Presentation of Somaliland Research Society & SomalilandNet.Com at the Somaliland International Meeting, London UK
War Crimes committed against the people of Somaliland
By Somaliland Research Society & SomalilandNet.Com
- When is “a war Crime” Being Committed?………………………....
- Foundation of War Criminals Committee…………………………...
- Unique Question to Abdiqaasim Salaad Hassan………………….....
- Special Note to British Somalilanders……………………………...
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Article 5 Universal Declaration Of Human Rights
In 1960, with a great expectation, Somaliland had voluntarily formed union with Somalia. The aim of this Union was to bring together the Somali speaking peoples of the Horn of Africa.
It was a courageous move that brought together two nations, who had no political and social contact before. This was also a moment that Somali speaking people of this region felt that they are about to be given the likelihood of having what they longed - creation of Greater Somalia, when the other three regions join.
However imperfect and hurriedly this union was done, this two nations have hopped together for 9 years, where many cultural and political difference surfaced. When NFD was passed to Kenya, Somaliland urged the union to leave the Common Wealth countries, a privilege that Somalilanders have given away, in order to show sympathy to their fellow Somali speaking people of NFD.
On 21st October 1969, a military coup detat replaced the civilian government with a junta, led by police general, who worked with the Italians, during the colony epoch. This has brought dark clouds upon the hope of the Somali Speaking people.
Instead of encouraging the integration of the two nations and working about the best logical way in which to help those who had the hope of joining the union, the military dictator embarked upon a campaign that made possible the torture and killings of tens of thousands of Somalilanders.
Maybe he thought this was the best reward for Somaliland. For some unknown reason, maybe he saw them as his enemy. May be this was due to his horrendous wild imagination, or maybe this was due to his inhumane believes. Whatever the motivation of his act was, the destruction that he inflicted upon the people of Somaliland, in terms of life and wealth, was so tremendous that it drive them to come to the conclusion that “we cannot share a flag, country and government, either federal or central, with the people who assisted his campaign of ethnic cleansing and mass destruction.”
The crimes he and his staunch men committed, during the 21 years that he held the reign of his Socialist dictatorship, were not only a crimes that had been committed against Somalilanders, but it was also a crime committed against the entire mankind. And if we allow the men and women who committed these inhumane crimes to get away with this, then we [Somalilanders] are going to let down not only the victims of this atrocity, but also the entire mankind.
If the NAZIs were allowed to get away with the carnage that they had committed and run their corners of Germany, then today the Europe that we know would never have existed.
1-This presentation will be highlighting the War Crimes committed against Somaliland, while appealing to the international communities to assist us to get what they have done for Rwandans, citizens of the Ex-Yugoslavia and many other people of this world.
2- It would be calling upon the leaders of the Arab world to abandon that idea of speaking for the people of Somaliland and saying, “the war crimes should be forgotten”. This is a privilege that belongs to the people of Somaliland, but not the leaders, who either assisted, or, indeed, did not care when this crime was being carried out.
3- It will be asking Somalilanders in the Diaspora to set-up the most possible organisation that could bring about the method with which the decadent men and women, who thrived on the looting, killing and torturing of our people, could be brought into justice.
This presentation will be using the following names for Somali speaking people of the Horn of Africa:
- a) Somalilanders: citizens of Somaliland.
- b) Somalians - citizens of Somalia proper.
- c) Somalis - all Somali speaking.
- d) Djibutians - people of Djibouti
- e) Kenyan Somalis - NFD Residents
- f) Ethiopian Somalis - Somalis in the Fifth region of Ethiopia
Please note that the above naming is open to debate, but there is a need to distinguish the groups that I will be talking about.
Although this presentation will be highlighting the human rights abuses that took place, it would not go into details, as this is a job being carried out by the War Criminals Committee. It is very imperative to note that the integrity of this information is very important and so it should be left with this committee.
When is “a war Crime” Being Committed?
