Mohamed Ali Samatar case a ring of classic scapegoating.. in front of Supreme Court of the United States
Somalis in the US stand up in Support of Former Vice President
A huge storm of controversy brews over a lopsided program aired by ABC’s 20/20, dubbed: The Monster Next Door.Hundreds of Somalis in the United States watched in disbelief as the channel aired the program on Friday, February 19. The program discussed a civil case involving the Vice President of the last legitimate Somali government, Mohamed Ali Samatar, and Bashe Yousuf who alleges to represent the people of Somaliland, a region in northern Somalia which unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia .
“It is sad that a channel of that stature could display that low level of professionalism” said Ahmed Ahmed, an American citizen of Somali origin and a former member of the Somali military, who currently lives in Minnesota . “This was the most unfair and unbalanced coverage I have watched in recent times” he added.
The program had only interviewed Mr. Yousuf and the director of the CJA, an organization that represents Mr. Yousuf in this case. The story alleges that Mohamed Ali Samatar committed atrocities against the Isaaq clan that Mr. Yousuf hails from.“This is an attempt to scapegoat Mr. Samatar and the allegations are baseless and unfounded” said one Somali American. “The accusations leveled against Samatar are unfounded and he is being accused because of his ethnic origin.” He continued.Somali-Americans in various locations throughout the United States agreed on various facts including that Mr. Samatar was a national leader who never authorized any form of human rights violations. He is a living symbol of Somali unity they stated. In 1989, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights gave a commendation to Somalia for its handling of the descent of the Isaaq clan.Samatar’s government drew its biggest support from the United States . In the 1970s and 1980s, the United States provided the highest level of support for any African nation to the government of Somalia in response to democratization efforts undertaken by Samatar’s government.The basis for his prosecution is his membership in a marginalized Somali tribe. He comes from a tribe that was historically isolated. On the other hand, Mr. Yousuf comes from the tribe that initiated the armed conflict in Somalia and which continues to spread anarchy. It is worth mentioning that the leader of Al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization, comes from the same Isaaq tribe that Mr. Yousuf claims to represent in his allegation.
The current leadership of Somaliland is composed of high-ranking officials of Samatar’s government. The President of the self-declared state of Somaliland , Mr. Dahir Riyale Kahin, was a colonel in the Secret Service Agency of Somalia. He should be prosecuted first if working for the government is a crime. In addition, the Isaaq tribe is responsible for one of the biggest human rights violations: they wiped out thousands of refugees from the Ogaden region after the collapse of the central government in 1991. These refugees were registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. No one was ever held responsible.
Mr. Mohamed Ali Samatar is the Chairman of an advisory committee of former Somali leaders, convened by the International community to seek solutions for the growing problems of piracy and terrorism in Somalia . The goal of the legal proceedings against him is to ensure that members of the Isaaq clan remain at the helm both in Somaliland and Al-Shabaab in their respective leadership positions. This is a case of crying wolf. The perpetrators of violence are suing the innocent in order to delay justice and accountability for their actions.
Members of the Somali community in Minnesota held an event to show their support for General Samantar. Speakers included Saado Ali, a well-known Somali singer and composer, who declared Samatar as a hero. Fadumo Hiirad, a former Somali journalist concurred with Saado. In Columbus Ohio , the community has sent out a press release in support of General Samatar. Members of the community in Ohio will meet on Sunday to add their voice to the growing disquiet about the case and the coverage of 20/20.The Somali communities are deeply perturbed by the actions of this one individual who claims to represent a secessionist regime within Somalia . The courts should dismiss this worthless case which was doctored by terrorists, pirates, and anarchists to sue the leadership of Somalia in an attempt to continue the state of lawlessness in Somalia . The community supports Samatar’s attempt to clear his name and condemns the unbalanced coverage of the issue by ABC’s 20/20.