Somaliland: Burao Prison Cries for a Face-lift


Burao town under threat from poor conditions at local prisonBy: Yusuf M Hasan

BURAO (Somalilandsun) – Overcrowding at Burao central prison is raising fears over the health of inmates.

The prison’s officials raised the fears during a ceremony at the custodial facility that ushered in the administration of Jama

The incoming regional prisons commander takes over from the late Jama Ahmed Kodhaa “Jama Deek” who passed away recently.

According to the officer –in-charge, Mr. Ahmed Gelle Oday the regional correctional facility that was constructed by the British in 1942 with a capacity of 60 inmates is currently home to 217.

“today’s unlock in the morning recorded 217 prisoners the lowest figure in months as there are usually over 400” Said the prison OIC

The handover ceremony that had various officials in attendance was also informed that since the prison was constructed in 1942 only three small blocks with a capacity of thirty inmates when squeezed has been added.

The OIC revealed that his command is in constant fear of outbreaks that will be difficult to bring down thus an appeal to the central government for immediate remedies.

The national Custodial corps operation officer Saeed Yusuf Elmi who informed that his pre-ceremony inspection revealed that not only is the facility overcrowded but also the inmate’s sanitation leaves a lot to be desired supported the OIC’s sentiments.

Said he, “I urge the residents and officials of Togdheer region to explore ways to remedy the prevailing situation since any health problems occurring in the facility will also affect the region and more specifically Burao town”

The operations commander who asked prisons and regional officials to accommodate the services of the incoming commander also promised to see to it that the custodial corps headquarters is made aware of the precarious situation at the facility and solicit necessary funds to supplement local remedial efforts.

The Togdheer regional governor Abdoo Ahmed Ayr who also graced the function was optimistic that things would improve at the correctional facility due to the skills and experience of the new regional commander.

The poor condition at the prison is said to be a result of negligence by all governments that have ruled the country in the last 21 years.

This accusation against various Somaliland authorities were made by two traditional leaders namely chief Bashe Muse and Chief Nuur Raite who said that it was upon the local community was awaiting immediate action from the central and regional governments

The ceremony was brought to conclusion by the incoming regional custodial corps commander Jama Ba’adi Awed who promised to leave no stone unturned in his quest of uplifting the physical and medical standards at the Burao central prison