An Open letter to the Hon. J.F. Kerry, United States secretary of state, Re: Samantar v. Yusuf

The Honourable John F. Kerry

United States secretary of state

Department of  state

2201’C Street, NW

Washington, DC 20520

March 7, 2013


Dear Hon. J F Kerry,

With all due respect , We feel that we must  express our  protest  and condemnation  to  the intent ( to divert Justice) of the letter by the PM of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Abdi F. Shirdon to you on February 26, 2013  in regard to the civil litigation brought against the Former Somali  General Mohamed Ali Samantar  by  Bashe Abdi Yusuf –  Samantar v. Yusuf.


The Prime Minister,  in his capacity, seeks  for the  invalidation of  the judgement   against the former general  by the U.S. Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia on August 28, 2012 – an end of a seven year quest in the U.S. courts for justice for  the victims harmed by General Samantar and troops under his command . The general has accepted the liability of the case.

The prime minister’s immunity  requisition for Mohamed  Ali Samantar from your esteemed office  is only adding insult to injury as the prime Minister tries  to cheat the system in order to secure a way out for a man who has confessed his  liabilities to a wide  practice of atrocities: murder; extermination; torture; rape; political and  ethnicity persecutions that  he had systematically  exercised against the people in the Northern Somalia in 1988 civil war.  A confession was made in the face of the United states Judicial system by M A Samantar that he is guilty of the damages caused by his troops that operated under  his command and has shouldered  responsible for those damages which was a crime against humanity and as a result  the  U.S Federal judge in  the court duly awarded $21 million in compensatory and punitive damages against  Mohamed Ali Samantar. This  sound ruling or judgement by the court was about to heal wounds up until this letter by the PM of  Federal Republic of Somali Government   has  surfaced.

We believe that the PM’s untimely  involvement and use of his power in this litigation will open a new Pandora box that will prematurely derail the on-going  initiatives and  reconciliation processes  between the  two peoples of Somaliland ( Hargeisa)  and Somalia (Mogadishu)  which the Prime minister and his lineage group sees the process as only  advantageous  to  Irir clans in the North and  the South of Somalia  in the future.  This is a clear political sabotage to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud’s peaceful strategy towards the reconciliation process  from London meeting  last year: a sabotage within that  also misuses The U.S Government’s  recent recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia, which is only the tip of the iceberg in our understanding.

This intervention of the Federal Government  to the litigation process of Samantar v. Yusuf will fuel detestation and animosity among the score settling clans in Somalia, particularly Darood and Isaaq clans and further between Somaliland and Somalia administrations if the United states government honours Mr Shirdon’s requisition letter.  However, Mr Shirdon himself has committed crimes against the community in the North during his stay  in Berbera  by unlawfully robbing great wealth from the business community in the North under the protection of his uncles,  Siyaad Barre and his regime.

Therefore, I would advise the Honourable State secretary of the United States of American to scrutinize the objective behind this letter from the Prime Minister of Somalia at this critical time by weighing all sides of the Issue and its future implication both to the people of Somalia/Somaliland and to  the United states Justice system and to your esteemed office.

We are  of the opinion that the General himself could  have settled his case long before by coming forward publicly and asking amnesty to the relatives of the  victims  and survivals  of the 1988  atrocities in the North. This could have been a propitious  escape route in his situation as  the Somali people are in  generally  have the tendency and the  culture of absolution subject to adapting a proper approach in resolving problems which the honestly and courage  is the centre point in contrary to  the tit for tat  score settling manner of affairs where honesty is at stake. However,  What dragged the Samantar’s  case over the years was  the false  clannish  ( Darood) shield that the General had relied on in vain during the litigation  which  on the other hand has gathered moment of opposing tribe’s (Isaaq) sprite  reminiscent with the  suffering  of the war.  While  Mohamed Ali Samantar  hailed from  neither the Darood  nor  the Isaaq tribes, he could  have  been sorted his case out  alone by approaching to the sufferers of the 1988 atrocity for forgiveness  as he is aged and frail now.

At this juncture, we question the prime minister’s claim for granting of common law immunity to Samantar will benefit the reconciliation among the clans and political factions  within Somalia as well as historic ongoing process of peace between Somalia and Somaliland while the sufferers and victims in the north are still denied their due by the same people who executed the crimes in question which the PM belongs to them. Is the justice and satisfaction of reconciliation in  favour  of  one side?  Can we lie always to the  world?  Is  U. S.  Government formal accord of recognition to the Federal Republic of Somalia be used as tool against the people in Somaliland?

 It is true that It takes two to tango ,therefore, as Mohamed Ali Samantar was found  guilty of his atrocities so do  Mr Shirdon and many others in his circle or relation,  nothing has change yet in the game over the twenty year in the South,  no formal apology or compensation yet to the people in the North or Somaliland.

We, the people who experience the atrocity in Hargeisa and other towns in the North of Somalia (Somaliland), trust your balanced view on the decision of this civil litigation between  Samantar v. Yusuf in which the federal Somali Government that  operating in the South seeks preferential treatment for  Samantar by applying  an  immunity from lawsuit  for him .

Thank you


M Arrale

Cc. All United States Embassies in East Africa

CC: The president of the Federal Republic of Somalia and his Prime minister

Cc: the Foreign office of Somaliland

Cc: the Human Rights Offices