SOMALIA: Elders denounce Saracen’s abuses against civilians in Puntland region
Mogadishu (RBC) Elders from Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland have strongly denounced on what they called abuses against civilians in Puntland committed by the South African mercenary group operating as Saracen International in the region.
A press statement from the elders who have meeting in Mogadishu called for independent investigation on the crimes against humanity in the region under the incumbent Puntland president’s regime.
“We call for the transitional federal government and the international community to intervene and focus on the ongoing abuses against the civilians committed by Saracen.” The statement, which a copy of it obtained by RBC Radio said.
“Civilians are killed, arrested and tortured by mercenaries.” Mohamed Elmi, an elder hailing from Puntland said.
Theelders warned any postponement of the Puntland election date which is due to hold in January 2013 after the end of president Farole’s term in office.
“The people will not accept any election delay and of that cause the people will bring the change through their hands.” He added.
Another Abdiasis Yusuf Afgudud told RBC Radio that he fled from his hometown of Bosasso, the region’s port town after he escaped planned assassinations.
“Every elder or politician or journalist who is not pro-Farole regime is being targeted.” Afgudud added.
Saracen, one of a cluster of shadowy private military contractor has been operating in Puntland since 2010 when the transitional federal government of Somalia suspended its contract with this firm. Both the UN and U.S have cautioned the legitimacy of the company’s operations in the northern Somalia.
Earlier, the neighboring Somaliland and Galmudug administrations have expressed their concern in Saracen’s involvement of importing weapons into the region.