While all people of goodwill would welcome the President’s apology to Somaliland’s unilateral claim of atrocities by Barre’s Junta, he deliberately, or, naively ignores the war crimes and gross human rights violations committed by the regime in Mudugh and Kismaayo. Add to this, the banditry, plunder and robbery of Barre’s retreating and fleeing forces in Bay and Bakool regions in the last days of regime’s collapse.
If Farmaajo had had any common sense and any sort of what it takes a leader to address such an important issue, he would have apologized for all atrocities of Siyaad Barre’s Regime. By apologizing to Somaliland alone, on temporary political expediency, he has complicated the situation: Now, he is required to apologize to the residents of Mudugh for Barre’s mass incarceration, killing, maining of innocent citizens en masses, destruction and poisoning of nomads’s water-holes, rape and other human rights violations amounting to undoubtedly war crimes.
Make no mistake, any effort towards yet to be called for national reconciliation talks, those atrocities in Mudugh by Barre and his henchmen shall stand out, without which popular trust in national government and public institutions couldn’t be achieved.
Finally, it is my hope that the leaders and people of Somaliland would seize this opportunity by allowing President Farmaajo to visit Hargeisa without the entourage of Prime Minister Ethiopia, Abyi Ahmed Ali. People of Somaliland deserves better than that.
(Photo: The late politician from Mudugh, Yusuf Osman Samater, who had spent 18 years in Regime’s solitary confinement prison cell without charge).
August 9, 2019
They say that the “hallmarks of free people in any nation are the freedom of the press and independent judiciary”.
Here in Puntland as in the rest of Somalia, the constitutional powers of the legislative, executive and judiciary often got mixed up and melt into each other, losing the relevance of constitutional mandates of checks and balance.
Enough is said about the legislature and executive branches of the government, but little thought and deliberation are paid to the issue of the independence of the judiciary.
In this regard, it is important to remind all citizens that the power to arrest or free a citizen from prison belongs exclusively to a judge in a court of justice- the executive and legislative branches of the government have no role to play here. Even, if the State President pardons someone after court conviction, the power to release that prisoner belongs to a judge, not the President. The government can withdraw its case against an accused, but still that withdrawal must be made publicly in a court of law before a judge. The government cannot make arrest or release anyone without a court order. The State President cannot arrest or release anybody without a court order. In the absence of flagrant crime, no one can lose his/her freedom without a court order. No attorney-general, no police officer, no minister can order the arrest of any person without obtaining a warrant of arrest from the court first. These are all consistent with the laws of Puntland and its Constitution. Make no mistake, even the President of Puntland couldn’t order the arrest of someone without securing a court order first to avoid violating the law of the land himself or herself. Any politician cought influencing a court decision or procedures is guilty of a crime.
Unlawful arrests can be litigated in court of justice anywhere in the world through a lawyer.
All officers receiving executive orders to take away the freedom of someone, not cought in flagrant violation of the law, must demand that order to be issued in writing to produce the document in a court of justice in order to defend themselves.