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Military court sentences clan elders to prison for cooperating with Al Shabaab

Sunday January 29, 2023



Mogadishu (HOL)  - A military court in Mogadishu has sentenced three traditional clan elders to a five-year prison sentence for cooperating with Al Shabaab.

The traditional elders, Omar Mohamed Jimale Adan (Omar Faninte), Ali Ahmed Hayle Araalle (Ali Yare) and Sugaal Warsame Ali Yarow, were arrested in late December after defying a government directive not to contact or cooperate with Al Shabaab militants.

The three men travelled to the Haradhere district - then an Al Shabaab stronghold - and signed an eight-point agreement with the militants. One of the agreements was to oppose the Somali government's military offensive against Al Shabaab.

Adado's District Governor, Farah Diriye Warsame, welcomed the arrest and said his region would enforce a zero-tolerance policy in engaging with Al Shabaab.

The elders said they travelled to Hardhere to secure the release of 70 of their clanmates who were being held captive by the group.

The elders told the court that the agreement was an elaborate rouse to free the hostages and that they were not ideologically aligned with the group.

Sunday's sentence marked the first time a military court punished someone for cooperating with Al Shabaab.

The military court's chief justice, Hassan Ali Noor Shute, argued that the stiff penalty was needed to send a message to other clan elders and deter them from cooperating with Al Shabaab.


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