The Islamic Administration of Lower Shabeelle region yesterday executed one of their own soldiers as a retribution for the murder of a local villager while on duty. Muuse Ali Abud’s sentence was carried out in Marka in front of hundreds of spectators by an Al-shabaab firing squad just after mid-day yesterday. The 27-year-old soldier confessed to killing a 20-year-old villager, Ahmed Abdi Yusuf, after a heated brawl in the market of the tiny village of Balow, near Awdheegle.
Shortly after he killed the villager, on the 27th of March, Muuse was arrested by his comrades and taken into custody. After an investigation into the matter, the family of deceased was called and presented with some options:
- To forgive him
- To accept blood money
- Qisas or retaliation
The family chose the third option, demanding the execution of the murderer, and Muuse’s fate was sealed. But in front of the large crowd that had gathered in Marka’s main square, the convicted soldier displayed a calm disposition and awaited his final moment. Though Muuse might have been the soldier responsible for arresting criminals and bringing them to the Islamic courts for justice in his earlier days, this time he was on the stand.
Sheikh Mohamed Abu Abdallah, Al-Shabaab’s governor of Lower Shabeelle, delivered a sermon to the expectant crowd just before the execution. He said:
‘Us and the public are equal in the eyes of the Shariah. We pledged to live under the rulings of the Qur’an and whoever commits a sin, he will be punishmed according to the rules dictated by the Shariah.’
But while the Sheikh’s speech was received with loud chants of ‘Allahu Akbar’ and Muuse’s case attracted a huge media attraction, another case went under the radar. Just as twilight fell yesterday, one of the TFG soldiers shot and killed a teenager as he left his house in Xamar Jajab district of Mogadishu. But this case has largely gone unreported in the media and no one was brought to trial for the murder. The number of killings has increased recently in the three government-controlled districts in Mogadishu as soldiers are said to often rob residents at gunpoint, killing whoever retaliates. Many of the residents have now relocated to areas such as Dayniile, under Al-Shabaab, and the remaining persistently complain to the government, which has done nothing so far.
Unlike the government’s corrupt and bribe-riddled system, Al-Shabaab follow a strict Shariah code and govern all the 10 regions under their control in this manner. The people living in regions under Al-Shabaab control have had a relatively greater degree of safety and peace compared to those living in the TFG controlled areas. With establishment of the Islamic Administrations in Al-Shabaab controlled regions, and the introduction of the Islamic penal code system, the number of killings has significantly decreased.
They may be branded as terrorists by the western world, but Al-Shabaab continue to gain more support and popularity here from the local population they govern. When questioned about the events, Ali Osman, one of the spectators in Marka, couldn’t control his tears:
‘I never thought I would live to see the day when a killer is punished for his crime in Somalia. Never! This is just a miracle. And on top of that he was their [Al-Shabaab] soldier. This is the justice we need and if every killer today was brought to this sort of justice, we would have lived happily. I feel sorry for the man and it was painful to watch but this is the justice we wish to live under.’