Press Release: Families of the Victims of 7/11 have spoken loud and clear.
They lost their loved ones: their fathers, their heroes and their role models. The sons, daughters, wives, brothers, sisters, and families of the late Ali Sheikh Omar Barre, Ali Mohamed Nur (Bagaashle), Daud Hashi Jama and Mawlid Hassan Omar, as well as the entire peace-loving community of Somaliland, are calling for justice and for closure.
In a news conference held in Borama on May 6, 2010, the sons of late Ali Sheikh Omar Barre and Ali Mohamed Nur (Bagaashle), have spoken loud and clear about their losses. They have held up the pictures of their fathers and directed difficult questions at the Somaliland people and the authorities. Boqore Ali Sheikh Omar and Ahmed Ali Bagaashle are asking for answers: When will the perpetrators of the 7/11 crimes be captured and brought before justice? Why is it taking so long to bring a closure to our nightmare? How much longer do we have to wait before the murderers of our dads are apprehended? Boqore, Ahmed and other members of their families are all running out of patience. Their position is plain and simple: justice delayed is justice denied.
The families of the victims have questions about the ineffectiveness of the Somaliland government and the unfair treatment of their cases. They see a clear double standard and bad politics played by the administration. For example, in November 2009, a deadly explosion killed a high ranking military officer in Las Anod. Ten suspects connected to this explosion were brought to trial in Madera and the government did everything to apprehend any suspects of that case. However, the militia members, whose names circulate publicly among the people, who stopped travelers along the Borame-Hargiesa road, took 10 hostages and summarily butchered four of them, are free and at large. Somaliland authorities did not make any arrests in connection with the killing. This clearly demonstrates that the government of Somaliland is able to perform its basic duties under the law when it wants to do so. This is indeed a double standard that jeopardizes Somaliland’s influence and interests in both the national and international arenas. It also shatters all and any hopes that the Somaliland people had as aspirations for recognition and nationhood. Are some lives less valuable than others? Is justice the privilege of a few or the right of every citizen?
The status quo is unacceptable and does not serve the interest of Somaliland as a nation. It will also undermine the peace and stability of Somaliland, the only two products that Somaliland sells to the international community. Therefore, we join the families of victims in calling for justice and closure for their losses.
For long years, Somaliland has stood out as an example of an oasis of peace, democracy and human rights in Horn of Africa. It obviously reversed the course and is in fact in a free fall now. The government is selective in execution of justice and has no political will to arrest the criminals and perpetrators of 7/11 crime. The opposition parties are also selective in their demand for accountability. The legislature is mired in petty bickering, and internal power struggle. The general public is in disarray and the traditional structure that saved Somaliland during the difficult times is in destruction and decay. Peace is therefore in serious jeopardy.
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 call upon the Somaliland government institutions, the political parties, the legislature, traditional leaders, the civil society including the human rights defenders, and the media to rise above the tribal arrogance that promotes internecine fighting and stand for justice, fairness, and equality for all that leads success and better life for every citizen.
We, in the diasporas and particularly at ARDAA, while once again condemning this outrageous and cowardly act of killing innocent travelers in unequivocal terms, do hereby renew our call to all who care about justice and peace to remember the victims of 7/11 and:
- To strongly support and add our voice to that of the families of victims, and in particular to the statement issued by Boqore and Ahmed in Borama on May 6, 2010,
- To demand the government of Somaliland to discharge its responsibilities fairly and equitably towards its citizens under the law of the land and arrest the perpetrators of 7/11 crime and those who collaborated with them, without any further delay.
- To remind the Somaliland media and national human rights defenders to keep the issue alive, and to demand action, transparency and accountability.
- To demand that concrete measures be taken to prevent recurrence of similar violence again and/ or elsewhere in Somaliland, especially in the wake of national election season, which is expected to promote and perpetuate civil unrest and clan animosity.
Finally, in this moment of grief and pain, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of Ali Aw Omar Barre, Daud Hashi Jama, Mawlid Hassan Omar and Ali Mohamed Nur (Bagaashle) and assure them that ARDAA shall continue to advocate on their behalf till justice is done.
Adal Resources and Development Assistance Association (ARDAA)
Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 11, 2010
ARDAA is non-profit, community based umbrella organization established in 2007 in North America to support socio-economic development projects in the Adal regions, coordinate resources and efforts through fundraising, training, capacity building, leadership development, public relations and advocacy.