News in Brief 28 December (AM)

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New parliamentarians are sworn in during an inauguration ceremony for members of Somalia’s Upper House and the House of the People in Mogadishu on 27 December 2016. UN Photo.

Inauguration of new parliament "milestone" in Somalia history

The inauguration of a new federal parliament is a "milestone" in the history of Somalia, the UN Assistance Mission in the country, UNSOM, has reported, citing a former Speaker of the House.

About 283 new lawmakers took an oath of office by placing their right hands on the Holy Quran in groups of 30.

Forty-one of the Members of Parliament, or MPs, will become senators in the Upper House while 242 will be members of the House of the People.

Interim speakers were appointed for both houses of the federal parliament.

The move comes after several weeks of voting amid reports of "serious abuses and malpractice, including fraud and corruption."

On Tuesday, Somalia's international partners released a statement expressing "grave concern" over the electoral process, the first in more than four decades.

The lawmakers are expected to vote for the president in a secret ballot.

WFP welcomes continued support for refugees in Djibouti

The European Union's continued support to refugees in Djibouti  has been welcomed by the World Food Programme (WFP).

WFP's director, Jacques Higgins, said that vital funding from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has helped boost the economy in and around refugee camps while meeting refugees' basic food needs.

The European Union contributed more than US $727,000 to WFP in 2016, helping about 17,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Djibouti.

They receive cash packages and food rations which allows them buy the food they want at local stores.

UN calls for investigation into murder of Filipino journalist

Authorities in the Philippines are being urged by the UN's scientific and cultural agency, UNESCO, to investigate the murder of a local journalist.

Larry Que was shot in the town of Virac, in the central province of Catanduanes.

He wrote a column for Catanduanes News Now, a weekly of which he was the publisher.

UNESCO chief Irina Bokova condemned his murder and said it is "vital for society as a whole" to protect the safety of journalists when they work.

Priyanka Shankar, United Nations.


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