On the fateful morning of the 28thof January 2014 at exactly 9 o’clock an innocent life was claimed by a speeding convoy of AMISOM’s armored vehicles on one of the busiest roads in Mogadishu; Makka Al Mukarama. The victim of the plight is the deceased Salah Noor Mohamed, a taxi driver with 9 children (3 boys and 6 girls) and a guardian of his late brother’s six children.
The late Salah was crossing the tarmac looking at his left side for any incoming vehicles at the Maka Al Mukarama Street near Trepiano. Unfortunately within first car knocked him hard and sent him flying in the air, unconscious and unable to move the second car smashed his head scattering his brains all over the tarmac as they proceeded at full swing as if nothing had happened. Bystanders who witnessed the cruel accident rushed to the scene gripped with intense panic and fear. The body of the late Salah was instantly surrounded with people and they all keened and cursed the AMISOM’s troops for the cruel act. The street was filled with chaos and frenzy as the protestors demanded justice to be served for the late Salah.
The police were quick to rush to the scene firing gunshots to disperse the angry mob but the infuriated mob were not easily dispersed by the gunshots because they were all emotional due to the tragic and barbaric act.The police in the scene assured the raging crowd that justice will be served for the late Salah and the AMISOM troops responsible will be held accountable for the accident. They also passed their condolences and assured the late Salah’s children and wife who were weeping uncontrollably over Salah’s body that they will be compensated for the dreadful death of the well known devoted father and loving husband. After a while the two AMISOM vehicles were fortunately apprehended and a statement was recorded. An ambulance was then called to take the body to be prepared for burial.
After that fateful day, days have turned into weeks and weeks into months and the bereaving family still hasn’t received any word from both the AMISOM and the government who were assumed to be obliged in preserving order and seeking justice for its people. The deceased family has been going to the police station for days and all the police could say was that they will soon be compensated. The family which was from a humble background is now uncertain of what the future holds for them since their bread winner has been ruthlessly killed and justice is still at large. The family and the elders of the late Salah are not in the position of hiring a lawyer to advocate to their plea.
Alikar center for Peace, Human Rights & Democracy (APHAD), has decided to take an insight into the matter and visited the mourning family at their homestead in Maajo estate, Waberi district. APHAD staff met with the late Salah’s children and wife Mrs. Hakiimo Hussein Adan who were deeply depressed.
Mrs. Hakiimo welcomed us as she sat down in a dusty carpet with her children and started revealing to us about her husband,’’ I’ve been in love with Salah for over 25 years and we were the finest couple in the midst our people. At the verge of tears she continues to narrate about her late husband, ‘’ Salah was our breadwinner, he used to work as a taxi driver and the little he got from the rented car was the only source of income we relied on to cater for all our needs. ‘’Salah used to strive hard to ensure that his children and his brother’s children get quality education. ‘’ Salah had called me earlier and told me to get ready, we were supposed to go to ‘’Hamar Wayne’’ to visit some of our relatives and buy some groceries in Hamar Wayne market. He had dropped every task he had just to make sure that we go to Hamar Wayne as planned. ‘’I was ready and was expecting him to come through that door’, but unfortunately a panicked gripped boy came dashing to me and told me that Salah has been killed’’ I was immediately dumbfounded, I guess I was in comatose because it was the last thing I remembered. I was carried to the scene and woke up in utter and disbelief when I saw my beloved husband lying in a pool of his own blood with his face smashed up and his brains scattered all over the road. ‘’ I hysterically broke into tears as I hold my late husband into my lap while my children sobbed and snuffledholding their father’s legs. I talked to him hoping he’ll talk back but it was all in vain. The people at the scene comforted me and took me to a shade away from the scorching sun.
From that day on, I haven’t been in the best of health. I’m severely traumatized, emotionally and mentally disturbed. That is the most painful ordeal I’ve experienced, I have developed a nightmare that haunts me whenever I try to sleep, I always have visions holding my late husband in my lap crying over his shoulders. I don’t how I can ever overcome it and have a peace of mind.
