TRANSCRIPT VOA Somali Section News 11 Jun 11, 2012 - 9:33:31 AM
VOA Somali Section News
9 June 2012
7:00 AM News Cast – East Africa Time Interview 14-19 minutes of 30-minute news cast
Some elders among the community that lives in Bali-Dhidin District of Puntland province that said that the district was recently bombed by warplanes owned by a foreign company that works in parts of Puntland known as Saracen.
[VOA Somali Section Reporter in Washington DC]
Abdullahi Nur Mohamed Colombo contacted by telephone an elder who lives in Bali-Dhidin named
Shire Farah Mohamud and he asked him what happened.
Shire: If I tell you what happened, we are community of Bali-Dhidin of Puntland. Recently there was a group of pirates that was travelling to the village, and sometimes they [pirates] travelled through the village but not most times. At the end, we told them [pirates] to leave our village and they said we will leave, and as some had left and few remained the village was bombarded by warplanes. The village was bombed from the air by two warplanes owned by Saracen company.
Colombo: Shire, the warplanes that bombed the village you live in of Bali-Dhidhin it is said that, as you yourself said, they were targeting pirates who were there [Bali-Dhidhin], so you as the local people and the elders, why did not remove the pirates before you were damaged?
Shire: We did not have any pirates with us. The pirates were travelling through the village and we spoke with them [pirates] and they told us they will leave. We cannot interfere among a group of armed men. But they left and they were not there [in Bali -Dhidhin village], except a few pirates who were planning to leave. It was us the people who were bombed by Saracen warplanes and they [Saracen] were not targeting pirates but they [Saracen] attacked us and a people with a specific objective bombed us. The warplanes bombed us. If they wanted to target pirates, pirates are in many places that are not cities, they are at coastal towns, Indian Ocean side. Our village was attacked purposefully and our people were attacked purposefully, and this is how things happened.
Colombo: What evidence do you have that the warplanes that bombed your village belong to Saracen company? Isn’t it possible that the warplanes belong European Union forces fighting piracy?
Shire: It was not European Union or American forces. Our village was bombed by Saracen company. Saracen is independent of Puntland Government. This is an enemy company brought to Puntland by special interests. There is other hidden agenda for this company. They [Saracen] are collecting minerals and gold from our land. They lie and say they are fighting pirates and Al Shabaab. They are not capturing pirates. Pirates are in the sea, in the Indian Ocean, they have hijacked ships along the coast, if they want to bomb pirates they would have attacked these other locations. They would have attacked to free the hijacked ships, they would have attacked the land as pirates are travelling. So this attack on our village [Balli-Dhidhin] was a purposeful attack to destroy our village, to kill our women and children, and to cause intentional life and property destruction.
Colombo: Shire Farah, what can you tell us about the casualties in the bombing of your village of Bali-Dhidhin?
Shire: I can tell you that an uncountable number of houses belonging to civilians have been leveled to the ground. These houses belong to the people of the village, not pirates. Many people were displaced and suffered, and even now 30 people mostly children cannot be found. Also lots of camels and goats cannot be found. There was many camels and goats that came to the village to sleep and they cannot be found. Some were killed by wild beasts and others fled and others died of thirst. There was human who died of thirst. We have inherited lots of catastrophe from the bombing by warplanes. We have suffered a lot we cannot tell in stories.