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Imprisoned May 31st Veterans Denied Trial
ISSUE 71
Front Page
Index

Headlines

- Imprisoned May 31st Veterans Denied Trial

- A Briton Raises Donation For Hargeisa Hospital

- Blunder by SOLJA Associates

- The Somaliland Government Sues Haatuf

- KULMIYE Party Rejects Kahin as Somaliland President

Health

- Drug: The Double Edged Knife (Part Ten)

- Nonprofit Group to Undertake Public Health Program in Hargeisa

- Smoking Kills Yearly 2.5 Million World Wide

Culture

- Rageh Mania!

International News

- Photos Raise Allegations of Torture

- A Tall Story

- CIA Categorizes Ethiopia as Illicit Drugs Transit Hub

- The Writing on the Wall

- Local Muslim Leader Sentenced in Fraud Case

- Federal Appeals Court Says Somali in Minnesota Can Be Deported

- Some Somalis Try to Clear Country's Reputation as 'Terrorist Haven'

- World Bank Planning Joint UN-Somalia Endeavor

- 133 Would-Be Illegal Immigrants Detained in Puntland

- What Was This Man Doing In Mumbai?

Peace Talks

- Muhammad Jirde Hussein Pledges Support for Somalia

- 18 Somalians Killed In Rivals Clash

Editorial & Opinions

- Dialogue is the Right Option

- Appeal to Ahmed Mohamed Sillanyo

- Human Rights and the Politics of Silence in Somaliland

- Somaliland’s Progress Should Not Be Held Hostage to KULMIYE’s Intransigence

- Somalilanders: Be Aware!

- This is Not the Somaliland I Envisioned

- Why is KULMIYE Refusing to Accept the Decision of the Constitutional Court?

- Somaliland’s Neglected Infrastructure

- May 1988


Hargeisa, May 31, 2003 (SL Times) - It is 15 years ago tonight when about 800 fighters belonging to the then opposition forces of the ‘Somali National Movement’ came into Hargeisa city to begin the final stages of the war for the liberation of Somaliland from former dictator Siyad Barre, one of the most brutal regimes that Africa has known. By May 27, 1988, SNM forces were already in Buroa. Siyad Barre's government retaliated with air and artillery bombardment of the civilian population in both Hargeisa and Buroa as well as other major urban and rural centers in Somaliland. 

About 100,000 innocent civilians were killed, while hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes seeking refuge in camps in eastern Ethiopia. It took the SNM 2 years and several months more to totally defeat the enemy. 

At least 10 veterans of the 31st May 1988 offensive are being held now in Hargeisa central prison. They include Mohamed Ahmed Hashi Madar (Weere) who as a high school student escaped arrest in 1982 to join the SNM, Axmed Barkhad, a civil servant, Abdul Aziz Habane, currently a businessman and Mohamed Dahir, an-unemployed father of 9 children. These men and others were arrested on May 19, 2003 by Somaliland’s security forces. No charges were officially brought against them and it is not yet known whether they will face trial. 

According to the Minister of Interior, Ismail Adan Osman, the veterans were held for being suspected of belonging to a larger group of ex-combatants that the government had earlier described as planning subversive activities against the state. KULMIYE opposition party described these arrests as part of a repressive policy aimed at the persecution of its members. Most of the people arrested in connection with this case were known KULMIYE supporters and activists. 

The police department has so far avoided making any comments on recent detentions, which were directly ordered by the Minister of Interior.

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