Rep. Ilhan Omar Faces Calls to Resign After Recent Drama

Rep. Ilhan Omar Faces Calls to Resign After Recent Drama

( – US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is under fire for her remarks at an event in Minneapolis on January 27, in which she purportedly said that she would use her influence as a lawmaker to prevent the self-declared country of Somaliland from entering into a sea-access deal with Ethiopia. A disputed translation of the statement, which was delivered in the Somali language, went viral, prompting colleagues to call for Omar’s resignation.

Omar said that she represents the interests of Somalis in the US Congress, according to one translated clip of her remarks. Somalia and its waters will not be “stolen” as long as Omar is in office, the lawmaker purportedly said.

On January 1, Somaliland—an unrecognized state along the Gulf of Aden—signed a memorandum of understanding with Ethiopia to provide sea access to Ethiopia. Somaliland intends to allow Ethiopia to construct a military base on its coast.

US House Majority Whip Tom Emmer called Omar’s remarks a “slap in the face” to her constituents in Minnesota, whom she was elected to represent. Minnesota has one of the highest Somali-American populations in the United States.

Omar’s remarks violate her oath of office, Emmer said, adding that the congresswoman ought to resign from her position. However, Omar claims that the viral translation of her remarks is inaccurate. The translation is not just slanted but “completely off,” Omar said in a statement.

Even conservative commentator Candace Owens came to Omar’s defense during a January 30 episode of her show. An alternative translation did not include some of the phrasings for which Omar received criticism, Owens said. Nevertheless, Owens noted that Omar has made many other statements worthy of criticism.

Regardless of the accuracy of the translation, public officials in the US are “unfortunately” restricted in their ability to sue for defamation, Omar said in a statement. Considering her defensive response to the criticisms, it appears as though Omar has no intention of resigning from her seat in Congress.

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