RUUN-NIRGOOD, HIRSHABELLE – A series of abductions in the region of Daru Nima has left residents in a state of shock and fear. Over the past two days, an estimated 30 individuals, including elders, women, and children, have been kidnapped by al-Shabab, the extremist group battling local and national forces in the region.
This was followed by another wave of abductions, this time conducted by the Macawisley militia, mirroring al-Shabab’s actions and causing further turmoil. It is alleged that these subsequent kidnappings were a reactionary move by Macawisley militia members who had family abducted by al-Shabab.
“My cousin and her children were among those kidnapped by Macawisley because she is married to an al-Shabab member,” said one of the interviewees, revealing the deeply personal motivations behind some of these abductions.
This occurrence of retaliatory kidnappings is unprecedented and is being seen as a gross violation of societal norms and morals in Somalia. The act of kidnapping a person due to their familial or marital ties to a militant group member is a stark deviation from the norms of conflict and represents a dangerous escalation in hostilities.
In a country where al-Shabab’s actions have been synonymous with terror, there is a growing concern that mirroring such tactics will only further deepen the humanitarian crisis. These recent incidents are stark reminders of the importance of adhering to the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law, even in the face of ongoing conflict.