Justice for our Fallen Somaliland Police Officers

Last year, the Wadani party leaders including presidential nominee Cirro attended a reception that took place at a local hotel in the Dumbuluq ward of Hargeysa.

The Keynote speaker of the reception was the ‘despicable’ Oofwareen — the ringleader of the armed thugs hiding in the Gacan Libaax mountains. At that gathering, in a fiery speech, he called for inciting communal violence. He called for his Garxajis kinsmen to take up arms and start shooting members of the Bihi administration belonging to Garxajis if the election is not held on time. The party leaders, including Presidential nominee Cirro, and the whole room applauded his vile, hateful rhetoric.

Just four weeks ago we saw the result of that fiery speech. Armed thugs, belonging to the security detail of Presidential Cirro took positions at Gacan Libaax National Park. On August 11, they ambushed Somaliland police officers, killed 15 policemen, and wounded dozens——the deadliest police attack in our history.

Among the dead was Captain Ahmed Abdillahi who recently finished police training in Britain. He was one of the few officers from the marginalized Gabooye community, in the Somaliland police.  The armed thugs posted online a gruesome video showing the desecration of the corpse of the officer who was shot in the head. Islam forbids the desecration of the dead. In fact, in the 7th century, Abu Bakr, father-in-law of the prophet Muhammad and Islam’s first caliph, issued 10 rules to his people for their guidance on the battlefield. Among them: ‘You must not mutilate dead bodies.’

What we’re dealing with is lawlessness. Oofwareen is a brutal thug who committed heinous crimes for the past three decades. He must be brought to justice. Somaliland should use whatever force is necessary to defeat these savages!

Here are some of the catalogue of offenses Oofwareen committed over the past three decades: He allegedly murdered several women and was also involved in the violent murder of the former Hargeisa mayor’s father, for a hundred dollars. He carried out sexual assaults on teenage girls, burgled vulnerable people’s homes and businesses, and violently robbed people crossing the bridge into Dumbuluq ward.

On August 10, around 8 am local time, Oofawareen’s armed thugs attacked the border village of Daba-Gorayaale. According to the mayor of the village, the bandits took away three guns from three police officers who were sleeping while they were on duty at the police station. They also took away a further gun from a police officer at a customs checkpoint, without a fight. They looted two vehicles belonging to Halo, an International NGO working on Demining.  They also attacked Odweine township before moving into the border village.

The Interior Minister and the police chief must do their job. They have been AWOL and silent about the violence of the armed thugs who have been terrorizing our communities, and looting the NGOs that are helping our people.

Colonel Kahin is giving more priority to his presidential campaign and the Kulmiye party than running the day-to-day operations of the Ministry of Interior responsible for public safety despite the security challenges Somaliland is facing. That is a mistake, he is losing the confidence and the trust of Somaliland’s people. Every day the Bihi administration fails to bring justice to the perpetrators of the massacre, deepening the sense of chaos and confusion.

For the good of the country, Oofwareen must be killed or captured. Law and order must prevail in JSL! We should let the Somaliland National Defense Force (SLNDF) take over this operation. This is not a law-enforcement matter. This is a very serious National security matter, and there is no room for error.

These brazen attacks are part of a well-coordinated insurrection to bring down our republic. Their plan is to cause chaos and confusion to our people and to subvert our nation.

What we saw also the last few weeks in Gacan-Libaax, was not about people protesting election delays, bad governance, or injustice, but it is anti-Somaliland anarchists with ties to Las-Anood clan militias who are using violence to bring down our government and to undermine our peace and security. Their mission is to make the Republic of Somaliland the sixth federal member state of the struggling Somali Federal Republic, but they will never succeed.

We should address our political grievances through peaceful means and not through “blood and violence” as some Wadani leaders are advocating. If they are not part of the mayhem, they should condemn Oofwareen and his armed thugs. Cirro should also call them to stand down and face justice or the wrath of SLNDF!

More importantly, the corrupt clan elders who are calling for the withdrawal of our law enforcement from Gacan Libaax are ignorant about religion, national security, and public safety.

We should not equate our law enforcement with armed gangs. This is a reckless idea. Instead, we must send more reinforcements, including SLNDF.

The loss of the fallen police officers leaves an indelible mark on their loved ones, colleagues, and the Wadani and UCID party leaders are complicit in the violence and banditry of the armed thugs. They are plotting behind the scenes. In fact, they’re aiding the anarchists because they are not interested in taking part in elections for all political groups.

Our republic is under attack. We’re running out of time Mr. President, stop dithering and take swift action to stop the madness and lawlessness prevailing in some pockets of JSL. Deploy the special police RRU and SLNDF in order to defeat the anti-Somaliland anarchists and restore order.

Peace and order will be restored, Somaliland will prevail!


Ali-Guban Mohamed