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Somalian lawmaker tied to Islamists loses post as speaker

January 18, 2007|From the Associated Press

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA — Parliament stripped the speaker position Wednesday from a top lawmaker who was closely associated with the Islamist movement recently driven from this capital city.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Osman Ilmi Boqore announced the move against Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden in proceedings broadcast live on radio. Lawmakers cited Aden's criticism of a proposed African peacekeeping mission that the National Assembly endorsed and his meetings with Islamist movement leaders without authority from the legislative body.

Boqore said that only nine of the lawmakers present voted against the motion and that more than 180 voted for it.

Aden had made several freelance peace initiatives with Somalia's Islamist movement before government forces, backed by Ethiopian troops, ousted it in December from Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia.

The government's disarmament efforts got a boost Wednesday when three warlords handed over their vehicles and fighters.

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