16 June 2023, Mogadishu| By Jama
In an unprecedented turn of events, a group of traditional elders from the Murusade clan has raised alarm over what they term as unlawful detentions of their kinsfolk in Adale. The group was reportedly on a journey to Mogadishu when they were apprehended by Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers.
The elders have expressed their dismay over the arrest of their clan members, claiming the detainees were taken without just cause. One elder voiced the community’s frustration, saying, “Our people were simply travelers, journeying from Elbur to Mogadishu. They have been unlawfully detained for two days and two nights, which is a clear violation of our governmental norms. Somali law dictates that an individual cannot be held for more than 24 hours without an appearance before a court.”
The group suspects the arrests may be unjustly rooted in prejudice. “We can only conclude that their clan affiliation and their place of origin led to their arrest,” the elder added.
A second elder echoed these sentiments, vehemently condemning the detentions. “The detention of these ten individuals is not only an affront to our clan, but also a serious breach of our national laws. We demand to know the grounds upon which they have been detained,” he said.
Meanwhile, representatives from the Adale police station have offered a different narrative. They maintain the detainees were taken into custody based on accusations of affiliation with the Al Shabaab group, and will be handed over to the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA). They also said that the group will be transferred to Mogadishu and placed under NISA’s jurisdiction.
This case has heightened tensions in an already volatile region and called into question the enforcement of detainment laws. As we await more information, one thing remains clear: the fate of the detained individuals hangs in the balance, with the stakes higher than ever.
This incident highlights the friction between traditional clan systems and state law enforcement agencies in Somalia, illustrating how national security concerns can create clashes with local cultural practices. The outcry by the Murusade elders demonstrates the deep-seated mistrust that some local communities harbor towards national authorities, often sparked by instances of perceived injustice and ethnic bias. The incident underlines the need for an inclusive and transparent approach in Somalia’s ongoing struggle against insurgency, in order to avoid further alienating key sections of society.
Furthermore, the discrepancy between the government and the Murusade clan’s narratives highlights a pervasive issue of communication and transparency within Somali law enforcement. For the public to maintain trust in their institutions, there is a dire need for clearly outlined processes, especially in matters of detention and accusations of terrorism. Instances like this may exacerbate existing social fractures and fuel sentiment of marginalization, which, ironically, can drive recruitment for the very extremist groups the government aims to quell.