Somalia: President Shairf visits Afgoye to resolve abuse cases
Jun 12, 2012 - 10:35:21 AM
Somalia Jun 12
2012 (Garowe Online) – President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed visited the Afgoye corridor
following reports of soldiers abusing residents, Garowe Online reports.
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) President Shairf, accompanied
by a delegation of ministers and government officials visited the town of Afgoye on Monday approximately 30 kms from Mogadishu.
After a spending a night in Afgoye on Monday, President
Sharif met with traditional elders on Tuesday, where they discussed issues of
abuse by forces and improved harmonization between the elders and the
President Sharif held a press conference in the town following
the meeting. At the press conference, he explained the purpose of his visit was
to deal with security issues including recent reports of abuse to civilians by
forces stationed in the Afgoye corridor.
“We are trying to improve the security in the district and we
are here in Afgoye after I was informed that crimes were committed by forces
stationed here, and the government will do something about,” said President
Residents of Afgoye have accused forces of shaking down
residents, committing mass arrests and even robbery. According to local sources
in Afgoye, on Friday a young man was shot dead by forces while they were conducting
a search and another was robbed by two soldiers.
Despite the government having rid the town of insurgents,
citizens are afraid to move during the day.
“Two weeks ago the town was peaceful, but now people stay
home for fear of being robbed, even during the day,” said Haji Hussein, an
Minister of Defence, Hussein Arab Isse warned of severe
consequences to forces caught committing crimes.
“Our forces need to assure the safety and well being of the
citizens in Afgoye and the government will deal swiftly and harshly with
soldiers who do not uphold their oath,” said Minister Isse.
Afgoye, a former Al Shabaab stronghold was recently captured
by Somali and African Union forces, after the terrorist organization Al
Shabaab, fled the town.