Somalia: Nat’l Army blamed for 'clan warfare' and 'human rights abuses'
MARKA, Somalia Oct 20, 2014 (Garowe Online)-As sporadic armed conflict continues to pose challenge to the extremely delicate security situation in southern Somalia, UN monitors blamed unidentified Somali National Army (SNA) commanders for fuelling clan fighting in Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions, Garowe Online reports.
A 461-page report indicates that the recent clan revenge attacks in the southern part of the country could amount to gross violations of human rights: “The fighting has involved clan militia of the Biyamal (Dir) and Habar Gedir (Hawiye) in Lower Shabelle and the Abgaal (Hawiye) and Shiidle (Bantu/Jareer) in Middle Shabelle, revenge killings and attacks on civilian settlements amounting to gross violations of human rights”.
Pointing accusing fighters at senior army officers, UN investigators said in their confidential report that soldiers were also part of the clan fighting.
“The complexity of the situation, for example in Lower Shabelle, entails a combination of the alleged role of senior army officers and soldiers in the violence, leakages of arms to clan-based militias, use of misappropriated resources to fuel the conflict, business interests in capturing land and other resources and political agendas seeking to influence the federal state- formation process,” noted the report, referring to the disputes over the formation of Federal state consisting of Lower Shabelle, Bay and Bakool regions.
Though Al Shabaab was flushed out of key strongholds in Lower Shabelle, UN experts state that the epicenter of the conflict constitutes lucrative Banana plantations and clout of former warlords including Yusuf Mohamed Siyad (Indha,ade) and Gen. Mohamed Roble Jim’alle (Goballe).
Moreover, the report found that the contesting interests by rival politicians lobbying for two-region, three-region and six region state formations and heterogeneous clan composition aggravated the security situation.
On Human Rights abuses, Somali Federal Government troops were accused of killing 84 civilians around KM50 which has been a flashpoint for deadly clashes over regional influence this year alone.
Janale and Marka were also said to have been a spot for razing of buildings as well as farmlands, deliberate rapes and displacement.
“According to confidential sources of the Monitoring Group, the attacks on K50 in November/December 2013 and June 2014 were orchestrated and led by Yusuf Indha’ade’s Haber Gedir/Ayrmilitias, General Gobale and soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, and General Qaafow, and elements of the 5th Brigade of the SNA,” disclosed UN report.
Reacting to the recurrent clashes between clan militias, Lower Shabelle Governor Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Siidi criticized Mogadishu-based groups over escalations and stoking of local hostilities.
In 2013, a report on Somalia of Monitoring Group revealed the presence of 840 soldiers under the command of Gen. Gobale along Afgoye-Marka road.
Indha'adde was until recently using clan militia to subjugate local populations in Lower Shabelle region while Gobale-former Kismayo warlord-remains deeply notorious.