By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – It is the prerogative of a sovereign state to develop its justice system within its prescribed authority as sanctioned by the will of its people.
Reads a statement from the Ministry of Justice-MoJ while stressing that adherence to and implementation of the country’s laws is a function of the Government of the Republic of Somaliland as mandated by the same citizenry that develops them.
Though couched in soft the MoJ statement is in obvious reference to condemnations directed towards the administration of President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo by the European Union, after the state executed six convicted murderers sentenced to death by various courts in the country.
Last Week six convicts all sentenced to death after being found guilty of committing murder in various parts of the country were executed at the Mandera maximum security prison following acquiesce between families of the six convicts and those of their victims. The executions received much public acclaim through out Somaliland
The EU in its statement stated in part “The Heads of Mission of the European Union and Member States condemn in the strongest terms the carrying-out of six death sentences by the Somaliland authorities at the Mandera maximum-security complex after a long de facto moratorium”
But according to the MoJ Somaliland has never formally abolished nor suspended the death penalty within its territory thus negating the EU purported Moratorium which is a misconception resulting from the fact that death sentences have not been carried out in the past 9 years.
Without considering the wishes of Somaliland citizens who support the government’s implantation of death sentences imposed by courts of law nor the law pertinent to the act, the EU condemnation went on to state “The EU Heads of Mission strongly and unequivocally oppose the death penalty and consider that the death penalty constitutes a serious violation of human rights and human dignity”
In an apparently literal attempt to camouflage citizens anger and irritation with the EU resulting from the vehement criticism of the executions more so the line reading “The EU Heads of Mission deplore this grave backlash after nine years of suspended executions and urge Somaliland authorities to rethink its decision to leave the progressive path followed so far” the MoJ went on to state that “The Republic of Somaliland respects its obligations as a member of the international community and adheres to the human rights and dignity of its people as enshrined in the Constitution and its laws.
In response to the portion of the condemnation statement reading, “the EU Heads of Mission call upon the Somaliland authorities to immediately halt the execution of death sentences as a first step towards adopting appropriate legislation, which aims at the abolition of the death penalty. The EU Heads of Mission look forward to working with the Somaliland authorities in achieving this” the MoJ said
The Government of the Republic of Somaliland is grateful to the European Union and its member states for their continued support and conveys assurances of its highest consideration.
The whole morning (16th March) the Somaliland minister of Justice Hussein Ahmed Aideed was in closed doors meeting at his offices with a number of expatriates operating in the country suspected to be from the EU mission in Hargiesa.
Click to Read the verbatim copy of the MoJ statement and the preceding EU one