threat of sexual temptation', the court said.   Ads By Google Since the start of 2018, the man has stopped giving handshakes altogether - but the court dismissed this as a 'tactical' step to improve his chances of getting citizenship.The court said that handshakes had deep roots in Western culture, including as a symbol of reaching agreement.  'Handshakes are common greeting and farewell rituals that take place regardless of the social status, gender or other personal characteristics of the people involved and go back centuries,' the judges said.While other greetings such as kisses and high-fives are also available, they do not come with the came sense of formality and legal validity, the court said.The judges also predicted that handshakes would withstand the coronavirus pandemic, in which physical touching has been kept to a minimum to reduce infections.  The man can now appeal the decision to a federal court.  advertisements   First Emirati passenger flight lands in Israel - AFP Sixth SNA infantry commence six months training in Mogadishu - HOL Saudi Arabia restructures top religious and advisory bodies - Reuters Minnesota Congresswoman Omar responds after Trump's latest attack on her: 'He is unraveling' - Newsweek 'An everlasting impact' The fight continues for Justice for Abdirahman - Ottawa Citizen Israel and Bahrain establish formal diplomatic relations - BBC Somali schoolgirl’s Corona fears at school without precautions - Radio Ergo Rights group call on Somali gov' to release radio journalist - HOL

This post first appeared on Caasimada Online. Read the https://www.caasimada.net/on-baidoa-visit-international-representatives-discuss-elections-security-and-economic-issues/original article