Prime Minister Egal formed a cabinet consisting of four ministers, who represented Somaliland in London during signing the independence with Great Britain. Thirty five countries recognized the birth of Republic of Somaliland, however, the Somalilanders ill-advisedly endorsed theory of Somali Unity aka ‘Somaliweyn’, which substantiates a government for all Somali-speaking population in East Africa. As its first step of recognizing the theory, Somaliland united with Somalia on 1st July 1960 to create Somali Republic.
Somalilanders lost all their rights in the unity, and every important post went to Somalia. In an attempt to regain control of their country, Somaliland, the officers of former Somaliland Scouts organized a failed coup on 1961, just one year of the unity.
The situation in the unity was deteriorating as days pass due to the corruption and tribalism. After bloodless military coup led by Tyrant Mohamed Siyad Barre, Somalilanders were the first few people to oppose the dictatorship. Barre’s government used every possible means to suppress Somaliland including organized ethnic-cleansing, rape in addition to air-bombardment and indiscriminate shelling of cities. The UN reports described the act as ‘Genocide’ because more than 65,000 unarmed civilians were killed in less than three months during the year of 1988.
Moreover, there was an organized killing and displacement to people of Somaliland by the many decorated-generals who served the military regime from 1981 until 1991 in former North Western Regions of Somali Republic, today’s Maroodi-Jeex, Togdheer, Sanaag, Gabiley and Saaxil regions of Somaliland.
In this article, we will highlight some the known criminals of the military regime who committed the killing, and highlight the importance of bringing them to the justice. Some of the general deceased while others are free in the western world including USA, Europe, Africa and Middle East, including Late General Mohamed Siyad Barre, Late General Ali Samatar, General Maslah Mohamed Siyad Barre (Son of Siyad Barre), General Mohamed Saeed Xirsi Morgan (Son-in-law of Siyad Barre), General Ahmed Warsame, Late General Gani, General Siyad Daud, Colonel Abdullahi Sharub, Colonel Yusuf Abdi Ali (Tuke).
The crimes committed by these mean against unarmed civilians in Somaliland, whom the US State Department Report in 1988 described as men killing their own people, is countless and cannot be summarized in one article, but unfortunately international community, particularly the western countries, failed to bring these generals to the justice. Furthermore, the free world failed to understand the call of the people of Somaliland to re-recognize their independence on 26/61960.
Somali Republic is considering these so-called generals as ‘National Heroes’, which legally gives Somaliland right to reject unity with Somalia, who is honoring the killers of its people.
General Mohamed Siyad Barre
General Barre was president and commander in-chief of the military government during the genocide against the people of Somaliland. All these criminals who killed innocent people operated under his supervisory.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEMTKTeI9UQ—Samatar giving orders to air-bomb Hargiesa.
General Samatar was Vice President and Minister of Defense during the genocide and ordered the killing of the civilians in Somaliland cities.
"I ordered the air-strikes on Hargiesa city and the killings” General Ali Samatar told BBC report during his visit to London. After collapse of Barre regime, Samatar relocated to Virginia, USA until his death.
A group of human rights advocates and victims of genocide, sued General Samatar in the USA court, using the interview as one of the main evidences that linked him to the genocide and ethnic-cleansing in Ex-North Western regions of former Somali Republic.
A Court in the USA found Samatar guilty of manslaughter and sent him to jail, along with $21 million as compensation to the victims. The convicted felon Samatar dead in 2015, just few months after the court ruling. The Prime Minister of Somalia (Ex-South Somali Republic) Mr. Abdi Farah Shirdon during the court hearing, officially, asked the US State Department to grant General Samatar a diplomatic immunity to escape from the justice, but US State Department rejected the request.
A large number of Somalia diaspora in the USA organized demonstrations supporting Samatar and demanded the court proceedings to be cancelled.
The government of Somalia in Mogadishu requested the body of the convicted felon from the US authorities, and the body was buried in Mogadishu with "national hero” status. President, Speaker of the Parliament and Prime Minister of Somalia attended the funeral ceremony, in a final attempt to devalue the genocide committed by Samatar and the above-mentioned military generals.
