Somali Police Commissioner, Gen. Sharif Shekuna Mayee
Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Somali police force has announced that it will soon arrest suspects accused of killings in Somalia.
Addressing journalists in Mogadishu, the Somali police commissioner said that no one was above the law, adding that Somalia remains an active member of the international police organization, INTERPOL.
Journalists, lawmakers, musicians, and security officers have been mainly targeted in Somalia in the past years. 19 journalists have been killed in the past thirteen months.
Recently, authorities in Somalia publicly displayed a man accused of killing a person in the Somali capital Mogadishu. The man had been arrested by the South Sudanese police in Juba after Somalia called on the Southern neighbor to arrest and extradite the alleged killer.
The Somali Police now hopes to benefit from Interpol’s membership in order to arrest all those who committed crimes in Somalia. In that case, all the criminals who live abroad will be brought back to face murder charges.
Government troops have also been accused of committing rape in Mogadishu and other surrounding districts.
Amnesty International says that police response to sexual violence chills media freedom and allegations of rape are not adequately investigated in Somalia.
However, in efforts to ensure public security, security forces have arrested those police and military officers for crimes such as murder, rape and robbery with violence.
Most recently two security officers were executed in Mogadishu after a court found them guilty of murder and rape. Somali police commissioner now emphasizes on the need for community policing in order to make the local people responsible for their own security.
Somali Prime Minister has however promised a crushing response to soldiers accused of rape and killings.
However the Somali police force has come under sharp criticism in the past months. Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Human Rights Watch have all pressured on both the Somali government and police. They say a journalist and three others in custody must be released immediately. The four had followed the case of a woman who had been reportedly raped by state security forces.
But despite international calls for his release the journalist still remains in police custody.