Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Illegal Incarceration Of Hawa Hussein Handule

To: Amnesty International,
cc: The Peoples & Human Rights Commission of the African Union;
cc: The Human Rights Commission of the European Union;
cc: The U.S. Department of State;
cc: The American Bar Association
cc: The Inter-Govenmental Authority for Development;

cc: Somaliland Bar Association;
cc: Gen. Mohamoud Mousa Hersi [aka General Bidde], Governor of Majertenia;

Subject: The Illegal Incarceration Of Hawa Hussein Handule

This is to bring the suffering of Ms. Hawa Hussein Handule to the attention of international human rights organisations. It is urgently incumbent upon all international human rights organisations to take the lead role in securing the freedom of this innocent woman. Contrary to the United Nations Charter on Human Rights, the European Union Charter on Human Rights, the People's and Human Rights Charter of the African Union, and all other international conventions that guarantee the rights and the freedoms of the individual the governor of Majertenia region of Somalia Gen. Mohamoud Mousa Hersi, has defied all interventions on behalf of the incarcerated woman.

The due process of law everywhere guarantees the individual's right to a fair trial. An accused person, regardless of his/her background, is entitled to be represented by a competent lawyer so as to eliminate the probability of subjecting an innocent person to a harsh and cruel punishment. A five year imprisonment is an unreasonable and unjustified judgment passed on an individual purely on the basis of her clan affiliation. This woman is accused of espionage and subversion- a baseless fabrication without a shred of corroborating evidence presented in the court proceedings.The life, liberty, and the security of the human being are fundamental and God given rights not to be trampled by rouge administrations or despotic rulers.

This defiance is a manifestation of a much serious and problematic issue in the region. Governor Mohamoud and his administration poses a serious threat to the peace and stability of the Horn of Africa region. This regional administration was established in 1998 as bargaining chip to extract a disproportionate representation in any future Somali government or alternatively an outright monopoly on the reigns of power at the exclusion of all other Somali communities.

Furthermore, the majority of the high ranking officers in the regional government of Majertenia were former Military officers, the notorious Somali National Security Services, and the infamous Penitentiary Corps of the repressive regime of the late Somali dictator. During the 1980's, Amnesty International, Africa Watch, and other human rights organisations had all documented the atrocities of Siad Barre's military and security forces against the defenseless civilian population of Somaliland. Without any fear of ever being apprehended and questioned for their past gross human rights violations, these former military generals are haunting innocent civilians whenever the situation suits their political agendas. Former generals with human blood on their hands should be held accountable for their past records. It is about time the world community should address the cycle of human right abuses in Majertenia.

Without probable cause or reasonable justification, the governor of Majertenia region of Somalia, Mr. Mohamoud Mousa Hersi ( aka General Bidde), has ordered the detention of Ms. Hawa Hussein Handule. A local kangaroo court sentenced this innocent woman to five years imprisonment without any recourse to legal counsel. The presiding judge denied her lawyer and family to attend the proceedings and the hearing was conducted behind closed doors. This lady hails from neighbouring Somaliland and she was visiting her sister in Bosaso, Majertenia when the local police authority took her for interrogation. Mrs.. Handule was subjected to a harrowing experience of her life. While under the custody of the police, she was subjected to the most humiliating forms of physical abuse that resulted in broken ribs as well as other visible trauma scars to her head. On top of all this, she will be subjected to sexual abuse while incarcerated unless the international community condemns engages the criminal administration of Majertenia. This reprehensible violation of the dignity of a human being is unacceptable in the twenty first century.

The conduct of the governor of Majertenia and his administration contravenes all international conventions on the basic human rights of the individual. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Peoples and Human Rights Charter of the African Union, and the Human Rights Charter of the European Union all spell out in no uncertain terms the fundamental rights of the individual to life, liberty and freedom. These universally accepted rights cannot and should not be denied to any person based on gender, ethnicity, religion, race or any other identifiable human characteristic.

