ITUC Calls for Government Interference in Unions to End

The ITUC has called for the Somali government to cease its attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of unions, in particular the national trade union centre FESTU.

The call was made by ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow in a video message to the FESTU Congress on 6 – 7 April in Mogadishu.

Despite government-backed efforts to undermine FESTU, the Congress proceeded successfully, with the re-election of Ahmed Osman Said as President, and Omar Faruk Osman as General Secretary. A 7-member Executive Committee was elected along with the FESTU Auditors, Women’s Committee and Youth Committee.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “We congratulate FESTU’s members and its leadership for their courage, perseverance and resolute commitment to principles of free, independent and democratic trade union movement in a country where the government ministries refuse to respect trade union independence and continue to interfere in internal union affairs.

The FESTU General Secretary narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on 29 December 2015. One of his bodyguards and two passers-by were injured in the shooting, at the union’s office in Mogadishu.

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