Press Release: 7/11 Crime – Families of the Victims Still Await Answers.
Exactly SEVEN months have passed since July 11, 2009 (7/11) when Ali Aw Omer Bare, Mawlid Hassan Omer, Daud Hashi Jama and Ali Mohamed Nur (Bagaashle), who were travelling on the road between Hargeisa and Borama, were slaughtered and their bodies were mutilated by a group of organized criminals. The motive was purely a criminal act that has nothing to do with the “Ceelbardale” land dispute. This was a crime against humanity, the first of its kind in the region and an unprecedented violation of human rights codes as well as Islamic laws.
For the past seven months, the civil society, the media, political parties, the legislature and all levels of government institutions, including law enforcement departments, remained silent and indifferent to the 7/11 crime that took the lives of four highly respected innocent citizens, just because they hailed from Awdal & Salal and nothing more.
For the past seven months, the civil society, human rights advocates and the general public in the rest of Somaliland have not even issued a single statement condemning the 7/11 crime. Indeed, this is a shame that befell upon all peace-loving Somalilanders.
In mid January of 2010, some Somaliland websites have posted a breaking news claiming that two suspects in the 7/11 massacre case were arrested and transferred to Mandhera jail, a high security prison in Somaliland. If this is true, then the officers involved in this arrest deserve some credit and appreciation. However, it is unbelievably astonishing that neither the police force nor the Somaliland Ministry of Interior, who is responsible for homeland security, for the apprehension and prosecution of criminals, and for the general law and order in this young but volatile nation, have not said a single word about this important breaking news to date.
We, at Adal Resources and Development Assistance Association (ARDAA) strongly believe in democracy, truth and justice and urge the police department of Somaliland to release any information related to the capture of any suspects in the 7/11 crime to the general public. This serves the best interest of all parties concerned in this matter, including the defendants and the victims’ families who still await answers and for a closure to their losses.
We consider the mass slaughtering of innocent civilians who did not commit aggression against anyone as an unforgivable crime against humanity. Not only will this hideous crime have harmful effects on the foundation, unity, stability and togetherness of the Somaliland people, but it will also negatively impact on our relationship with the international community.
We, at ARDAA once again call upon the Somaliland government institutions, the political parties, traditional leaders, the civil society, including the human rights groups, and the media to rise above the tribal arrogance that promotes internecine fighting and stand for justice, fairness, and equality for all that leads to success and better life for everyone. At this point we would like to renew our call to remember the victims of 7/11 and to:
- Demand that the Somaliland police chief and the Minister of Interior to release any information relating to the capture of any suspects in the 7/11 massacre to the general public. Doing so will certainly help rebuild their diminishing credibility among the Somaliland people.
- Also demand in no uncertain terms that all the culprits of this shameful act be brought to justice immediately. These include the perpetrators and the collaborators of this crime.
- Demand that measures be taken to prevent similar violence again and/or elsewhere in the country.
Finally, in this moment of grief, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of Ali Aw Omer Bare, Daud Hashi Jama, Mawlid Hassan Omer and Ali Mohamed Nur (Bagaashle) and ask all peace loving people to pray and pay their tributes to the victims of 7/11.
For and on behalf of Adal Resources and Development Assistance Association (ARDAA)
Hassan K. Abtidon
February 11, 2010