Somaliland: Rebel MPs Accused of Incitement


“Parliament must discipline them for inciting assassination attempt-MP Ali H Mohamed

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Some rebellious MPs have been accused of rabble-rousing the public against the judiciary.

The Accusation was made by MP Ali Haji Mohamed during an interview with Dawan newspapers in Hargeisa, where he named parliamentarian Saeed Elmi Roble as the ring leader of a group of rebellious MPs in parliament’s lower house- The House of Representatives.

MP Ali H Mohamed further accused the Saeed Elmi led rebellious legislatures who include Ahmed Du’ale and Rai’ite of destabilizing the August house following several accusations of unfair house conduct that is creating a gap and animosity with citizens.

Said he, “the recent assassination attempt on Hargeisa magistrate Abdirashid Duraan is the direct result of accusations made publicly by the rebellious MPs against the Judiciary’s unfairness in judging the corruption case against Hamarje”

This was in reference to the failed assassination attempt against Hargeisa District Chief Magistrate Abdirashid Duraan, who is currently recuperating at a hospital in Djibouti, where he was rushed for treatment on injuries sustained in the early hours of Tuesday morning after 2 gunmen accosted and shot him as he left a mosque.

Last Sunday judge Duraan presided over a case in which 3 government officials were convicted of embezzlement and fraud.

He imposed a sentence of 3 years each on Ahmed Omar H Abdilahi “Hamarje” Ahmed Elmi Bile after they were found guilty of mal-administration related to the misappropriation of food aid meant for drought displaced persons camped in various IDP settlements in Maroodi Jeeh region (Hargeisa). A third official Osman Saeed Jama was sentenced to 1 year imprisonment and a fine of 1,000,000 Somaliland shillings ($150) for failure to be vigilant in official duties; he is a former senior advisor to the Vice president.

Ahmed Omar H Abdilahi “Hamarje “is the immediate former Maroodi Jeeh regional governor while Ahmed Elmi Bile is the immediate former Director General at the ministry of resettlement.

While asking parliament to immediately initiate disciplinary action against the rebellious MPs whom he pointedly accused of having publicly asked clansmen of the convicted corrupt officials to take revenge because the judgment was flawed thus a flagrant abuse on the rights of the three officials.

Following the sentencing of the three officials on charges of misappropriating food aid meant for drought victims, the rebellious MPS accused the government, especially the executive, of having influenced judgment through interference with the due process of justice by ordering the magistrate to find the accused guilty at any cost.

On its part the government which has denied any interference in the court has warned the rebellious consequences if they persist in their destructive and unfounded propaganda that is creating public distrust for the judiciary system as well as animosity within different clans.

In a press statement released by the minister of information, and official government spokesperson Hon Abdirahman Yusuf Duale “Boobe “the accusations of the executive interfering with judgment of the corruption against the former top officials, was termed as absorb.

The government statement justified its non-interference in these terms, “It has always been and remains the policy of the President of Somaliland, H.E Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Silanyo, not to interfere in the due process of law as it pertains to cases ongoing in the court system. It is neither the norm nor the tradition of the government to interfere in the proceedings of the judiciary system. As such, the country’s courts are free to arrive at judgments independent from directives or coercion on the part of the executive”

The statement went on to say, “This record of non-interference can be seen in the extent to which the government has abstained from involving itself in some of the most politically important cases the judiciary has faced. The courts of Somaliland have been known to have adjudicated various politically-oriented suits—including internal disputes between members of political parties like UCID and UDUB—without fear or favour, to the satisfaction of not only the belligerent parties but the citizenry as well. Those seeking to make accusations will therefore have to explain why the government would become involved in ordinary criminal and civil cases when it has refrained from interfering in the judgments of political cases where its interests were entangled”

The issue of the assassination attempt on the magistrate has continued to receive condemnations from many quarters as well as a united front by all Somalilanders from all walks of life, who have unanimously shown their disgust for the perpetrators and their masters.

As per the minister of interior Hon Duur Arale the assassination attempt was a ploy by some anti-Somaliland elements to derail public administration through creating fear and panic among senior public servants.

In support of the sentiments by the interior minister who has also urge public vigilance, the Somaliland lawyers association-SOLLA, the ministry of Justice and the Chief Justice have promised to normal provision of impartial legal services while in pursuit of fulfilling oath of office without fear of assassination.

The twin issues of rebellion in parliament and the attempt on the life of magistrate Duraan have to be handled delicately thus sustain prevalent national cohesiveness.

To this effect parliament should undertake appropriate action on its wayward members and the police conclude ongoing investigations on the assassination attempt before matters get out of hand.