‘’My major concern right now is how I’ll get my late husband’s reparation. I’ll need to find a way of getting an income for my family, to cater for all their needs. She tries so hard not to cry in front of her children but her eyes are bloodshot. She has taken a few days training on tailoring and she’s now mending clothes in her estate as a life saving mechanism through a second hand sewing machine. We found some clothes in her homestead that was brought to her by her neighbours for sewing. She says she hasn’t got enough customers and the machine she’s using is an old one. She hopes she’ll get a way to earn an income for her family probably a job steady enough to see her family through. She neither has any subsistence support from anyone nor a job. She’s completely distressed about the demise of her husband, the reparation and what the future holds for her family.
19 year old Warda Salah is the eldest daughter of thelate Salah. She’s in form three at Al- Imra high school. With tears flowing down her cheeks she says, ‘They’ve killed our father and we can’t get his reparation. We can’t find any important figure that will help us find our reparation from AMISOM.
We are poor and there’s no one to help us. ‘’ I don’t know how I’ll complete my studies; no one is there to pay my school fees. My hope for education and life is now stead fastly running into thin air. My father had promised that he’ll see me through university. He used to make connections with some people in Turkey and other places for my education but that is now all gone. My primary concern right now is how I will sustain my life and that of my siblings. I have to help my mother raise the children. She looked up the sky and said, ‘’ Oh Allah, you are the Judge, The Mighty, The Responder to Prayer. Please see us through this transition period. Help us find justice for our father and our reparation’’.
Mohamed Hussein is a nephew to the late Salah. He’s 20 years old and in form four. He was dismayed about the death of his uncle. He was raised by Salah after the death of his father and has now decided to drop out from school and start working for his uncle’s family. He’s greatly concerned on how he’ll get work, disquietingly he said, ‘’ Employment is not easy to find, Mogadishu is a city backed up by tribal minded and powerful people, apparently I have neither of the two’’.
17 year old Harun is a son of the late Salah; he’s now in grade eight. He says he never used to know the pain of losing a father. He says he used to hear of his friends saying ‘’my father is dead,’’ but I never thought the feeling was this devastating’’. My life, education and my future lies in complete incertitude. ‘’The major concern I have right now is how I will get my meals’’ May Allah seek evenhandedness for us. I pray that we get our reparation and May retribution be found for my late father ‘’.
Young Harun says he has heard of people that were befallen by the same plight; some have died and some are crippled and there is nothing that anyone has done for them neither the AMISOM nor the Somali government. Young Harun surprisingly asked us these question with tears trickling down his cheeks, ‘’ Where’s the Somali government to intercede? Is AMISOM above the rules and regulations of the road? If we were from a bigger tribe/clan would we have gotten better treatment? ‘’Today I no longer have a father, deprived of the reparation, I don’t have wealthy relatives nor anyone to support us’’. ‘’ I don’t know what to do’’.
15 years old Sirad is another daughter of the late Salah, she now does the housechores because the maid has left. Emotionally distressed she says,’’ I can’t continue with my education, I have to do the house chores for my family since the house help has gone’’. Resentfully she lamented biting her lipsas a stream of tears flowed down her cheeks, ‘’ AMISOM has plunged us into this plight, spiflicated our future. May the almighty God be compassionate with us!
APHAD staff also met with the late Salah’s kinsmen and other relatives. They acrimoniously say that they can’t get Salah’s reparation based on the empty promises made by Somali government. ‘’they always gives us empty promise, it’s been a few months now and it’s clear that all our efforts are in vain’’. The Somali government has turned a deaf ear on us – and we think because of our tripe- and we don’t know how to reach AMISOM.’’ We as the tribesmen and the kinsmen of the late Salah have now decided to forget about the reparation and to support the family by asking well wishers to come forward and donate anything to this humble family’’
Everyone in the family looked weary, depressed and tentative about the future. The family is quite deplorable and the demise of their breadwinner has wiped away their smiles. They are now in deep sorrow. They need local and international intervention to oversee that justice is well served and reparation is paid to them.
APHAD hereby recommends the following;
1. Well wishers and international parties should intervene in this transitional period
2. Advocacy for the family reparation
3. The Somali government should swiftly intervene and see that justice is served
4. AMISOM should compensate the grief-stricken family
5. AMISOM should respect the rights of the Somali people
6. AMISOM should abide by the traffic regulations and the rules of the country