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Somalia’s first parliament since 1991 sworn in



New Somali members of parliament during the swearing in ceremony at Aden Ade international airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, on August 20, 2012

Somalia’s new parliament has been sworn in for the first time after over 20 years as the war-torn country tries to end decades of conflict.

Late on Monday, some 250 lawmakers were sworn in by the chief justice on copies of the Holy Qur’an in front of Somalia’s national flag, The Guardian reported.

The swearing-in ceremony, held on the tarmac of the capital Mogadishu’s airport, was policed by African Union peacekeepers.

The country’s transitional government is being replaced by a 275-member lower house and an upper house with a maximum of 54 members, who will be selected through a United Nations-backed process.

“The MPs are very happy to be sworn in at home,” said new lawmaker Siyad Shire Mohamoud.

“My desire is to change the current messy political landscape to a better one,” he added.

Tight security measures were adopted across the capital ahead of the vote with police and military troops patrolling the streets.

The African nation has lacked an effective central government following the ouster of former President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

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