By: Mo Ali/Medeshi
Somalilandsun – On July 17 1989, 48 people from Issak clan of Somaliland were rounded up in different districts in Mogadishu and were taken to Jazeera beach where they were executed by firing squad.
47 of them died on the spot while one person was left for dead but survived .
The massacre happened just three days after demonstrations in the capital of Somalia on July 14 1989 after a group religious elders were detained. The Siyad Barre regime responded with the usual brutality killing over a thousand people the first day. They also started hunting down all young Issak men in the districts frequented by Issaks such as Medina , Hodan and Casa Populare.
Mohamed Barud Ali wrote in his book Weerane the Mourning Tree about the events on the 17 of July 1989 and how the the mass arrests of Issak young men happened:
“A dawn to dusk curfew was declared and during the curfew hours, on the night of the 17th, death squads, led by Maslah Siad Barre, the president’s son and heir-apparent and another Marehan Colonel called Anjeh, went in search of young Issak men. They went to the predominantly Issaq neighborhoods of Madina and Hodan. They knocked only on Issaq households and they picked up only Issaq young men which seems to confirm the suspicion of many people that the operation was preplanned and for this purpose. Forty seven (48) young men were taken in two closed military lorries. They were taken to Jezira beach 12kms east of Mogadishu and extra-judicially executed. A single youth, Mohamed Arab, escaped unhurt by stumbling to the ground with those killed as hails of bullets rained on them. He escaped because the killers had to leave in a hurry when agro-pastoralists who were bringing their produce to the city started appearing in numbers. They threw earth over the bodies of those killed perfunctorily to bury them. The Issak community in Mogadishu managed to spirit him out of Somalia and he lived to tell about this harrowing tale”