HARGEISA — A mass grave containing the remains of at least nine bodies thought to have been killed during Siad Bare’s rule were found on Thursday after heavy torrential rains in the out skirts of Hargeisa, in the Boqol Jireh district.
The people buried here were part of hundreds of thousands of people that have been killed in Somaliland after Somalia’s dictator Siad Bare’s military operations. In 1988, Somalia’s military junta hired Rhodesian (Zimbabwe) mercenaries that were acquired by United Arab Emirates to bombard Somaliland’s three major towns – Hargeisa, Burao and Berbera, an estimated 50, 000 were killed and more than 800, 000 people were forced to leave their homes.
Many of the refugees fled to neighbouring Ethiopia. Those who survived the bombings or the deliberate starvation by denying them food were often rounded up, tied together using barbed wires and gunned down from a point-blank range. If that method did not work, they would often tie them together in barbed wires and run bulldozers over them and were left to rot in the streets where they bulldozed.
Officials from Somaliland’s department of defense were present and quickly sealed the area to protect the graves before their relocation and proper burial.
Several mass graves as well as corpses containing the remains of civilians have been found across Somaliland since the fall of Somalia’s dictator regime in 1991.
Two decades on, the 1988 Somaliland genocide will haunt the world for generations. The only justice Somaliland seeks is to be part of the international community as sovereign nation and not be forced into a union with a country that only knows how to kill it’s own civilians. Somaliland might be living in peace but Somalia continues to carry out the genocide it’s own for in its own turf today.
Somalilandpress | August 2009 (first published May 2009)