Having said that, a brief synopsis of the commercialized criminal culture of the administration of Majerteenia is in order. The following highlights will shed some light on on the murderous regime of the regional administration of Majertenia:

A: Majertenia- a Threat to Regional Stability:

This region is the operations centre of a highly sophisticated spider web of commrcialised criminal enterprises such as human trafficking across international waters; arms smuggling; a lucrative high seas piracy; an international ring of counterfeit money operations with networks in the Persian Gulf and the far East; and transshipment of drugs headed for Europe, the Middle and the Far East. For the past sixteen years, the proceeds of these illegal operations have financed the civil war that consumed Southern Somalia and is the primary reason that all attempts at peace and reconciliation among the warring factions have failed. These issues have to be factored in in the overall assessment of the Somali conflict.

In fact this poses a more serious threat to the region than the Taliban of the United Islamic Court. The port of Bosaso is a conduit of arms imports for the Ogaden National Liberation Front- a terrorist and destabilising organisation in the Somali inhabitted region of Eastern Ethiopia.

A:Human Trafficking

The Majertenia region of Somalia is home to a large network of clandestine and illegal operations. The port of Bosaso is the departure point of a human exodus seeking better work opportunities and living conditions in the Middle East and Europe. The largest human trafficking operation in East Africa is located at the port of Bosaso. This unfortunate human cargo is often loaded onto unseaworthy dhows and smuggled to the Yemen Arab Republic.

Immigrants from the southern half of the disintegrated Somali Republic, Ethiopia, Eritrea and beyond are charged US$1, 000.00 per person for this unsafe journey. Once within 10-15 miles from the shorelines of Yemen, the unsuspecting migrants are often forced at gun point to jump overboard. Those who resist are shot to death and their remains are unceremoniously dumped into the shark infested waters of the Gulf of Aden.

Each year hundreds of innocent lives are lost in this human tragedy. The human remains wash-up at the southern shores of Yemen Arab Republic. The survivors are re-smuggled onto Libya and from there the final journey to Europe via Italy continues. This sophisticated smuggling network operates with the knowledge of the governments of Yemen and Libya. Without the active involvement of the international community, it is highly unlikely that this lucrative business will cease. More than 6000 people lost their lives on the perilous journey to the Arabian peninsula and beyond. Despite the presence of NATO and American forces in the area, this human tragedy continues unabated. This inhumane trade should be put to an end once and for all.

B: High seas Piracy:

High seas piracy has been an epidemic in and around the Red Sea port of Bosaso since time immemorial and it is rapidly spreading southwards along the Indian Ocean coast of southern Somalia. The territorial waters of the defunct Somali state along the Indian Ocean are congested with maritime traffic plying goods from Europe and the Middle East to East and Southern African. The pirates target this traffic and often succeed in extracting large amounts of ransom money from the owners/operators of the shipping lines. The pirates share the ill-gotten proceeds with the Transitional Somali government holed up in Baidoa.

With illegal arms flowing freely from Yemen Arab Republic, the Somali Sea pirates possess a deadly arsenal of weapons such as RPG launchers and heavy machine guns that easily penetrate the hulls of most cargo ships and luxury liners. In a one year period the International Maritime Bureau has recorded more than thirty-seven incidents of pirate attacks on civilian and military ships operating off the waters of Somalia. Last summer, Somali pirates operating from the port of Bosaso, Majertenia had even attempted to hijack two American warships- the USS Cape St George and the USS Gonzalez. The incident was a rude awakening for the thugs- they got more than they bargained for; they were captured.

C:Counterfeit Currency operations:

In December, 2003, the current president of the transitional government of southern Somalia abruptly left the Somali Peace and Reconciliation conference in Nairobi, Kenya to make the final disbursement arrangements on a shipload of counterfeit Somali currency at the port of Bosaso- the home region of Mr. Abdillahi Yussuf Ahmed. Prior to that in 1998-1999 the Al-Itihad Al-Islami facilitated the printing of similar counterfeit currency for Mr. Yussuf when he took over the leadership of Majertenia. The forged money consolidated Mr. Yussuf�s unchallenged stranglehold on the leadership of his home region up to his election as the president of the transitional government of southern Somalia.

