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Berbera Immigration Officials Block ‘Illegal’ Deportation Of Somaliland Citizen To Yemen
Berbera, Somaliland, July 7, 2007 (SL Times) – An illegal attempt to deport a local man of Somaliland origin by boat to Yemen was blocked last week (27/06/07) when port immigration officials in Berbera refused the local branch of the Criminal Investigation Department to deport Mr. Yasin M Ali, a Somaliland national to Yemen.
Mr. Ali, wanted in connection with a business dispute in Yemen was arrested last month in Hargeysa by the local police after the Attorney General’s office in Hargeysa issued a warrant for his arrest. And soon after the arrest, a court judge in Hargeysa summoned an injunction order for Mr. Ali’s deportation to Yemen and was ferried a day or two later to Berbera’s C.I.D branch office for deportation.
This bizarre incident took place when the assistant head of Berbera C.I.D escorted Mr. Ali to the city port in order to be deported to Yemen. The port immigration officials at Berbera refused to approve the deportation and argued that Mr. Ali is not liable for deportation to Yemen, or for that matter to any foreign country, because Mr. Ali is a national of this country and not a Yemeni citizen.
According to Haatuf’s correspondent in Berbera, Ahmed Adan, ‘the port immigration officials were astonished to discover that they were not notified by their immigration head department office in Hargeysa and the fact that Mr. Ali was not a Yemeni national but a citizen of Somaliland origin.‘
The assistant head of Berbera C.I.D (name withheld), nonetheless, argued with the immigration port officials that the order for Mr. Ali’s deportation came from the Attorney General’s office and a court judge in Hargeysa and that he was instructed by his superiors in Hargeysa to supervise the deportation court order of Mr. Ali.
However, the port immigration officials insisted that ‘although Mr. Ali’s deportation order was issued from a court judge in Hargeysa, the fact that he is a citizen of this country means he cannot be deported to a foreign country, unless an extradition order for his arrest and deportation is issued from the high court, with supporting documentation from the relevant government ministries, specifically, the ministries of justice, interior and foreign affairs.’
The regional Sahil division police chief, Mr. Muhammad Duale, arrived later at the port and diffused the situation by ordering the Berbera C.I.D officials to vacate the port and report to his office in the morning. He also instructed the immigration officials to take Mr. Ali into their custody and transfer him in the morning to the (Berbera) central police station with a written account of what took place that night.
Mr. Muhammad Duale was asked the following day by Haatuf reporter, Ahmed Adan, to comment on the circumstances leading to ‘last night’s illegal and bizarre attempt by the C.I.D to deport Mr. Ali, a citizen of this country, to a foreign country?’
The chief explained that “a warrant of arrest and a deportation court order were brought from Hargeysa on Tuesday (26/06/07), which instructed the Berbera C.I.D office to take Mr. Ali to the port and deport him to Yemen as from immediate effect.”
The police chief added, “Mr. Ali’s deportation should not have been attempted. It was a gross violation of the law and how on earth this ever came about, I don’t know!”.
The police chief was asked, “which court in Hargeysa issued the deportation order for Mr. Ali?”. He replied, “an investigation has just been commissioned by my office, therefore, I cannot comment on this question”.
On the whereabouts of Mr. Ali, the regional police chief, Mr. Duale said, ‘Mr. Ali is currently being held at Berbera central police station’.
Haatuf’s Berbera correspondent, Ahmed Adan, asked the regional chief, “what will you do with Mr. Mr. Ali now that he is in your hands and his deportation to a foreign country is seen by you as illegal?”
“We will send him back to Hargeysa,” remarked the police chief.
The assistant-head of Berbera C.I.D, declined to be interviewed about the circumstances behind the attempt to deport Mr. Ali.
Mr. Omar A Bidar, the head of Berbera port office of the immigration dept speaking to Haatuf’s Ahmed Adan, said, after the incident, that, “the assistant-head of Berbera C.I.D came to our office with the intention of putting Mr. Ali on a ship which was being loaded with livestock destined for Yemen, and said that he had received orders from Hargeysa to deport Mr. Ali who was served with a court deportation order to Yemen, and that he needed our assistance in getting the captain of the ship to agree to hold Mr. Ali locked in one of the ship cabins, and upon reaching Yemen, to hand him over to the Yemeni authorities”.
“We thought this guy was crazy, and couldn’t believe it when we realized that he was serious and intent on carrying out the so-called deportation order,” said the head of Berbera port immigration dept, Mr. Omar A Bidar.
The motive behind this bizarre conspiracy, to illegally deport Mr. Ali to Yemen, is said to have involved the cooperation of the highest judicial and police authorities in Somaliland.
A source in the ministry of justice who wanted to be anonymous told SL Times, “What we have here is that a Yemeni businessman had agents in Hargeysa who worked in coordination with corrupt officials in the Attorney General’s office, the courts and the police department. This cabal was able to issue official papers for the arrest of Mr. Ali and his deportation to Yemen, and it is beyond doubt that the Berbera C.I.D branch assistant-head was a key link in the failed conspiracy. The scheme was paid for by a Yemeni businessman”.
A few days after the incident, a senior Berbera police officer who declined to be named told Haatuf, “It’s possible that the police and judicial authorities in Hargeysa were tricked and unknowingly issued the deportation order for Mr. Ali, but it is obvious that this whole affair could not have happened without the knowledge of someone in the judicial and police departments.”
Mr Ali is still being held in custody at Berbera central police station, and is held for a crime, which is alleged to have taken place in a foreign country.
"The unfortunate thing, in this whole saga is that no foreign country has asked or forwarded formal requests to the Somaliland authorities for the arrest and deportation of Mr Ali", said one Berbera police official who asked not to be named.
Berbera residents were angered and dismayed that corruption has reached a level whereby government officials who are supposed to protect citizens are now conspiring to deliver citizens to foreign individuals, for a fee.
Source: Somaliland Times