August 15, 2021
It is with great sadness that HRC reports the death of Anisa Abdirahman Mohammed, a 13-year-old girl who was the victim of collateral damage, resulting in a stray bullet killing her. Her passing represents an enormous personal loss to her family, friends and the future of Somaliland. HRC sends our most heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers to her family and friends in this tough period of loss.
This senseless tragedy transpired after students were upset over the management and running of the boarding school, therefore resulting in a disagreement between the students and staff. This disagreement led to students demonstrating and protesting for better management in return. One of the teachers informed the security forces of the Sool region, specifically the commander of the police force. After the notice, the commander sent in the troops, in which the troops opened fire against the students protesting and demonstrating. Moreover, the students and the neighborhood started another protest for the mere troops and open fire was involved, resulting in further tensions escalating between the students, neighborhood and the troops. In consequence, the troops continued to fire at the students further for proximately thirty minutes. During that time, one of the stray bullets hit Anisa.
HRC strongly condemns these acts of violence against students while protesting for their future, as encouraged by the constitution of Somaliland. It is unconscionable that a right enshrined in the constitution should lead to senseless violence and the death of countless others. These tragic atrocities strongly show us that a reform of Police training is fundamental to eradicate lawlessness behaviors on the part of the police. HRC recommends that the previous Police Act should be properly implemented owning to the fact that there was some sort of accountability and transparency on behalf of the police command.