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HARGEISA — A British-trained force on Sunday raided a house in the neighborhood Jigjiga-Yar in Hargeisa leaving the family to clean up the mess.

The Resistant Reaction Unit(RRU) at pre-dawn, approximately 2:30-AM on Sunday night, stormed and ransacked the house of Hassan Aw-Libah, a former resident and a dual British citizen.

Terrified neighbours said the raid was an illegal form of intimidation, harassment and unlawfully searching, and questioning by the RRU’s motives.

Mr. Hassan Aw Libah said masked men from the special unit broke into and rummaged through his house after smashing its front gate and doors.

He said they then drew their weapons and held them at gunpoint before tying his household workers to chains in an effort to immobilize them.

“They came from all corners. Some of them climbed over the fence and they were shouting “caar-dhaqaaqa” (do not move) in Somali. They broke the front door of the house with their guns drawn and were ready to shoot, when we inquired what was going on; they tackled us to the floor,” Mr. Aw libah said.

He went to say: “I can not believe the government of President Silanyo would be treating its people in such a manner. Do they not have enough horror from the days of former dictator Mohamed Said Barre?”

He went to question where would Somalilanders go if even Hargeisa was not safe for them?

According to Aw libah, the force invaded his house, which is situated just opposite the Jigjiga-Yar police station without a search warrant. He also questioned as to why the force used such brutal tactics including chaining his household members to chairs in their living rooms and kitchen.

“Two members of my household were handcuffed for more than 2 hours in their living rooms while they ransacked the apartment and a neighboring unit, repeatedly shouting “caar-

dhaqaaqa”,” Mr. Ahmed, the son in-law of Aw libah, said.

Mr. Ahmed said during the raid the unit confiscated an assortment of goods including unspecified amount of cash, laptops, CDs, and other valuable items. He added that they broke into a safe and when the residents requested a search warrant, the force presented a warrant that was missing a judge’s signature.

Mr. Aw libah said members of his immediate family including his own daughter, son in-law and six of his grand kids, all British citizens, were deeply traumatized by the deplorable incident in middle of the night.

While appealing to the Somaliland president, he said: “I am applying to the relevant authorities including President Silanyo to intervene and explain to me what I have done to deserve such treatment. Since no one from the government had the courage to contacted me, I think we deserve an answer.”

He said he was an innocent man who did not deserve to be treated in such manner which is only reserved for terrorist and hardened criminals.

“I hereby ask the British government to review and immediately halt all financial and military support it provides to the infamous RRU. It is been used as a tool for terrorizing innocent citizens rather than its original purpose which was to counter terrorism,” Mr. Aw Libah said.

The RRU officers received training pertinent to bomb disposal, fire-fighting, first-aid becoming the first unit to possess these hitherto unavailable skills within the country’s security forces.

The British government has been providing funds and instructors to the RRU thus availing the police force with relevant rapid reaction skills.

“Preemptive raids like this are the hallmark of the former National Special Security of the former regime of Said Barre,” said one resident of Jigjiga-Yar, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Mr. Adan who is also a neighbour told Somalilandpress that such actions against innocent citizens by the unit were unacceptable. He called for an action against them saying those responsible for the shameful incident should be held accountable. He warned brutal forces saying: “Other law enforcement agencies should be aware that this behavior will not be tolerated and will result in real consequences for the community.”

The police commissioner of Jigjiga-Yar police station, said he was not aware of any impending raid on the Aw libah apartment.

Khalid Mohamed


June 19, 2012