General Mohamed Hashi Gani
General Gani was in-charge of 26thBattalion of Somali Republic National Army located the city of Hargiesa. He was responsible of executing large number of civilians without court trail. Gani killed the military officers based on tribe and ethnicity, including Colonel Abdilahi Haji Saeed and Captain Dahir Mohamed, who were executed in cold blood on 27thJan 1982.
While speaking in an organized court, without defense lawyers for the victims, Gani told the judge "Put these two men into long sleep otherwise I will”, which is Somali expression to kill a person. Such execution was the trigger of the public uprising against Barre regime in the Ex-North Western regions of Somali. Many military officers started leaving the army and joining an armed freedom fighters named SNM that opposed the oppression of Barre regime.
Unfortunately, the Mogadishu accepted him as member of the parliament in 2004 during Mbigati Conference for Somalia in Kenya. Gani run for the position of Deputy Speaker of the Parliament on 21stSep 2004, however, Gani passed away in his hotel room during the conference. He committed crimes against humanity in Ex-North Western regions of Somali Republic, which cannot be briefed in this article, but available in Somaliland courts.
General Maslah Mohamed Siyad Barre
General Maslah was the son of General Mohamed Siyad Barre, and prime suspect of the killing at Jazira in Mogadishu on 17thJuly 1989, where a group of 47 people who are ethnically from Somaliland were picked up from their homes at midnight and executed at the beach called Jazira, Mogadishu. Nine of the 47 victims were from same family including five brothers.
One young man escaped from the shooting and today living in Kuwait with his family. These people were students, businessmen, government officers, military officers…etc but they had one thing in common, they were ethnically from Somaliland.
In an attempt to find out their loved ones, the family members of the victims asked General Maslah whereabouts of their missing ones, and he replied "you are looking for people who committed a crime against the state, and go back to your houses now”. These 47 people were killed in a mafia execution-style and their bodies buried at the beach without trace. This is famous incident and every Somali knows about it.
This killer was candidate for Somalia President position during Somalia Peace Conference hosted in Djibouti on 30thJan 2009 with 126 parliamentarians voted for his favor, who are in the current Federal Parliament until today. Does this mean, these 126 MPs encourage the genocide?
General Mohamed Saeed Xirsi (Morgan)
General Morgan aka The Butcher of Hargiesa is son-in-law of President Mohamed Siyad Barre, and living in Nairobi, Kenya freely, and the government of Kenya is allowing the criminal with knowledge of his criminal history in Somaliland.
"The supporters of SNM and its supports should be eliminated today because we have government and power to do that, else they will rise another day”. Gen. Morgan told the press during air-bombing of Hargiesa. After Barre regime, Gen. Morgan organized armed groups in different parts of Somaliland and Somalia, knowing that his criminal background won’t hunt him down due to regional policy regarding of handing over the criminals between governments.
Gen. Morgan is currently campaigning for seat in the Federal Parliament of Somalia and currently in Garowe, Puntland (North Somalia). However, the international community rejected his candidacy due to his criminal activities, and people of Somaliland welcomed the move, as the sign of first step toward the justice.
He organized killing during his presence in Somaliland as the head of 26thBattalion of Somali Army and Governor of North-West Region of Former Somali Republic.
General Ahmed Warsam
"Kill all but the crows” this is an expressed commonly used by Gen. Ahmed Warsam during air-bombing of Somaliland cities. He executed mercilessly the genocide plan left by his successor Gen. Morgan; he directly supervised the destruction of the second capital of Somali Republic, Hargiesa, where the city was reduced to the rubble using Somali Air force. The aircraft that took off Hargiesa Airport bombed Hargiesa city indiscriminately.
Gen. Warsam ruthlessly executed the planned genocide started by Gen. Morgan by registering the immense manslaughter in the history of horn of Africa. He was transferred to Hargiesa, as the chief of 26thBattalion of Somali Republic army located in Hargiesa. He used foreign mercenaries to fly with new aircrafts, in which Somalis were not familiar with, used in destruction and killing the civilians. The foreign pilots were from Rhodesia and South Africa.
On 17thJuly 1988, Gen. Ahmed Warsam directed to bomb every meter in Hargiesa, to ensure complete elimination of inhabitants and destruction of the city. "There should be bomb landing every meter of the city”. He continued saying while ordering the military "Kill all but the crows”. This unhuman and merciless campaign continued around the clock for two months extensively until the citizens of Hargiesa were either dead or escaped to the countryside.
