Somalia government is to launch national consultations on the constitution review following public awareness and sensitization process, officials said.

Minister of Constitutional Affairs Abdurahman Hosh Jibril said the process will engage all Somalis to ensure their views are represented in the new constitution.

“The next two years are very crucial because that is the timeline we have to complete the review of the constitution,” the minister said in a statement from the AU mission in Somalia issued on Tuesday night.

“In order for that document to have the requisite legitimacy, we need to take it to the public for consultations and conduct civic education,” Abdurahman said.

He said the national conference bringing on board all stakeholders will be held in the coming weeks, to kick start consultations. Thereafter, deliberations will be held in the regional states and the diaspora.

Somalia’s provisional constitution which the country seeks to review, was adopted on August 1, 2012 by the National Constitutional Assembly.

It provides the legal foundation for the existence of the Federal Republic and is the source of the country’s legal authority, which sets out the rights and duties of its citizens, and defines the structure of government.

The minister, who was speaking after a meeting with the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia, Francisco Caetano Madeira, in Mogadishu, said the government was seeking the assistance of the AU Mission to deliver the new constitution.

“AMISOM is already an important partner in the stabilization of Somalia, and we are very grateful for that. The AU is presently paying a heavy price in the stabilization of Somalia; but since the African Union is involved on the military sphere, we also believe that it is very important that they engage with us on the political front, because those should go hand in hand,” he said.

Abdurahman and Madeira focused on AMISOM’s support to government, to enable it successfully hold the planned nationwide consultations.