Somalia's Puntland sentences six militants to death and jail terms for serial killers
GAROWE, Puntland - A military court in Somalia's Puntland state has slapped six men with death sentences and punitive jail terms following a trial that substantiated their links to the Al-Shabaab militants, who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
The Al-Shabaab militants have been trying to make inroads in Puntland in recent years after facing military pressure in southern Somalia, even managing to wage deadly attacks especially in Galkayo and Bossaso, which is the commercial capital of the state.
The military judge said the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the six men who are in their youthful years have been working closely with Al-Shabaab militants to execute terror activities in Puntland state.
According to the judge, the militants were responsible for assassinations in Galkayo between 2017 and 2021 and served as Al-Shabaab hit squad. They have been slapped with death sentences and, or jail terms ranging from 20 to 30 years.
In June 2021, Puntland executed 21 militants who were part of the terror network. This was the highest number of executions in a country where the rule of law is rarely applied to the suspected offenders.
Those subjected to the trial include Farhan Faisal, Abdullahi Faysal, Barkhad Awil, and Liban Aden who will face the firing squad while Abdikani Farhan and Abdirahman Awil slapped with 30 and 20 years of imprisonment respectively, the Puntland court said.
Puntland has been struggling lately to contain violent extremism following the rise of Al-Shabaab and ISIS attacks within the region. Security forces have, however, been trying to contain the situation in collaboration with federal troops.