18 June 2012

Somalia: Court Sentences Soldier to Death After Slaying Civilian

Afgoye, Somalia — A soldier in the Somali forces was sentenced to death after being convicted of killing a woman in Afgoye, Garowe Online reports.

Mahamud Hussein Ma'alin was sentenced to death on Sunday, after a military court in Afgoye found of him guilty of killing Zaynab Farah Takar last Friday.

Major Hasan Mohamed Hussien (Mungaab), commander of the Somali forces in Afgoye held a press conference shortly after the court's decision. The Major explained that Mr. Ma'alin killed in cold blood, Mrs. Takar and injured another 2 women, after opening fire on a vehicle carrying the women in the town of Afgoye.

"After 5 witnesses identified Mahamud Hussein Ma'alin as the shooter, the court found Mr. Ma'alin guilty of murder and attempted murder which under Islamic law, the military justice system and criminal justice system is punishable by death," said Major Mungaab.

A date for the execution has not been specified but Major Mungaab said that the soldier would be executed in the upcoming days.

The Major also warned other forces stationed in Afgoye, he said that killing or extortion of civilians will not be tolerated and will be dealt with harshly.

Reports of robberies, shakedowns and killings of civilians by forces stationed in Afgoye have worried leaders in the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), like Minister of Defense Hussien Arab Isse who warned forces that they could face severe repercussions for their ill-advised actions.

"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.

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