Daily Archives: March 2, 2019

Five Men Sentenced to Death in Somalia Rape Case

A court in Garowe, in northern Somalia, Saturday sentenced five male teenagers to death for the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Galkayo last month, officials said.

Mohamed Hared Farah, deputy attorney of Puntland’s High Court, said the young men, four of whom are 18 and the other 19, were convicted in the rape of the girl.

After all the court proceedings, includinsg the presentation of evidence, the court sentences these five young men to death, Farah said.

Second case sparks outrage

Farah added that the rape trial occurred hours before the gang rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in the same Galkayo town, in the central Somali region of Mudug.

On Monday, Aisha Ilyes Aden was abducted at a market in the town. Her body was found the next morning near her home. An autopsy revealed she had been gang raped and then strangled.

Aisha’s case sparked outrage, with demonstrations and protesters’ calls for authorities to use the country’s landmark 2016 Sexual Offenses Law, which criminalizes rape, sexual harassment and online sexual offenses.

Four men have been arrested in the death of Aisha.

Puntland has also sent hundreds of security forces to Galkayo, which is fighting an increase in crime, including rape cases.

Sexual Offenses Law

The 2016 law allowed for five men who had gang raped a teenage girl, and then posted a video of the attack on social media, to be sentenced in 2017 to lashes and up to 10 years in prison, according to the United Nations, a key backer of the legislation.

Farah said Saturday’s sentence was meant to be both a lesson and final warning for other potential rapists.

The young men in this region have made a normal habit to gang rape girls, therefore, our today’s sentence will send them a signal that we have a zero tolerance for rape and that anyone who commits will face death, Farah warned.

The ruling Saturday was not only a test for Puntland state’s new sexual violence law, The Sexual Offense Act, but also a powerful signal of support for the rule of law in general in Somalia, some rights activists say.

Attitudes changing

Somalia is a conservative society where rape is stigmatized and victims are traditionally forced to marry their assailants. Most rape cases go unreported and unpunished, according to Somali women rights activists.

Many rape survivors and their families are afraid to come forward to publicly confront perpetrators, because they fear being shunned by their community. In many cases, the rape victims are deemed unmarriable.

Sexual violence is sadly not a shocking occurrence in Puntland. For years, it has been relatively commonplace, said Hawa Aden Mohamed, founder of the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development, which promotes women’s rights.

Anti-rape campaigners in Somalia say the brutal nature of several videos of gang rape and murder, which have been shared on social media in the past two years, are turning the tide against the conservative stigmatization and the nature of hiding perpetrators.

Source: Voice of America

Minister Bheki Cele introduces acting IPID Head to Parliament, 6 Mar

Minister to introduce Acting IPID Head to the Portfolio Committee

The Portfolio Committee on Police will on Wednesday, 6 March 2019 receive a briefing from the Minister of Police, Minister Bheki Cele on the appointment of the current Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate as the Acting Executive Director of IPID for the next three months.

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr Francois Beukman said he wrote yesterday to the Minister of Police to appear before the committee to brief it on the appointment of the Acting Head of IPID and to provide the CV and career history of the Acting Head to the committee.

There is a huge responsibility on the Acting Executive Director to ensure the existence of stability at IPID and to promote the core values to ensure that investigations are conducted without favour, fear or prejudice. IPID is an important oversight institution to root out criminality and corruption in the SAPS and metropolitan police services, Mr Beukman emphasised.

It is important to the committee that the Acting Executive Director of IPID should focus on strengthening of the effective corporate governance and accountability frameworks, sound financial management and professional investigative practice as short term priorities.

The IPID needs to act in line with the IPID Act and regulations in the execution of its core mandate, and all acts of criminal behaviour of members of Saps should be properly investigated and dealt with. Mr Beukman said that the committee will also invite the top-management of IPID and the Provincial Heads to the meeting.

The committee will also request a short briefing from the Acting Executive Director on his immediate plans and priorities for the Department.

Mr Beukman emphasised that it was important for the committee that assurances are given by the Executive Authority and the Acting Accounting Officer that service delivery at the Department will be prioritized during the transition period leading up to appointment of an permanent Executive Director in line with the prescribed process.

Source: Government of South Africa

Scores of People Believed Dead After Nigeria Pipeline Explosion

Scores of people are believed dead after a pipeline explosion in southern Nigeria, according to local officials.

The Associated Press reported on Saturday that more than 50 people were missing, a day after the early-morning explosion of the Nembe Creek pipeline in Bayelsa State.

Aiteo, the company that owns the pipeline, has said no lives were lost in the explosion.

But a spokesman for the indigenous groups in the area, Chief Nengi James-Eriworio, told reporters that many people, including children, are missing. He said the fumes from the flames are contaminating the air and fishing waters in the area.

He called on the Nigerian government to respond and investigate the incident.

Aiteo Exploration Ltd. announced that the fire, which ignited about 4 a.m. local time Friday, was finally extinguished on Saturday with no loss of life. James-Eriworio contradicts, this claim, however, saying the fire was still burning and it is feared there are dozens of fatalities.

Source: Voice of America

Scores of People Believed Dead After Nigeria Pipeline Explosion

Scores of people are believed dead after a pipeline explosion in southern Nigeria, according to local officials.

The Associated Press reported on Saturday that more than 50 people were missing, a day after the early-morning explosion of the Nembe Creek pipeline in Bayelsa State.

Aiteo, the company that owns the pipeline, has said no lives were lost in the explosion.

But a spokesman for the indigenous groups in the area, Chief Nengi James-Eriworio, told reporters that many people, including children, are missing. He said the fumes from the flames are contaminating the air and fishing waters in the area.

He called on the Nigerian government to respond and investigate the incident.

Aiteo Exploration Ltd. announced that the fire, which ignited about 4 a.m. local time Friday, was finally extinguished on Saturday with no loss of life. James-Eriworio contradicts, this claim, however, saying the fire was still burning and it is feared there are dozens of fatalities.

Source: Voice of America

Nigerian Army Denies IS Claim of Killing 10 Soldiers

CAIRO Islamic State said Saturday that it had killed 10 Nigerian soldiers in an attack two days earlier in the country’s northeastern Borno state, but a Nigerian army

spokesman said “no such incident was recorded.”

In a statement issued through its news agency Amaq, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on a village it referred to as Tdmari, near Maiduguri town.

The Nigerian army spokesman insisted the “situation in the northeast has been calm for some time now. The Nigerian army is consolidating its efforts and successes are being achieved.”

Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), which split from Islamist group Boko Haram in 2016, has carried out a number of attacks in northeast Nigeria in the last few months.

Borno is the state worst hit by Islamist insurgents, whose attacks on Nigerian military bases in the last few months made security a key issue in a just-concluded presidential election won by incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.

Source: Voice of America