Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Plans for Somalia's post-war reconstruction now takes center stage after international peace mediators surmounted a major hurdle in the peace process with the swearing in of the 275-member Transitional Federal Parliament here Sunday.
International peace mediators led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) swore-in 64 new members at the United Nations Complex in Nairobi Sunday, bringing to 258 the number of those who have taken the oath of office.
The latest swearing-in came a week after the partial swearing of the 194 MPs.
The remaining 17 members were not sworn in due to logistical reasons, IGAD Secretariat officials said.
The Arab League of States announced that it has earmarked US$450 million for the initial phase of the reconstruction, pledging further financial support to a peacekeeping force deployed to protect the re-born Somali state, whose membership in the League would also be guaranteed.
The peace and reconciliation process, described as most intricate due to the country's clan-based political system, neared its close after some 24 months with the completion of the swearing in of the Federal Parliament, which is expected to elect its Speaker within the next two weeks.
The swearing in ceremony was witnessed by Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori, the Somali business community, the UN Secretary General Special envoy to Somalia, Winston Tubman, and the African Union Special Envoy to IGAD Mohamed Foum and Carlo Carlia, Chairman of the IGAD Partners Forum, which brings together the European Union and bilateral donor countries.
Carlia, who is the Italian envoy to Kenya, said the EU has slated a special meeting on Somalia this week to undertake a reconstruction needs assessment for the country.
The swearing in of the new parliament attracted aid pledge from Sudan, which said it was ready to share its limited resources with Somalia, ravished by 14 years of civil war.