Gen. Warsam and his henchmen of Somali Army killed in Hargiesa and its suburbs about 30,000 unarmed civilians, and displaced more than 250,000 people to refugee camps in Ethiopia run by the UNHCR.
This criminal, Gen. Warsam, is a Member of Somalia Federal Parliament (MP) in last five years. This man committed the most horrific crimes against the humanity and still enjoying the immunity of Somalia government.
This man is on the top list of the Somaliland’s wanted criminals for the crimes committed in Somaliland by the Barre regime. He keeps very low profile in order to hide from his dark past, but Somaliland knows him and, he will be brought to justice.
Colonel Yusuf Mohamed Mohamud (MIG 17 Pilot)
This pilot has participated in the air-bombing of the civilians in Somaliland, where the Somali Air force tirelessly bombed the main cities of Somaliland in day and night for months. Colonel and Pilot Mohamud aka Yusuf Yare flown MIG 17 military aircraft and bombed every moving object in the city of Hargiesa, including the animals were killed. Mohamud followed the fleeing civilians and bombed them at the temporary camps organized by the UN.
Gen. Morgan praised Colonel Mohamud for his crimes and handed over large cash and new Toyota Land Cruiser. The Somali Army recognized Col. Mohamud as "Pilot of the Year” due to his campaign in Somaliland and killing of the civilians.
Colonel Yusuf Abdi Ali (TUKE)
Col. Tuke was head of 5thBrigade of Somali Army in 1980’s, and he was responsible of manslaughter and many other atrocities including burning the people alive at Gabiley city of Former North-West Region of Somali Republic (today’s Somaliland). He was known as merciless and inhumane. The below picture shows TUKE burning a man alive at Gabiley city during his leadership in the 5thbrigade.
This killer got asylum from the government of Canada after the collapse of Somali government, where he entered Canada via USA. After he was exposed to the authorities in Canada about his crimes against humanity, he returned to USA and worked at Dulles airport as security man. It was shocking to know that a criminal who escaped from Canada can work vital place like the airports without knowledge of the administration in Washington. The Somalilanders in USA informed the authorities about the criminal history of TUKE and he is currently accused in the USA. Read the above links for further information and reports.
Mohamed Abdi NUR
NUR was a Somali Military Judge where he authorized executions without proper trail including killing of civilians. Judge NUR approved ethnic cleansing where his used to kill only specific tribes / clans who opposed the rule of dictator Barre. He approved the killing of children and women.
After the collapse of Barre regime in 1991, JUDGE NUR entered Canada through its border with USA. The Canadian government deported him and he returned to USA.
In June 2003, a court in San Diego rejected his case and ordered to be deported due to his crimes against humanity in Somali republic by authorizing the killing unarmed civilians.
USA authorities deported him to undeclared African country in July 2004, after spending one year in unknown USA detention center. His asylum application was rejected, due to his crimes against humanity in former Somali republic.
Mohamed Hassan Ismail Farah
Farah involved in activities which led to extortion, executions,forcing people to sign false confessions and oppressing ordinary citizens. He worked as an interrogator in Somali Republic. There were serious reasons for considering that he had committed a crime against humanity.
He operated in the ex-North-West Region of Somali Republic, and after collapse of Mogadishu Administration in 1991, he also entered Canada through its border with USA. The Canadian authorities did not deported him, where he stayed in Canada until he voluntarily returned to Somalia.
The suspected Farah was appointed as Chief of Somalia Police by Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed. He passed away in Oct 2014 a while after his appointment. The body of the suspect was buried at the compound of Somali Police Academy. The government in Mogadishu considered him a national hero regardless of his illegal actions against the people of Somaliland.
Find the below link about his death:
"With the tag of having committed crimes against humanity the glowing tribute paid the deceased by none other than the SFG president and Prime minister as well Speaker of the Mogadishu Parliament makes one cringe with fright for those that the trio serves”
Finally, the Somali Republic Military were not all criminals; there were officers who defected from the army and joined the freedom fighters against Barre regime, in addition to Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, a pilot who rejected to take part in the air-bombing of the cities, and deserted to Djibouti with his aircraft. Later Mr. Hassan received an asylum from Sweden embassy in Djibouti
By Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Somaliland Daily’s editorial policy.