An Open letter to the Hon. John F. Kerry
by Mohamoud Arrale
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Honourable John F. Kerry
United States secretary of state
Department of state
2201'C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Hon. J F Kerry,
Former Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Samatar and the current Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon
With all due respect , We feel that we must express our protest and condemnation to the intent ( to divert Justice) of the letter by the PM of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Abdi F. Shirdon to you on February 26, 2013 in regard to the civil litigation brought against the Former Somali General Mohamed Ali Samantar by Bashe Abdi Yusuf - Samantar v. Yusuf.
The Prime Minister, in his capacity, seeks for the invalidation of the judgement against the former general by the U.S. Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia on August 28, 2012 - an end of a seven year quest in the U.S. courts for justice for the victims harmed by General Samantar and troops under his command . The general has accepted the liability of the case.
The prime minister's immunity requisition for Mohamed Ali Samantar from your esteemed office is only adding insult to injury as the prime Minister tries to cheat the system in order to secure a way out for a man who has confessed his liabilities to a wide practice of atrocities: murder; extermination; torture; rape; political and ethnicity persecutions that he had systematically exercised against the people in the Northern Somalia in 1988 civil war. A confession was made in the face of the United states Judicial system by M A Samantar that he is guilty of the damages caused by his troops that operated under his command and has shouldered responsiblity for those damages which was a crime against humanity and as a result the U.S Federal judge in the court duly awarded $21 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Mohamed Ali Samantar. This sound ruling or judgement by the court was about to heal wounds up until this letter by the PM of Federal Republic of Somali Government has surfaced.
We believe that the PM's untimely involvement and use of his power in this litigation will open a new Pandora box that will prematurely derail the on-going initiatives and reconciliation processes between the two peoples of Somaliland ( Hargeisa) and Somalia (Mogadishu) which the Prime minister and his lineage group sees the process as only advantageous to Irir clans in the North and the South of Somalia in the future. This is a clear political sabotage to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud's peaceful strategy towards the reconciliation process from London meeting last year: a sabotage within that also misuses The U.S Government's recent recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia, which is only the tip of the iceberg in our understanding.
This intervention of the Federal Government to the litigation process of Samantar v. Yusuf will fuel detestation and animosity among the score settling clans in Somalia, particularly Darood and Isaaq clans and further between Somaliland and Somalia administrations if the United states government honour Mr Shirdon's requisition letter. However, Mr Shirdon himself has committed crimes against the community in the North during his stay in Berbera by unlawfully amassed great wealth from the business community in the North under the protection of his uncle, Siyaad Barre and his regime.
Therefore, we would advise the Honourable State secretary of the United States of American to scrutinize the objective behind this letter from the Prime Minister of Somalia at this critical time by weighing all sides of the Issue and its future implication both to the people of Somalia/Somaliland and to the United states Justice system and to your esteemed office.
We are of the opinion that the General himself could have settled his case long before by coming forward publicly and asking amnesty from the relatives of the victims and survivals of the 1988 atrocities in the North. This could have been a propitious escape route in his situation as the Somali people, in general, have the tendency and the culture of absolution subject to adapting a proper approach in resolving problems which the honestly and courage is the centre point in contrary to the tit for tat score settling manner of affairs where honesty is at stake. However, What dragged the Samantar's case over the years was the false clannish ( Darood) shield that the General had relied on in vain during the litigation which on the other hand has gathered momentum of opposing tribe's(Isaaq) sprite reminiscent with the suffering of the war. While Mohamed Ali Samantar hailed from neither the Darood nor the Isaaq tribes, he could have been sorted his case out alone by approaching to the sufferers of the 1988 atrocity for forgiveness as he is aged and frail now.
At this juncture, we question the prime minister's claim for granting of common law immunity to Samantar will benefit the reconciliation among the clans and political factions within Somalia as well as historic ongoing process of peace between Somalia and Somaliland while the sufferers and victims in the north are still denied their due by the same people who executed the crimes in question which the PM belongs to them. Is the justice and satisfaction of reconciliation in favour of one side? Can we lie always to the world? Is U. S. Government formal accord of recognition to the Federal Republic of Somalia intended to be used as tool against the people in Somaliland?
It is true that It takes two to tango ,therefore, as Mohamed Ali Samantar was found guilty of his atrocities so do Mr Shirdon and many others in his circle or relation, nothing has change yet in the game over the twenty year in the South, no formal apology or compensation yet to the people in the North or Somaliland.
We, the people who experienced the atrocity in Hargeisa and other towns in the North of Somalia (Somaliland), trust your balanced view on the decision of this civil litigation between Samantar v. Yusuf in which the federal Somali Government that operating in the South seeks preferential treatment for Samantar by applying an immunity from the lawsuit for him .
Cc. All United States Embassy in East Africa
CC: The president of the Federal Republic of Somalia and his Prime minister
Cc: the Foreign office of Somaliland
Cc: the Human Rights Offices