According to 7DAYS, in January 2006,the cargo handling employees of Dubai International Airport came across a fake currency consignment and immediately notified the local police. Laboratory tests have confirmed that the currency was indeed counterfeit. On May 2, 2006 Mr. Ali Saeed, a Canadian citizen and the son-in-law of the president of the Transitional Somali government, was put on trial in Dubai for trafficking counterfeit Somali currency through Dubai. The currency amounted to 180.00 billion Somali shillings-roughly equivalent to US$10.00 million. The trial was postponed till the deputy foreign minister of the Somali transitional government comes to Dubai to testify. The Somali government contracted a Singaporean company for this illicit operation.

In a similar incident, the president of the transitional government, Mr. Abdillahi Yussuf Ahmed, and his prime minister, Mr. Ali Ghedi Mohamed, has contracted a local businessman named Saeed Abdi Fidhin to print 500.00 Billion Somali Shillings in Indonesia. The agreement guarantees the businessman a commission of 30%[150.00 Billion Somali Shillings]. The proceeds of these illicit transactions finance the continuous cycle of clan warfare.

Furthermore, the agreement instructs the governor of Majertenia, Gen. Mohamoud Mousa Hersi [home region of the president] to facilitate the importation of this counterfeit currency through the port of Bosaso. This criminal activity wreaks havoc on the livelihood of the local population. Inflation skyrocketed to new highs once this illegal currency was released into the local markets. With the prices of basic foods skyrocketing, the introduction of fake currency into the country will add to the misery of the local people. This false money is converted into U.S. currency. The printing of fictitious currency is not confined to the Somali shilling. Kenyan, Ethiopian, and even American currencies are not safe from these counterfeiting operations.

On the 16th of April 2006 armed militias fought over a Somali currency-printing factory in Bosaso, Majertenia. Similar money printing factories exist in lawless Mogadiscio. The local Somali/Somaliland media ascertained that this money-printing factory is in fact owned and operated by Gen. Mohamoud Mousa Hersi, the governor of Majertenia region of Somalia. Case in point: Gen. Hersi bankrolls a three thousand man strong local militia hired for the personal protection of the president of the impotent government of southern Somalia currently holed up in Baidoa.

D: Other Illicit Activities:

On top of the illegal business activities mentioned above, the ministers of the transitional government have signed numerous contracts with dubious foreign companies literally giving away the nation's natural resources in exchange for a nominal pocket change. For Example, the president and the prime minister of the transitional Somali government had concluded with a Australian shell-company an extensive oil exploration and drilling agreement.

In another instant, the president of the transitional government of Somalia signed a twenty-five year contract with the government of Yemen. This contract authorises the government of Yemen exclusive fishing rights on the territorial waters of the former Somali state. The minister of fisheries of the Somali government, Mr. Hassan Abshir Farah, have signed similar agreements with a Korean company in exchange for US$5, 000.00 per month. Pilfering of the natural resources of any nation is a crime against humanity. The privileged few should not be allowed to benefit at the expense of the masses and deprive future generation to enjoy the and share the resources of their country.

Other members of the Somalia government are accused of being in collusion with foreign companies dealing with nuclear waste. Soon after the Tsunami of December 25, 2004, huge stainless steel containers had washed up on the southern shores of Somalia. The dumping of nuclear or other hazardous waste is a crime under international law and the territorial waters of any state should not be used as an offloading site.

Against the preceding backdrop and Somali refugees already trekking to neighbouring Kenya, the international community should engage the administration of Majertenia region of Somalia to avert a much wider conflict in the region. The deployment of foreign troops in Somalia will ad up to an explosive situation.

Thank you,

Ahmed Ali Ibrahim

1 comment:

Abdurahman Warsame said...


I'm from Northern Somalia, particularly the city of Lasaanod which part of Puntland. It's Ok for you to promote Somaliland, this is your right, but I don't think you need to engage in tribalism (calling it Majertania instead of Puntland to make your point.

Useless propaganda like when you say "This region is the operations centre of a highly sophisticated spider web of commrcialised criminal enterprises such as human trafficking across international waters; arms smuggling; a lucrative high seas piracy; an international ring of counterfeit money operations with networks in the Persian Gulf and the far East; and transshipment of drugs headed for Europe, the Middle and the Far East" is also at best tasteless.

My position is, like most of those south of Burco, that Somaliland and Puntland are temporary solutions (I know you disagree) but Puntland is, by far, the fastest growing and most stable region in Somalia - that's a fact.

I hope you don't take offense, great blog by the way.