Politics is a continuation of war for Somali lawmakers

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The Independent Online

Somali lawmakeres in exile fought each other with clubs, chairs and walking sticks after a hotly disputed vote rejecting the use of troops from neighbouring countries in a force planned to secure a transitional government in Somalia. Television footage showed Kenyan police intervening to stop the turmoil in the hotel where the lawmakers voted. Some legislators were later seen with blood oozing from their heads as police confiscated clubs.

Somali lawmakeres in exile fought each other with clubs, chairs and walking sticks after a hotly disputed vote rejecting the use of troops from neighbouring countries in a force planned to secure a transitional government in Somalia. Television footage showed Kenyan police intervening to stop the turmoil in the hotel where the lawmakers voted. Some legislators were later seen with blood oozing from their heads as police confiscated clubs.

Some of the lawmakers had reacted angrily to the speaker of parliament's decision to allow lawmakers to vote by a show of hands instead of a secret ballot. The contentious motion that was rejected would have allowed participation of troops from neighbouring countries in a proposed regional peace support mission in Somalia.

Somalia's government and parliament are based in Kenya because the Somali capital, Mogadishu, is considered unsafe.

Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi denounced the vote as unconstitutional and accused powerful warlords-turned-Cabinet ministers and their allies of sabotaging efforts to restore order in Somalia.

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