Friday, April 28, 2006

President Rayale May Be Questioned Over Crimes Against Humanity

Somaliland Today — Hargeisa, Somaliland — 28 April, 2006

LONDON, April 28, 2006 (Somaliland Today)- President Rayale may face fresh charges over crimes against humanity in connection with the disappearance of scores of men belonging to Issaq clan deported by the Saudi Royal authorities to the port city of Berbera in late1980s. The fresh allegations followed reports of legal proceedings instigated by a mother called Waris Farah whose son, Hersi Hagi Ali Warsame disappeared in Berbera when Rayale was the highest ranking officer of the notorious and dreaded National Security Service (NSS) of the ousted Siyad Barre regime.

Modelled on the KGB, the NSS was responsible for the ruthless suppression of dissent in the former North West region of Somalila (now Somaliland republic).

The Issaq deportees were singled out on arrival at the seaport by the NSS, according to a survivor. Almost all of them were murdered in cold blood and buried in mass and single unmarked graves.

The extra-judicial killings of Issaqs, be they combatants or non-combatants, remained the standard policy of the ousted fascist regime of Siyad Barre at the time. More than 50,000 Issaqs were systematically murdered by Siyad Barre’s willing executioners simply because of their clan.

Mrs Farah has received a letter from International Human Rights organisation in connection with the disappearance of her son and would like her lawyers to ask the president to shed light on how her son and other Issaq men suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from the face of the earth overnight.

The human rights lawyers informed Mr Farah that they have “valuable information and 13 witnesses and therefore believe that the president is liable to be questioned” over the disappearance of her son, according to human rights activist, Amina Hagi Mohamoud.
Although Rayale may not have been directly involved in the murder of these innocent men, nevertheless there is a strong belief among Somalilanders particularly the survivors that he is withholding a vital information of facts regarding the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of these men as well as the locations of where they might be buried or dumped.

Mrs Farah is not the first person who accused the president of this crime. There are other witnesses who lived in Berbera and elsewhere in Somaliland whose testimony directly implicated Rayale in the mass murder that took place in the strategic port of Berbera, according to the book titled “A Government At War With Its Own People” co-authored by the internationally renowned human rights activist, Raqiya Oomaar, the Chair of the African Human Rights.

Somaliland Today News Desk

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