7 February 2013

Somalia: Somaliland Police Arrest Somali Lawmaker

Somaliland security forces arrested Somali parliamentarian Jama Mohamud in Gabiley District on Tuesday (February 5th), accusing him of treason against Somaliland.

Mohamud has been hiding in the region since he arrived in Berbera on January 22nd, Gabiley police chief Saleban Duale told the media. "We have now transferred him to the central jail in Hargeisa."

Mohamud's arrest was based on a resolution passed by the Somaliland parliament in 2003 that forbids people from Somaliland from holding posts in the Somali government, Hargeisa-based lawyer Hussein Jama Guled told Sabahi.

"However, that resolution was indirectly nullified by a decision issued by the House of Representatives and the House of Elders in February 2012 when Somaliland agreed to hold talks with Somalia and to take part in meetings about Somalia," Guled said. "This arrest is not based on the law."

"The arrest of officials of the new Somali government who are originally from Somaliland is likely to create a rift between the two sides," he said.

Since last year, members of the Somali parliament have come to Somaliland without suffering any consequences, he said. "Therefore, the question is: Why has this specific individual been targeted?"

Mohamud's trial is expected to begin soon, according to Somalia's Jamhuuriya newspaper.

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