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Stop the Harassment Now
ISSUE 70
Front Page
Index

Headlines

- Helmut Kutin in Somaliland

- Hargeisa Under Undeclared Night Curfew

- Somaliland, Shadows Of the Past as Human Rights Deteriorate

- Voting For Democracy

- The Achievements of Hargeisa University Since March

Health

- Drug: The Double Edged Knife (Part 9)

Culture

- "Qaraami": Roots Music Frozen in the Past Or a Vital Music Still Being Invented

International News

- A Nomadic Background May Explain the Resilience of a Somali Economist

- Somali Bantu Settling In Tucson, Phoenix

- Orphans Facing Street Life After Saudi NGO Pulls Out

- US Anti-Terror Force To Train Africans

- Vessel Reportedly Seized in Somalia Set to Dock

- Djibouti Invites India's Skilled Manpower

- Fact-Finding Mission Arrives in Mogadishu

Editorial & Opinions

- Stop the Harassment Now

- Somaliland; What May Hinder Its Recognition?

- Open Letter to Dahir Rayale Kahin

- Sillanyo: A Sore Loser?

- Words From a Somalilander in Diaspora on May 18th Anniversary


Government measures imposing restrictions on the freedom of movement in Hargeisa during night time has become a highly explosive issue, which if not resolved quickly will have disastrous consequences not only for peace and security in the city, but for the whole of Somaliland. Since the last few weeks, Hargeisa has been under an officially un-declared night curfew. Every night, armed men from the police force and the military take over the streets, and start harassing and humiliating residents in almost anyway they can think of. The government has so far avoided making an official explanation as to why it had introduced the measures in the first place. The President can not be said to be unaware of the wide discontent among residents of the capital with the curb on their freedom of movement. However, he seems to have been unmoved by the unpopularity of the night curfew. Even the Guurti, which was supposed to be the guardian of peace and tranquility has remained unconcerned over the violations committed by the security forces, nightly, against the human rights of Hargeisa's citizens.

This conspiracy of silence is very disturbing. Indeed, Hargeisites are worried that this could be an indication of more repressive policies to follow. At the center of the government’s alarm is of course unconfirmed reports that former combatants were regrouping themselves with the intention of challenging the authorities militarily in near future. The government, or at least a number of its officials, point fingers at KULMIYE opposition party as being behind the alleged re-organization of the ex-combatants. KULMIYE has denied this and the authorities failed to come up with the necessary evidence.

Apparently in government and opposition circles alike, there are some elements who do not want to see an end to the political tension now separating the two camps. Relations between the two sides have deteriorated as a result of the dispute over the April 14 presidential election. But Somaliland cannot bear the consequences, if this problem is not resolved without any further delay. President Rayale must reach some kind of a workable political compromise with the opposition, particularly KULMIYE, so as to defuse the existing tension undermining relations between both sides of the political spectrum. In response, KULMIYE must act responsibly. 

While the breach of security laws (whether by the authorities or the opposition) is unacceptable to Somalilanders, it is also unacceptable to Somalilanders for the government to give itself a carte blanche regarding the human rights of citizens. The night curfew must be lifted immediately, and all the extra-legal activities being pursued by the security forces should be discontinued. If the government has a case, then it should come forward and pursue it in public before a court of law.

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