Task force needed to solve 50 murders of Somali-Canadians
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
THE PARENTS OF WARSAME ALI, HABIBA ADAN AND MOHAMED HUISSEIN SPEAK ABOUT THE MURDER OF SULEIMAN ALI, 26, AND, WARSAME ALI, 26 AT 23 DIVISION IN TORONTO SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 / Credits: DAVE ABEL/QMI AGENCY
TORONTO - A federal judicial task force should be launched to investigate the largely unsolved murders of about 50 young Somali-Canadian men in Ontario and Alberta over the past decade, a group of concerned parents say.
Habiba Adan, whose 26-year-old son Warsame Ali was gunned down execution-style in Etobicoke last September, joined Ontario Liberal MPP Mike Colle at Queen's Park Tuesday to ask that all three levels of government take steps to halt the wave of violence.
The Somali-Canadian community has come together to form Positive Change to address the issue in their own neighbourhoods and to push for more government support for youth, Anan said.
"This is not a Somali issue; this is a Canadian issue," Anan said. "We want the senseless killing to stop."
Colle said the fact that most of these crimes have gone unsolved only adds to the grief, and parents are afraid to let their kids out of their sight.
Community worker Faduma Mohamed said she finds it odd that the media has paid relatively little attention to the loss of 50 youth to violence.
Governments and police have responded with conferences rather than treating the situation as the emergency it is, Mohamed said.
In addition to a federal judicial task force, the community wants provincial and federal government to create targeted employment and training opportunities of Somali-Canadian youth, including recruitment for the RCMP and OPP.
Colle said governments should also improve the Witness Protection Program to encourage people in the community to come forward and give evidence when a crime occurs.