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Somali lawyers in Australia file cases at ICC against Somali government for ‘crimes against humanity’

A group of Somali lawyers in Australia has said it has filed four cases against the Somali government at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over what it termed as ‘crimes against humanity’.

The chairman of the Bar Association based in Melbourne, Australia Yusuf Abdi Farah said the Somali lawyers had submitted four cases against the Federal Government at the Hague based court. He said the Court’s registry had already accepted and recorded the cases.

The first case seeks to sue the Somali government over the controversial disappearance and death of female spy agent Ikran Tahlil Farah.

The family of the deceased agent has since accused immediate former intelligence director Yasin Farah of ‘cover up’.

Prime Minister Mohamed Roble ordered the military prosecutor to investigate the matter and present it at the court for prosecution. However, President Mohamed Farmaajo has stood ground that the matter should be dealt with out of court.

The second case focuses on the ‘Baidoa Massacre’ during which time at least 15 civilians were killed in the build-up to state elections in 2018.

Violence erupted following the forceful arrest of presidential candidate and former Al-Shabaab number two Mukhtar Robow. The former extremist leader is still in house custody in Mogadishu.

In the third case, the Aussie based lawyers are accusing the Federal Government of ‘Sanctions imposed on Kismayo’ following the controversial re-election of Ahmed Madobe as president of Jubbaland in September 2019.

Villa Somalia had then banned flights including those carrying humanitarian supplies to Kismayo in protest of the Madobe vote. The Federal Government also declared it would not recognize Madobe’s re-election but later rescinded its decision.

The fourth case, the lawyers told the International Criminal Court seeks justice for Somali military trainees in Eritrea who were reportedly deployed to fight in the ongoing war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

A UN human rights report confirmed early this year that Somalis were spotted in the Ethiopia side fighting alongside Eritrean and Ethiopian federal forces. The Federal Government in Mogadishu has since dismissed the accusations as ‘baseless’.

Abdi added that his team was also working on three other cases namely, ‘Barire Massacre’, Dhusamareb Massacre and Atrocities in Bula Hawo and Dolow including alleged rape cases.

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