“A justice delayed is a justice denied”
Garowe, May 17, 2019 – Strange, ugly and inhumane stories on rape, and recently, gang rape, by young men are in abundance in the country nowadays. This includes stories of miscarriage of justice involving rape cases in provable, and in fact, undeniable incidents. Bringing perpetrators of rape to justice is increasingly becoming difficult for the following main reasons:
1. Traditional clan conflict resolution ironically stands in the way both in prevention and execution of justice for victims of rape.
2. The administration of justice is unacceptably poor with no institutional capacity to perform a modicum of administration of judiciary responsibilities. It was sad and uncomfortable to listen to a man recently, who told me that the judge on his case in the City of Garowe couldn’t come to his court session on time because he had ran out of gas in his service vehicle. The lawyer of that man had to pay for the fuel of the judge’s car to enable him attend that particular court session.
One sadly hilarious story about the disregard of rendering justice for a young raped woman by the adjudication of clan elders involves a famous incident in which the victim was asked to retell what had actually happened to her during her alleged rape. When she was uncomfortably done narrating her suffering, the lead elder told her that it wasn’t good on her part in failing to satisfy her perpetrator.
Gang rape and mudering the target of sexual abuse like the tragic murder case of little Asha last month in the city of Galkayo and several other reported rape crimes elsewhere in Puntland and in other parts in Somalia is unheard of historically in the country until quite recently. It is new crime wave as a result of substance abuse by young, unemployed and hopeless men, who had been transformed into “human hyenas” to quote someone deeply dismayed by the situation. It is a new societal problem that requires holistic approach of prevention, rehabilitation, better administration of judiciary and training of special task force to tackle with the problem. It requires also to remove the resistance of clan elders who are preventing justice to be served and take its course.
Finally, it is an understament to call for public action and pressure to bring about the end of this women and human rights abuse. Men and women of Somalia should rise up against this indignation.