Massacre in Zeila, the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland.
By Mohamed Awaleh
Friday, January 11, 2013
Ever since Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo took over the presidency of Somaliland, little over two years ago (the former Northern State of Somalia) - Somaliland seems to be experiencing skirmishes most of their territory: from Sanaag, Sool, Gabiley and now Salal States – where the historical city is located. At least is fair to say that some tribes who are not Issaq: the Daroods (Dulbahante), Gadaboursi and Issa.
Unfortunately, it’s a fact that there has been lots of killing going on inside of Somaliland lately - often committing by their military and some tribal vigilantes (Somaliland Army made up by the former rebels of SNM and, also they have been recruited from tribal Arm groups).
Last Tuesday, January 8th at dawn, the Somaliland Arm Forces carried out a massacre in Zeila. According to the witnesses: they deliberately shoot the unarmed civilians who were simply protesting the fraudulent election concocted by President Siranyo’s vice-president and his agents, few months ago, in order to give his party, Kulmiye, the upper hand - so that they would dominate the Somaliland Parliament and set their agenda; wherever that might be.
Even though, the Police were there to keep the peace as usual – in case that there’s civilian unrest in Town. Yet the Army moved in without informing the local Police, and they started firing the unarmed civilians indiscriminately.
They have severely wounded 12 and killed 2 people. Most of the victims were males; and they were transported to the Republic of Djibouti for treatment - since there are no efficient Hospitals to help these individuals in Saylac and Salal State in general.
It seems that the Somaliland Army are still acting that they are in civil war against with Siad Barre’s Army. They ought to be reminding that their job is to protect their citizens – but not to kill them. They should have warned them first and tried to solve the situation peacefully instead of opening fire to civilians. (Watch the video at www.djibtalk.com and www.harrirad.com)
Some times, though, one wonders if the Somaliland Army yet to learn how to behave as a professional Army. They must be taught how to protect their citizens but not killing them when they are peacefully protesting.
There’s not secret that Somaliland Army needs to be trained; unfortunately, they still act like bunch of thugs. They have to be shown properly how to deal with unarmed civilians. At least this massacre in Zeila explains itself; and the Hargeisa government must consider it if they want to be treated like regular Army and a State.
Somebody in Hargeisa or elsewhere ought to be reminding them that these people are their citizens – not their enemies. And unless civilians were armed with deadly weapons and the lives of Arm forces are threatened; they should never shoot them, period.
Therefore, an independent commission must be created immediately – a commission who will investigate thoroughly with this massacre. If Somaliland wishes to be part of the international community and their neighbors to recognize them as a country! This is their chance to prove themselves worthy. They must find the killers and bring them to justice!
Having said that if the Somaliland government fails to respect the human value or miss the chance to do the right thing. The international community (United Nations and their affiliates) must bring those criminals and their superiors who gave them the orders to justice - the International court, Hague, Netherlands.
In the mean times, the Salal state community must Arm themselves with the help of Djibouti people, Ethiopia and the rest of the world must do their part in order to stop another massacre happening again. This community Salal and Lugaheye must defend their people since Siranyo and his henchman, Seylici (the vice-president of Somaliland) are acting like lunatics fringes.
History repeats itself! The Northern of Somalian brothers are doing exactly what they were complaining over twenty years ago from General Siad Barre’s regime (Former and the last President of Somalia) and his lieutenants.
Publisher of Ottawa Monthly newspaper, Safari Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org