Press Release: Commemoration of first anniversary of 7/11 massacre.
On the eve of the 1st anniversary of the brutal killings of the Awdal citizens in the Dilla/Kalabaydh area, Adal Resources & Development Assistance Association (ARDAA) is calling upon the President-elect and his new administration to address a major concern from the communities from Awdal & Salal; an ignored, long outstanding and unfinished agenda item of the outgoing party; a dark spot in the history of this young nation; and a major violation of human rights in the name of ill-conceived clan politics: the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators and collaborators of the 7/11 massacre.
A year has passed since the brutal murder of four innocent Somaliland citizens who were travelling at Hargeisa/Borama highway. These four victims were businessmen, academicians, and engineers and were killed in what we characterize as the most heinous way. Their bodies were mutilated, skinned alive, and their heads severed from the body. Indeed, we are at a loss of words to describe this inhuman slaughter!
Ali Mohamed Nur (Bagaashle) and Ali Sheikh Omar Barre,
pictured above, were both slaughtered along with Mawlid
Hassan Omar and Daud Hashi Jama, by a clan militia on the
road between Borama and Hargeisa, Somaliland, on July 11, 2009.
The families of those victims, the peace-loving people of Somaliland and the international community as well as the human rights defenders worldwide, were waiting for justice from Somaliland government for the past twelve months. Nevertheless the outgoing Somaliland administration failed miserably to apprehend the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice. Rather than fulfilling its responsibility toward its citizens, that administration did not even acknowledge the murder of these innocent citizens. For a year, all is well in Hargeisa: no government official, no political leader, no human rights group, and not even a single civil society advocate have mentioned the bloodshed on 7/11. They failed to heed to our earlier and numerous press releases, petitions and calls for justice. The cries of the widows and orphans of the victims of the 7/11 massacre have fallen on deaf ears. (www.ardaa.org).
What had happened at the Hargeisa-Borama road on the evening of July 11, 2009 will remain a dark spot and a terrible wound that would never be healed if the government of Somaliland does not stand the responsibilities entrusted to them by its citizens.
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. They have declared that their fathers are gone but not forgotten!
The families of the victims have had questions about the ineffectiveness of the Somaliland outgoing administration and the unfair treatment of their cases. They saw a clear double standard and bad politics played by that 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 Borama-Hargeisa 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 demonstrated that the government of Somaliland was able to perform its basic duties under the law when it wanted to do so. This was indeed a double standard that jeopardized Somaliland’s influence and interests in both the national and international arenas. It also shattered all and any hopes that the Somaliland people had as aspirations for recognition and nationhood. We are hoping that the incoming administration will make it first priority to serve justice and to bring a closure to this long overdue case and ugly crime against humanity.
The President- elect on his capacity as Kulmiye party leader was not only following the deadly explosion at Las Anod that killed the senior military officer very closely, but was outspoken and openly involved to the point where he implicated this murder to the outgoing president’s office. However, he kept his lips tight about the 7/11 crime. Now is the time that the President-elect speaks out about this horrible crime and promise to bring the culprits to justice.
The 7/11 massacre is a serious black mark and a setback to the government and people of Somaliland and their efforts to coexist in peace and tranquility, and in their aspirations to become a recognized member of the international community unless the government takes the appropriate action which is to bring the culprits of the 7/11 crime to justice.
We at ARDAA believe in the value and dignity for all humanity regardless of race, clan, or social group. In light of this, we would leave no stone unturned to advocate justice for these victims and for all victims of oppression throughout the world. Today is the 1st anniversary of 7/11 massacre and appeal to Somaliland government, the political parties, particularly the victorious Kulmiye Party, the parliament, the civil society, the traditional elders, religious leaders, and all Somaliland citizens to rise above the tribal arrogance that promotes internecine fighting and observe this dark day by organizing appropriate programs in remembrance and commemoration of the victims of 7/11 and by demanding justice, fairness and equality under the law. The families of the victims still wait for justice.
Finally, in this moment of grief and pain, we call upon all Somalilanders and all peace loving people to observe a minute of silence in memory of victims of 7/11. We at ARDAA shall continue to advocate on behalf of the families of 7/11 victims till justice is done. On behalf of all peace-loving people of Somaliland and elsewhere in the world, we pay our tribute to the victims of the 7/11 massacre: may Allah bless their souls.
Adal Resources and Development Assistance Association (ARDAA)
Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 11, 2010
ARDAA is a 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.