Somaliland is a democratic state where the rule of law exists and governance persists no matter whether it serves efficiently or inefficiently to its citizens. Every citizen is entitled to protect his/her basic rights and obeys the existing Administration and government policies in good and bad times even if it costs to lose his/her legitimate rights. The government is responsible the public safety and the protection of citizens from any possible domestic attacks. But, in some times, unlawful killings pursue by paramilitary Forces called Rapid Reaction Unit and citizens suffer.
For one thing, the establishment of the Rapid Reaction Unit may be a questionable story throughout the entire society of Somaliland. In a quick glance, RRU is a foreign initiative in which the government of United Kingdom is committed to develop Counter-Terrorism Capability in the Horn of Africa in furtherance of its Counter-Terrorism objectives under contest. As a part of this approach, the UK assists Somaliland Government and considers as an important partner on Counter-Terrorism missions in the region. In addition, UK helps Somaliland to develop effective and sustainable counter terrorism capabilities which operate in line with agreed international human right standards. And by helping Somaliland to undertake counter-terrorism activities locally, UK intended to target the problem at source and reduces the risk of a terrorist attacks against Somaliland.
Alongside the Support, UK provides a package of trainings and mentoring programs to this paramilitary Rapid Reaction Unit that was established by the year of 2012 with under the administration of President Ahmed Mohammad (Silanyo). The training was intended to enhance the RRU’s ability to investigate terrorist threats, recover, and examine evidence from crime scenes and build cases for prosecution.
“As Reality dictates, although not exclusively, this paramilitary Rapid Reaction Unit (RRU) was established for the purpose of counter-terrorisms objectives under contest. Instead, they are accustomed to kill the innocent citizens.”
Secondly, citizens are not worth to kill in simple ways that is inappropriate to constitutional legitimacy. Everyone makes mistakes. Humans are not perfect and go through their lives by making mistakes. In democratic states, Public Protest is accepted and likewise the democratic system of Somaliland promotes a freedom of speech. By the way, if citizens feel unfavourable situation on their basic rights, they show their feelings through public protest. But in Somaliland, the biggest mistakes happen in such public protests and government makes violent confrontation by deploying its own paramilitary forces. For instances, on December 28, 2013, RRU forces opened fire on civilians protesting water shortages in Hargeisa, resulting in the deaths of two demonstrators. It is important for the government to learn its past mistakes and stop the deployment of these RRU forces on Public demonstrations. It would be better to find another way to respond on public protests other than opening a fire which possibly causes unintended killings.
Finally, killing citizens in the streets of the city is not a better way to manage community uprising and it is beyond the legitimacy of democracy. Community has the right to demonstrate their needs and express on matters that affect their lives. It’s not fair to punish them if they are expressing their demands through public marching because the current national constitution declares. Other options exist that may use when dispersing public demonstrations other than opening a fire and there are many other ways to cope with the uncertainty of the citizens when demonstrating. Similarly, not all democratic principles encourage the attitude of killing innocent citizens and conquer the uprising Gatherings on opening a fire.
In conclusion, democracy doesn’t encourage the deteriorations of public protests through deploying deadly forces. Government should think twice when solving public demonstrations and find out better solutions other than firing bullets. Likewise, Citizens ought to obey their government and avoid any violent actions that go against the laws and rules of the state.
Written by Ibrahim Said