“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”
Article 3 Universal Declaration Of Human Rights
During the Barre era, Somalilanders were subjected to campaign of looting, arresting, and extra judicial executions. This was intensified when the Ethiopian-Somali war failed.
Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF), predominated by the dictator’s clan and in-laws, had operated in the Reserve Area with a ruthless campaign that brought about the revolt of Afraad wing of this front (not the recent Afraad). Thousands of people were forced to give up their properties and then killed. The front that was meant to liberate Somali Ethiopian ended being the terror machine that ended the lives of thousands of Somalis in a very violent fashion.
Looting was norm, not only in the Reserve Area, but this was extended to the villages and towns along side the Somaliland-Ethiopia border. As the ranks of tortures, looters and killers swollen, the entire 26th Sector of the Somali National Army moved to implement the opposite of what they were originally set-up: instead of defending the nation from foreign enemy, they begun to become their real enemy.
Military officers and personnel were being recruited and transferred from Somalia proper, with the doctrine “we should replace the people of Somaliland”. Also, the WSLF, which later turn out to be an Ogaden front, was convinced that they should move their people from Ethiopia and should be used for the replacement of the Somalilanders.
This shocking decision needed a callous and inhumane act in order to ensure that an empty land has been created for the encouraged immigrants from the fifth region of Ethiopia. The best answer to this turn out to be ruthless ethnic cleansing that brought about the killings of tens thousands of Somalilanders.
Forlornly, WSLF failed to comprehend the fact that the only way that Somalis could get valued and achieve what they inspired was to promote peace among Somali speaking people and do not side with the aggressors. Instead, they saw this as panacea to their problem. No surprise that the higher ranks of the 26th Sector was filled with Ogadens and also their fellow tribesmen.
As the number of university graduates in Somaliland increased, this was seen as threat to the dictator’s legitimacy, thus, in 1981 the culling operation begun. An operation that put hundreds of Somalilanders into the Torture chambers of what was Known as the Military Intelligence Unit (Hangash) and the National Security Service (NSS).
Somalians (Somalis from Somalia proper) were given the right to behave as they liked in Somaliland, so as to frighten Somalilanders and facilitate the ethnic cleansing operation. This included shooting innocent citizens on the streets and roads of Somaliland’s cities, towns, villages and countryside.
While the educated and wealthy Somalilanders were being apprehended for no reason, tortured, sentenced to long imprisonments, and, sadly, some of them were being executed with 30 AK-47 bullets per person, the majority of Somalilanders, who lived in the countryside, were treated a way that our nation had never seen before. Their wives and daughters were subjected to random rape, looting of their livestock, extortionate tactics were employed, in order to extract as much wealth as possible, before they were forced to face their fate. Surely, no one of us should forget and steal the privilege of the victims of Mohamed Hashi Gani, Aamusane, Jehaad and so many others whom we cannot name now, as we are working on their cases.
As the Somalilanders were visited by a fear and destruction they had never foreseen, their students and pupils took to the streets, in order to get other Somalis understand their plight and help them to salvage the reason why Somaliland volunteered to form the voluntary Union with Somalia (Please see above).
Despondently, our Fellow Somali speaking people failed to comprehend this and responded with indifference. Thus, Somalilanders came to the conclusion that forming an organisation that salvages whatever is left of Somalia turned out to be the only way out left. This resulted the creation of Somali National Movement (SNM), which successfully made possible the toppling of a man and his cronies, who shed so many citizens’ blood and looted their properties.
During the period of the struggle, tens of thousands of Somalilanders were killed, while they were, in their homes, shopping, or on their way to work. During this period, every article enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was violated.
From my experience, the destruction and abuse that I witnessed, as young volunteer, was something that drove me to the conclusion that ‘maybe Somalis are better off to stay as separately governed people.’ This was a conclusion that reached by massive majority of Somalilanders, when, in 1991, the Somalians chose to exact revenge against each other.
