|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives|
|Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf’s First Defeat in the Court of Law|
Sultan Hurre Human Rights Focus (SHHRF) firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, April 20 2004
Hampering justice has always been the hallmark of Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, the man who calls himself the President of Puntland State of Somalia. Cheating oneself is bad, but attempting to con the established English law is a folly.
On the 3rd March, Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed has encountered his first major defeat at the High Court of the United Kingdom when the court dismissed Abdullahi’s defence proposal to move the venue of the case brought against him. The case has been brought by the widow and children of the late Somali traditional leader, Suldan Ahmed Mohamud Mohamed (known also as Suldan Hurre) on the 30th of September 2002.
The respected Sultan was killed on the 17th of August 2002 at Kala-bayrka, in Puntland state of Somalia, by the personal bodyguards of Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf.
The defendant claimed the existence of a legal framework, courts and elders’ dispute settlement mechanism in Puntland. In short, that Puntland should be the proper venue of the case brought against him. Paradoxically, his argument has been trounced by himself when he was asked to provide the procedure upon which the plaintiffs could “initiate proceedings against the defendant in connection with the death” of the deceased sultan, and if it does, what is the court that would entertain proceedings against Colonel Yusuf in Puntland. The defendant replied that the details “will be provided in due course”. Neither the court nor the plaintiff ever received a reply.
In another question the defendant was asked if he was “willing to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of Puntland” and “comply with any consequent judgment of the courts of Puntland” if the claim is filed in Puntland. This is what he answered, “the defendant will comply with any lawful order of the courts of Puntland state of Somalia that does not infringe” is constitutional position as ‘president’?
Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf’s evasive and equivocal answers demonstrate the extent of his behaviour as a man who does not respect any law other than his own.
Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf is responsible for taking Puntland to the brink of total anarchy and a bred a wave of tribal feuds in order to curb the nascent grassroots-based democratic institutions which flourished in Puntland State of Somalia following the collapse of the Somali state in the early 1991.
The natives of Puntland are worried by what the future portends for their regions, a hitherto peaceful large swathe in Somalia. Already the signs are symptoms of Somalia of late 1990s are evident. Indeed, a good parallel can be drawn between today’s Puntland and Somalia of late 1980s. Some of the similarities are:
Instability: the instability created following the constitutional crisis triggered by Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf following his unconstitutional extension of the presidency;
Feud: the state sponsored clan-based feuds;
Personal Arms: the clan rivalry and feud have been created a strong demand for personal arms;
The breakdown of the institution: the failure and collapse of the rudimental institutions Puntland administration which could not survive beyond the mandated first three-year period;
Failure of source of leadership: the manipulation and the suppressing of the source of leadership led to the failure of the traditional leadership which has been the fundamental source stability of Puntland;
Elimination of the political opponents: political assassination, repression and eliminate of the political opponents became the trademark;
Impediments to development: closure of local and international NGOs;
Suppression of free press: the closure of local mass media; and
Abolition of basic human rights: disregard and contempt for human rights and the abolition of the foundation of freedom and justice;
The first defeat in the hand of court of law in England is the first step towards dealing with the likes of Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. Undeniably, this is also a hope for the Somalis who suffered under Somali warlords. Perhaps, it is a step closer to the possibility of removing one of the obstacles to Somalia's road to peace. Obviously, it is a great day for the family of Sultan Hurre, his supporters, the peace loving Somalis, and justice.
Sultan Hurre Human Rights Focus (SHHRF)