Nairobi, 11 April 2010 (Somalilandpress) – Ahmed, a 35-year-old pastoralist, was watching over a herd of cows on the outskirts of Hagar town in Somalia’s southern Juba valley when militiamen from Al-Shabab, the Islamist insurgent group that controls the area, demanded a “zaka”, or tithe. His refusal led to a violent confrontation that left him crippled for life. Ahmed, now in a refugee camp in Kenya, recounted his ordeal by telephone, as his sister, who described him as depressed and traumatized, held the handset:

“It was in the morning and I was herding my cattle when a group of armed Al-Shabab men asked me to pay Zaka. I told them I only owned half the cattle and the rest belonged to orphans. What was mine [about 20] was not enough to pay Zaka. They did not listen and took 20 cows, leaving me with only 10.

“I went after them hoping to reason with whoever was their leader. When I caught up with them, we argued for a while before they got hold of me and beat me up. They then tied me to a tree by my hands and left me hanging. I was in so much pain, I started yelling and asking for help but no one came. I was there for more than a day. By the time they [the militiamen] cut me down I had no feeling in my hands.

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“My relatives took me to a hospital but there was no doctor there and not much medicine; they could not save my hands.

“One day I am a man taking care of my family and the next I am an invalid being helped to put on clothes. I will never forget that day and what they did to me.

“There is no religion that allows them to treat people like that. I honestly don’t believe they are Muslims. They are criminals hiding behind religion. Normal thieves and robbers are better. At least when they take your things they either leave you alone or may even kill you but they don’t mutilate you.

“I am used to people being killed but I have never seen or heard anything like what they did to me.

“I suffered a lot because of them; I will never forgive them.

“A couple of months later, my relatives heard that they were coming to kill me because they did not want anyone to know what they had done to me. So I was taken from Hagar and brought here [Dadaab refugee camp] at the end of 2009.

“I feel safe here but I worry about my two children. Their mother is dead and I can’t take care of them. They are with relatives in Somalia.”

Source: IRIN


  1. Heart breaking ordeal. There is no place for this menace. We need to rid of them sooner than later before this disease call Alshababe spreads and takes control of our countries and erodes our beautiful cultural and Islamic values.

    We need to check this foreign influence together or risk loosing everything we stand for and worked hard for.

  2. Layla
    I do not even know how to start or what to say Abdi. But I strongly believe God never wanst his humans to be treated the way you are treated by criminals who are hiding behind the name of religion. Islam breaches humanity, kindness, blessings, I wonder where did they get this cruelity and again they are calling themselves Muslim, I hope someone who is powerful can stop these evils.

  3. Layla.
    Hi all I made mistake about the word (breach) which i meant (preach), I am sorry the innocent mistake .

  4. Cowards, to the fullest. They try and fight for religion but, in fact are all out for themselves.

    May Al-Shabaab and their followers burn in hell for eternity.

    They are among the most hated by Allah 'True Hypocrites' !!!

  5. These people are disgusting and are not our brothers in Islam. With all the obstacles we face as Somalis, this is what's truly holding us back. Since the war, between Islamic Union Courts and Ethiopia ended, Al Shabbab have been targeting their own people and are ruining any signs of peace in the South. They need to talk with the Sharif government and settle their differences. We need to see progress in the south for us to see stability throughout Somalia . All of the children of Somalia deserve to see peace and inshallah we get see this in our lifetimes.

  6. This guys just like the rest in the south are animals, their actions and people are reflection of who they are not Islam.

    Islam is not the people, its way of life, this is the action of people. Horrible, all nations in the Horn should invade Somalia and clean them up.

    Why is the world watching?

    • "This guys just like the rest in the south are animals, their actions and people are reflection of who they are not Islam."

      Tribalism and separation will kill us all every time. We are the same people north and south. I don't understand why the north chooses to forget we fought the same fight together in the past. The same dictator took both our lives. And now we are animals? That makes you an animal by association.

      Down with tribalist thinking!

  7. heart breaking indeed. I pray that these munafiqeen are destroyed. Allah says in the quran "They make their faith a pretext so that they may turn (men) from the way of Allah. truly evil are their deeds" sound familiar????????

  8. Ilaahay dembi casta wuu kaa saamaxi illa Naf Bini Aadmi. They will rot in hell. Doubt, about it.

  9. im not islamic, im christian, and I think what happened is horrible. I hope that this terrorist group is removed from somalia. its really sad that they're able to hide this under religion… both of our religions beleive in peace, love, faith, kindness, etc. we both want to see everyone happy. if you look at it that way, there isn't a huge difference between christianity and islam… only a few major differences… the crucifiction, the resurrection… and the fact that we worship different people. its sad though that theres so much seperation between the two different groups, when much the religion came off of similar basis. I wish the world could work together to fight groups like Al-Shabaab… and not consider everyone so seperated in this world.