If the raping of our people, destruction of our property, killing of our people and violations of all the articles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human rates are not a Crime committed against humanity, then what shall we call it? I leave the answer of this question to you, dear audience and readers.
But think about the young pregnant mother, who had 2 children and being shelled out of her wonderful house. She was chased by jet fighter, flown by Somali Air force. Bombed from one tree to next, till she broke her water and contraction begun. Without any assistance, she endeavoured to deliver the baby, while attempting to keep an eye on her other two children. As the bombs fall and 50 millimetre guns spread bullets around the vicinity where she was hiding, the child emerged and she felt into coma, as she did not even have a glass of water to drink. And then past away. While this was happening, Abdiqaasim Salaad Hassan was the Interior Minister of Somalia.
Think about the mother, who was living in the countryside, with her livestock, four children and husband. One morning, on 17th November 1984, a platoon of soldiers, from the 26th Sector of Somali National Army, paid a visit to their dwelling. Her husband was tied on thorn-Tree, her livestock slaughtered for no purpose, she was stripped off her cloth, thrown to the ground and raped by the men, who were wearing the Uniform of the Somali National Army, while her children were running around and crying for help.
When the rapists were asked why they have done this shameful act? With their strong accent, they said, “We were ordered to do this!!” Shall we allow the men who ordered them to live like any other ordinary human being in the western world, with the opportunity of decrying the existence of Somaliland?
Think about the 16 year old boy, who was taken from his bed 3 o’clock in the morning; tortured for three months; while lying in a dark cell visited by a man, who said “I am going to help you, boy. Just tell me whether you have done this crime or not.” As a teenager, who had not seen someone who talked to him with this tone for the last three months, busted with tears and responded “Uncle, I swear, I even do not understand what they are asking me…”
And then punched in the face by the very man, who said, “I would help you.”
The next morning, he was taken to the National Criminal Court. As he was chained to the dock, he saw in the Judges seat the man he met last night .
Imagine what went through the teenager’s head; think about the shiver and the shock. And sense what he felt, when the so-called judge passed a death sentence with the reason that the boy defied his government. The so-called judge, or may be torturer was Gelle, who is now residing in France, but uses Geneva as his address, when he is writing to the Somali Newspapers.
Ponder about the 50 years old man, who worked hard in the Arabian countries, as he was denied the opportunity of living in his homeland; who had not seen his family for very long time; spent his savings on a house, he thought he will retire to; and was suddenly told, his house was shelled into peaces, five of his children are dead; his brothers are missing and his wife was taken by the army. Unfortunately, he is not only denied the opportunity of retiring peacefully into his beloved quarters, but he was also been force to live in a lonely live, filled with the agony of thinking about what happen to the family, he looked forward to living with.
Think about the teenagers, who were led into gallows and tied on the pillars, fired at by the Somali National Army, while their parents were forced to watch this, and their bodies were left to decompose in the open, so others will see, in order to accelerate the ethnic cleansing. Mohamed Hashi Gani and Mohamed Hirsi Morgan, Adden Gabyow, Mohamed Ali Sammatter, and others were in charge when this act of terror was under way.
Think about the fathers and mothers, who were denied the opportunity of seeing their children grow and succeed. Think about the young men and women, who are now leaving with disability, because they either lost their limbs in the torture chambers or while facing the firing squads, either it be from an artillery, AK-47, BKM or from a jet fighters.
Think about the nation, whose Airports were used for the place were jetfighters fuel, reload their guns and bombs, then take off and bombarded them.
Think about the sad six refugees, who fled to Djibouti, in order to escape a persecution and seek the help of their brethren Somali speaking Djiboutian; apprehended by the Djiboutian Security officers, tortured for 5 months, in order to extract as much information as possible; then taken out from their dilapidated cells and placed in front of the firing squad that terminate their lives in a miserable manner. Their blood was left on the beach, where they were executed, and their bodies were hastily buried, just by the edge of the Red See. No notification was given to their relatives.
