Somaliland: Peruvian Forensic Team Briefs Foreign Ministry

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Exhumation day/fileBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The government has reaffirmed its commitment to ongoing Mass grave exhumations.

The minister of foreign affairs Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar has assured the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team-EPAF that the government is fully committed to the five years contract it entered with the forensic experts.

The foreign minister revealed this during a diner he hosted for the EPAF team at a Hargeisa hotel where the Peruvian scientists also briefed on status of their ongoing very grave exhumations in the country.

The Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team – EPAF, begun exhumations in in the country earlier this month, as part of a five-year agreement signed with the government thus unearth the truth behind an estimated 60,000 civilian deaths and hundreds of victims of enforced disappearances from 1970 to 1991.

The EPAF team which will also training local forensic personnel and college students of biomedical sciences in order to avail of the country relevant forensic expertise.

The exhumations result from the enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, torture and other human rights violations perpetrated during the reign of dictator Siyad Barre whose underlings are credited with the over 60,000 deaths and hundreds of unexplained disappearances

One of the main perpetrators in this case is General Mohamed Ali Samatar, who was Vice President and Defense Minister of the Democratic Republic of Somalia from 1980 to 1986. In January 1987, Samatar took over as Prime Minister of Somalia, until the fall of Barre dictatorship in 1990.

Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar who informed the EPAF team that the government is satisfied with ongoing activities also urged citizens to support the team wherever its activities are based.

For more information on the exhumations in Somaliland, visit www.epafperu.org

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