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Somali citizens form independent election watchdog group
Sabahi Online
Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A coalition of civil society figures from Somalia announced the formation of watchdog organisation the Independent Vetting Coalition Somalia (IFISO) in a news release Tuesday (July 31st).

"In order for the transition in Somalia to truly coincide with a new political era, its people must have confidence in its new institutions of governance," said IFISO Chairperson Hassan Shire Sheikh. "Nothing would erode that confidence faster than seeing the very people who perpetuated and profited from decades of warfare taking a part in civilian government."

"Recognising the threat of factional warlords and militias subverting the democratic process, IFISO has been created in order to scrutinise the nominations process done by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission to reject candidates with verifiable records of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or gross human rights violations," the statement said.

IFISO, which means "she who shines light on wrongdoers" in Somali, will supplement and monitor the work of the Technical Selection Committee established to oversee the selection of National Constituent Assembly delegates and parliamentarians. The organisation, which includes members from all segments of Somali society, will operate on donations from international human rights, media and civil society groups.


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