The man who was in charge with this Security force was Ismail Omer Guelleh, the current president of Djibouti. Many of us may rememeber him for the number of refugees he handed back to the Somali Junta, who violently shot them to death.
If we allow the men who done this to enjoy their lives in this world, as representatives of Somali speaking people, then we must all concur with the undeniable fact that our complacency will amount to crime.
If Kofi Annan, the general secretary of the United Nations, finds okay to shake the hands of the men, who ordered and supervised the above atrocities, then let us remind him that ‘that is not the best way to set an example for the Horn of Africans.’ We must make him understand that he has demeaned the African values, as he encourages the idea that those who committed war crimes in Africa are okay, as Africans do not have any values.
We urge the General Secretary to talk to the victims rather than their perpetrators.
We must find out why the above victims and co-victims were treated the way they were treated. And that we should ensure this act shall never visit our people again. And to achieve this, we must pursue those men who did it. That is what we owe to our people and all the nations of this planet earth.
Foundation of War Criminals Committee
While Somalilanders were very busy in rebuilding their shattered land, bringing together the scattered families and building the institutions that would facilitate the development of Somaliland, the bones of the victims of the above massacre emerged from ground.
As the nation find very hard to comprehend why this had happened, the Government of Somaliland set up the War Criminals Committee, with the assistance of international bodies. Day after day skeletons with their hands tied at the back are being discovered from the eastern to the western regions of Somaliland.
So far, they have received $20,000.00 from the USAID, which they used for the computers and other equipments that made possible the functioning of this Committee. In the meantime, the government of Somaliland pays their salary, assists them in every way that they could. As a result of this they have gathered lots of evidence that horrified most of the people, who are working in this case.
However, they need an international help, which includes advocates of the Human Rights and those who specialist in War Criminals Investigations and prosecutions (please see below)
As this processes was under way, the decadent men, who committed the above atrocities met in Arta, Djibouti, in order to form what they called national government. This quadrupled investigations carried out by the War Criminals Committee.
Fortuitously, Somaliland Net started setting up a website, designed for the collection of as much information as possible about the where abouts of the men who did wreak havoc upon the dreams and aspirations of the Somali speaking nations; the men who committed untold atrocities during the Barre’s era.
This website is due to be launched very soon and that it will be in full operation. However, Somaliland Net seeks the help and assistance of Somalilanders, wherever they are. Also, this website is going to co-operate with Somaliland’s War Criminals Committee, so that the campaign to chase the War Criminals will run smoothly.
Therefore, volunteers are needed. I call upon every Somalilander, or humane person, who reads this presentation, to help us get these men punished for what they did. And to achieve this, please do contact www.Somalilandnet.com .
Unique Question to Abdiqaasim Salaad Hassan
“All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal against any discrimination in the violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination”
Article 7 Universal Declaration Of Human Rights
In July 1989, one night about 55 Somalilanders were forcefully removed from their houses, shuttled into Jazira, fired upon by the men whom you were supposed to utilise for the safety of the public. Read the names of the victims your men denied the right to exist as human beings. Ask yourself why you have allowed this to happened? Ponder about the pain they suffered, while their flash was being torn apart by the bullets bought with the money, collected from the Somali taxpayers.
