Somalia’s Notorious Warlord Qaybdid should be sent to ICC

Published On: Wednesday, May, 30 2012 - 14:20:12 This post has been viewed 2958 times

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Qeybdid became known as militia leader of Gen Mohammed Farrah Aidid’s USC forces and served as minister of interior in its confrontations with UN forces during the so-called "nation-building" phase of UNOSOM II in 1993.

Mogadishu (Sunatimes) Somalia’s justice system is not functioning properly. The TFG’s mandate is coming to an end, the warlords and their minions are part and parcel of the TFIs-It is high time to purge these criminals from the establishment and bring them to justice.

The new Somali government should ratify the International Criminal Court as soon as it takes office and end the culture of impunity. The International Community, the AU and IGAD should also stop double standard policy toward Somalia. If Uhuru Kenyatta is to be barred to contest Kenyan elections for few months of election violence, how can you allow the warlords who maimed Somali people for decades, not only to walk free and travel around, but to vie for high political positions in Somalia?. This is a mockery of justice and a travesty of Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrined in the UN Charter.

Newspapers around the world have spoken against the grave human rights violations in Somalia. “Notorious Somali warlords, regional administration heads and former military government leaders have committed grave human rights atrocities against the Somali civilians including women and children. Tens of thousands of Somalis have been killed, and hundreds of thousands were wounded. Millions more are displaced internally and externally. As a result, the Somali people remain stateless. No institution is left functioning” (Toronto Star, Jan 13).

Professor Stephen John Stedman, an authority on peace building at Stanford University says: "Where international custodians have created and implemented coherent, effective strategies for protecting peace and managing spoilers, damage has been limited and peace has triumphed. Where international custodians have failed to develop and implement such strategies, spoilers have succeeded at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives."

The Somali government should be held accountable under international law; it should protect Somali people, identify and prosecute the perpetrators of the human rights crimes and the crimes against humanity in Somalia regardless of their clan affiliation.

The local human rights organizations should gather evidence in secrecy, compile files and send to International Criminal Court in Hague.

This noble endeavour would not only restore justice in Somalia by putting these war criminals behind bars, but also deter further human rights violations and delegitimizes notorious warlords to intend to stand for political positions in Somalia.

The Profile of Warlord Abdi Qaybdid.

Qeybdid became known as militia leader of Gen Mohammed Farrah Aidid’s USC forces and served as minister of interior in its confrontations with UN forces during the so-called "nation-building" phase of UNOSOM II in 1993.

In the same year (1993), Delta Force commandos backed up by nearly 140 United States Army Rangers and four US Army Special Forces operators under the command of Gen. William F. Garrison and Col. Lee Van Arsdale launched an assault and captured Qeybdid together with Osman Ali Atto. He stayed in American custody for some months. The arrest is portrayed in the film Black Hawk Down. Somali intelligence,however,believe that both Osman Ali Atto and Abdi Qaybdid,were arrested over unreliable information they supplied to the Americans in exchange for money and political interest. Both guys were working against Gen Mohamed Farah Aidid by the time of their arrest.

By 2001, he became Regional commander of Police Force in Mogadishu as part of the new Transitional National Government (TNG) led by Abdiqasssim Salad Hassan, and Commander of Police Force during President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, himself a notorious warlord.

Mysterious disappearances were common during Gen Abdi Qaybdid’s rein, and one of the most painful occurrences was the sudden death of his rival Col AliSaid Hassan Wadaad. Although there is no hard evidence to date, many people in Salballaar community believe that his death was far from being circumstantial-that left deep grudges between Cakkaaro and Salballaar supporters.

In 2008,Rob Crilly, of The Times criticised the Western donors for not paying attention of the taxpayer’s money being funded to security forces led by immoral warlords vested in police uniform. “The money is supposed to be used to strengthen security and democracy, but The Times has learnt that it is financing a police force filled with militiamen and led by one of the country’s most notorious warlord, Abdi Hasan Awale Qeybdid”. Unfortunately, donors privately admit their mistakes. “An element of a leap of faith is required,” one Western diplomat conceded. “Otherwise we have to walk away.”

In 2006, he joined the CIA led Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) against the Islamic Courts Union in the Second Battle of Mogadishu. He surrendered on 11 July 2006 after a heavy loss of life on his supporters.

In late 2006, after retreating from Mogadishu, he fought under a new umbrella led by Puntland militia leader Hiif Ali Taar alongside Ethiopia forces in the Battle of Bandiradley. Gen Abdi Qeybdid forces used to harass Galmudug administration which was just established by Diaspora community, as they were part and parcel of Puntland Forces. It would be hypocritical for Gen Abdi Qeybdid to stand for the presidency of Galmudug, the very entity he opposed during its creation.

Sunatimes Editorial

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