Originally proposed by the oposition, the decision to implement sharia (Islamic law) accross Somalia has unanimously been taken by the country’s parliament on Saturday, the parliamentary deputy speaker has said.
Osman Elmi Bogore, who presided over the debates, said : “There were 340 members at the session and they voted unanimously for the implementation of Islamic sharia in Somalia.”
“The bill… is approved by the parliament…. We have an Islamic government.”
The interim government, led by Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, had been called by the opposition to implement sharia as a precondition to start a national dialogue in the war-torn country.
Mr Ahmed was elected in January, after what he had pledged to form an inclusive government.
The move to implement sharia is an attempt by political leaders to re-assert government control over southern and central parts of the country, say analysts.
Sharia has already been imposed by al-Shabab, an anti-government armed group, in areas under its control.
Since 1991, when Mohamed Siad Barre was forced from the presidency, Somalia hasn’t had an effective central government.