Military court slaps soldiers with death sentence in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Four soldiers will have to serve a death sentence following pronunciation by Somalia's military court, following their conviction for opening fire against innocent civilians, in one of the most memorable judgments meant to instill discipline and order in the security forces.
The four soldiers were convicted of shooting and killing eight people within Somalia's capital Mogadishu around the popular Sinay Junction, an incident that happened on February 27. The soldiers have been under trial in the military court which is regarded as efficient in the Horn of Africa nation.
The soldiers were embroiled in a clash with security guards of the Yaqshid District Commissioner, prompting both teams to open fire which caught innocent civilians at that time. The unfortunate incident was widely condemned across the country with the public demanding justice.
Suleyman Mohamud Fargah, the Yaqshid District Commissioner, was severely injured following the incident. A number of soldiers were also slapped with various jail terms after having been convicted of participating in the deadly shooting which triggered questions about discipline in Somalia's security forces.
The military court reaffirmed its commitment to serve justice to the people of Somalia while delivering the landmark judgment which comes at the time the country is fighting Al-Shabaab militants. The military courts are known for expeditious criminal trials especially against Al-Shabaab besides instilling discipline on rogue soldiers.
Somalia has for a long time entrusted military courts to try criminals due to dysfunctional civilian courts as the country struggles with state building. But in recent times, the public has expressed confidence in military courts particularly the policy on the trial of suspected Al-Shabaab militants.
The judgment does not have much room for appeal but the dissatisfied individual can move to court to lodge an appeal. The country is still struggling to fight the ghosts of civil war which fractured many institutions including the judiciary which international partners are keen to fix through donor funding.