As a believer of one god, do you sleep in sane, when you think about how they suffered? Here are the names:
1.Ibrahim Hasan Gelle( H.Y) US-OMC-somalia
2.Ibrahim H. Abdillahi Dirie(H.Y)Besinessman
3.Mohamed Ismail Ahmed(H.Y)Businessman
4.Yusuf Mohame Handulle( H.Y)USAID
5.Saeed mohamed Mumin( C.G) Ass.pro.Lafole S.N.U
6.Musa Abdi Gaas( C.G) Businessman
7.Hussein Ali Aden(H.J)Businessman
8.Saeed Nur Musa( H.J)businesman
9.Abdirahman Mohamed Bihi( H.J)Businessman
10.Abiwahab Farah Ahmed(H.Y) Student
11.Abdifatah Ahmed Jiir( H.J) Student
12.Matan Abdi Habashi( Arab)Student
13.Mohamed mohamud Abdi(H.Y) Businessman
14.Ali Mohamed Abdi(H.A) Student
15.Hassan Aw Nur Barud(H.Y) Businessman
16.Abdi Mohamed Abdi (H.A)Technician
17.Ahmed Yassin Omar Jama( H.A) Businessman
18.Mohamed Abdi Hassan( H.A)Businessman
19.Ibrahim Hassan Ege(H.A) Technician
20.Abdi Muhumed Daud (H.A) Businessman
21.hassan Abdi Muhumed (Arab) Businessman
22.Ali Mohamed Dirie(H.J) C.Serv
23.Jama Mohamed Abdi(H.A) Trader
24.Abdi Osman Dubad(H.Y)Trader
25.Husein Omar Husein(C.G) Trader
26.Mohamed Musa Mohamed(H.Y) Trader
27.Ahmed Hassan Elmi(Dheereeye) (H.A)Sportsman
28.Mohamed-Bashe Abdillahi Hebaan(H.A)Trader
29.Abdirahman Ahmed Dhimbil (H.A) Civil servent
30.Hussein Muhumed Farah (H.A)Civil servent
31.Mohamoud Bacadle (H.Y) Civil servent
32.Jama Aden (barosin)(H.J) Civil servent
33.Abdirahman Mohamed Osman(beledi)(H.A)Trader
34.Barre Osman Abdi (C.G) Trader
35.Abdirizaq Aydiid Mohamed (H.A) Student
36.Hussein Osman Jama (H.A)student
37.Khadar Mohamed Ahmed (H.A) Student
38.Bihi Ibrahim Ahmed (H.A) Student
39.Hassan Nur Hersi (H.A) Student
40.Abokor Mohamed Yousuf (H.A)Trader
41.Hassan Guure Abdi (H.A) Trader
42.Khadar nuur Jama (H.A) Trader
43.Ahmed Yusuf Ibrahim (H.A) Trader
44.Mohamed Osman Jama (H.A)Trader
46.Farah Ismail Awale (H.Y) student
47.Yusuf Abdillahi Roble (C.G) graduate Dr.
48.Dayib Abdi Burale (H.Y) Trader
49.Dahir Mohamed Jama Warfaa (H.Y) Trader
50.Ali Aw-Muhumed Mohamed (burale)(C.G) Trader
51.Fuad Abdillahi Ibrahim (Arab)
52.Daud SH. Ibrahim (H.Y).
53.Hussein Kheyre Abdi (H.J)
54.Rashid Mohamed Osman (H.A)
55.Abdi Barre Osman (C.G) graduate
After reading the names of the victims, who will be awaiting you and your cronies at the gates of the judgement day, ask yourself why would you like to repeat this once gain? Is it because enough was not done? Is it because Kofi Annan is poorly informed about Horn of Africa, or is it Because David Stephens is so greedy that he will let you have whatever exacerbates the sufferings of the Somali speaking people, as long as it legitimises the continuation of the vast sums of money that he receives from the UN?
Special Note to British Somalilanders
Many of us do remember very well, when 55 Somalilanders, in July 1989, were handpicked from their house in Mogadishu. They were simply brought into a meeting point near the Jazira beach. As the waiting party of the red berets noted that enough are there, they were ordered to fire at them and the massacre that ensued was something many of us may never forget.
The man who was in charge of this interior army was, as we all know, the Somali Interior Minster, Abdiqaasim Salaad Hassan, and who is know the so-called interim President, who claims to rule the country from isolated and ramshackle hotel in Mogadishu, where he is surrounded by those who are seeking his blood.
