3 March 2019

Somalia: Puntland Vows Death for Everyone Commits Rape in the Region

Photo: Tiggy Ridley/IRIN
(file photo).

Somalia's northeastern regional state of Puntland has vowed a death penalty for everyone who commits rape in the region. A court in Nugal region of Puntland State sentenced five young men to death, officials said on Saturday.

The young men were accused of gang-raping a woman in Galkayo, the regional capital of Mudug region in central Somalia. In a ruling on Saturday morning from the Magistrate Court in Nugal region said the five young men were convicted of the rape case.

Four rapists fled to Qardho town while the fifth one was arrested in Galkayo as he tried to flee authorities. However, this verdict is not connected to the rape and killing of the 12-year old Aisha Ilyas allegedly raped, tortured and killed the previous week in Galkayo city Puntland.

Four men were las arrested in Galkayo, Puntland in connection with the rape and killing of 12-year old girl on Sunday. The men were arrested on Tuesday afternoon by local authorities as the net is cast wide to nab the remaining three suspects.

12-year Aisha Ilyas was raped, brutally tortured and killed on Sunday by seven men. Her mutilated body was later dumped at her parents' home. Residents said they were shocked by the incident.

The regional head of Mudug, Abdulkadir Hussein Nur Dirir has confirmed the arrest saying that "the suspects if convicted, would be shot in public."

"If the court finds them guilty, we would shoot them in public at the full glare of all so as to serve as a warning to any man contemplating such an ugly move," Abdulkadir described.

He also warned about solving the matter by local traditional way known as Maslaha. Maslaha, is a system of resolving disputes in the Somali community. A group of elderly men gathers to find alternative dispute resolution in cases where the criminal justice system is deemed an open option.

It's a widely celebrated system, particularly in other contexts.However, it has been widely castigated when it comes to solving cases of sexual violence against women.

Women dismiss the "Maslaha" as a council of men who decide for women's concerns stating that no woman sits when verdicts are pronounced.

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