The man who supervised many untold inhumane killings of our people, a man who once said "it is right to bomb Somaliland from everywhere," has now a website, provided by the BBC World Service.
There is no doubt that this has come about by the help of his nephew, he is the head of the BBC Somali Section. But we should, for example, accept the fact that IRIN supports his views, because IRIN is not only run by his other Nephew, but it belongs to the UN, which is susceptible to many abuses.
But, and this a big but, why we should allow the British Broadcasting Corporation to support a man, who had so much blood on his hand, without it being made known to the British Government?
We should be reminding the Right Honourable Chris Smith that if UK is determine to seek the prosecution of those who committed atrocities in the Balkans, then the labour government should at least respect the feelings of the victims of Abdiqaasim Sallaad.
In order to ensure that War Criminals are pursued wherever they are hiding, there is a need to overhaul our activities, study as to where we are doing bad and how we could improve this and co-operate our efforts. Thus, the following recommendations are the points that we would like to recommend to this summit.
1- Since most of the War Criminals are now residing or hiding in the western world, as refugees, we should set up a Somaliland War Crimes Organisation that ensures that the above men are found and exposed, wherever they are.
2- In order to ensure the efficiency of this organisation and the existing War Criminals Committee in Somaliland, we should discuss, research and work out the best way that the two bodies could co-operate and work in tune of each other.
3- Since the majority of Somalilanders who are leaving in the west are now citizens of the countries in which they reside, this organisation should help them to seek legal assistance as to how they could get charged and prosecuted the War criminals that they saw in the Streets of cities and Towns that they live.
4- Everyone who has any information should pass this to both bodies.
5- This organisation should have branches in everywhere, where there is a Somaliland society. Thus, the structure of each Somaliland society should include a branch that is dedicated to assist and work with this organisation.
6- UK Somaliland Society should set up the best possible way in which they could advise the British government about the where abouts of this men, who are now residing in UK.
7- The purpose of this organisation should never be a machine of witch-hunt and blacklisting, but it should work in a manner that ensures no one gets away with what he/she had done to the people of Somaliland.
8- This organisation should work out the most possible way in which we could approach the members of the Arab League and explain to them its raison d'être. Most of the members of this league have appalling human rights record, but this should not be used as an excuse. Where there is a will, there is a hope. Let us earn their sympathy.
9- Although the contact between us and Somalians is very bad one, we should carry out a research as to how we could contact other Somali groups, who want to see the War Criminals Prosecuted.
As Somaliland has started a one year long campaign of presidential, legislative house and local elections, we call upon the citizens and residents of Somaliland to ensure that while everyone of us is exercising his right of campaigning for/or electing the men that they share with political opinion, we should not overlook the task of ensuring that the War Criminals shall not be allowed to repaint themselves as the savours of Somalia.
We call upon the Arab leaders, UN general Secretary and international community to respect the will of the People of Somaliland. We urge then to understand the fact that the legitimate persons that can forgive the War Criminals are their victims, but no the Yemeni Foreign Minister or any other person. This is a privilege of those who suffered under 21 years of brutal dictatorship, which endeavoured to implement unprecedented ethnic cleansing.
We seek the assistance of the international organisations to help us help those who suffered a lot in the hands of men, whose actions brought about the failure of a state, first created for the fulfilment of the aspirations of a nations that share one language.
Imagine how we will be terrified if we see the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, shaking the hands of the man who supervised the Jazira Beach Massacre of 1989, as Somali Interior Minister (Abdiqaasim Sallaad).
And that we shall never miss the opportunity of congratulating the Canadian Somalilanders, who exposed and then made possible the deportation of the men, who committed War Crimes in Gebilley. We should follow their example and learn from them as to how they achieved this. I believe they should be the ones who should be giving this lecture.
Mohamed-Aar Abdillahi Mohamed
Somaliland Research Society