December 8, 2008

Human Rights Abuses by Transitional Federal Government Forces

Real police and army men are disciplined. But this new government are just employing mooryaan[96] as police. They use their uniforms and the guns they have been given to come and harass people-they will come to your shop and take what they want and if you talk to them about this they will even complain.

            -74-year-old refugee and former shopkeeper from Mogadishu.[97]

The Somali Transitional Federal Government's security forces and affiliated militia forces have a reputation for violent criminality among many Somalis. Human Rights Watch's own research has uncovered a pattern of violent abuses by TFG forces including widespread acts of murder, rape, looting, assault, arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture. Those responsible include police, military, and intelligence personnel as well as the personal militias of high-ranking TFG officials.

Identifying the Perpetrators of TFG Abuses

The TFG has deployed a confusing array of security forces and armed militias to act on its behalf. Victims of the widespread abuses in which these forces have been implicated often have trouble identifying whether their attackers were TFG police officers, other TFG security personnel, or militias linked to TFG officials. Furthermore, formal command-and-control structures are to a large degree illusory. TFG security forces often wear multiple hats, acting on orders from their formal superiors one day, as clan militias another day, and as autonomous self-interested armed groups the next.

This confusion about the identities of perpetrators leaves the victims of some violent abuses with no idea who attacked them. For instance, a 14-year-old girl was abducted at gunpoint by three armed men in camouflage uniforms, forced into a red pickup truck, and then driven to a house outside of Mogadishu where she was repeatedly raped and beaten over the course of several days. Her mother had to pay the men a ransom of several hundred dollars to secure her daughter's release. Neither the girl nor her mother had any idea who the men were and whether they were even linked to a party to the conflict and they saw no point in reporting the episode to the police. [98]  TFG officials, rather than investigate such incidents of violence as a governmental responsibility, have exploited the confusion over perpetrators' identities to evade accountability for abuses committed by their own forces.

Nonetheless, in many cases perpetrators have clearly been identified as personnel from TFG forces. Yet TFG officials have failed to make significant efforts to rein in or respond to serious abuses committed by those forces.

Many abuses investigated by Human Rights Watch-including most of those described below-are not isolated incidents involving a few armed men claiming to be TFG security personnel. Frequently, abuses have occurred in the context of large-scale TFG security operations, such as house-to-house search and seizure operations across whole neighborhoods of Mogadishu. These operations are often carried out jointly with Ethiopian soldiers or under the command of Ethiopian officers-which in Mogadishu enables residents to most easily distinguish between criminal groups of "freelance militias" and TFG-aligned forces. In many cases victims recognized some of the men involved in abusive operations and know which TFG security service or militia they work for. Those detained in official detention facilities were also able to assign responsibility for their mistreatment.

The TFG forces most frequently implicated in the abuses described in this report include:

Somali Police Force (SPF)

The Somali Police Force numbers roughly 7,000 according to official estimates, but that figure masks a complex amalgam of different forces. About 2,775 officers have undergone training sponsored by the United Nations Development Program. The force also includes reactivated police personnel who served in the force under the Siad Barre government, which was overthrown in January 1991.More controversially included are some of the Ethiopian-trained forces described below, who according to one senior UN official have been shoehorned into the police force in hopes that donor governments will pay their salaries.All of these forces are largely confined to parts of Mogadishu and Baidoa.[99]

The TFG's commissioner of police is Abdi Hassan Awale Qeybdiid, a former warlord who fought against UN peacekeeping forces in Somalia in the early 1990s and was a member of the US-backed coalition driven from Mogadishu by ICU forces in mid-2006.[100] In 2005 Qeybdiid was arrested in Sweden on allegations that he had presided over a mass execution of child soldiers in Kismayo in 1991, but the case never went to trial.[101] Qeybdid was taken into custody by US forces during the 1993 "Black Hawk Down" episode, in which 18 US soldiers died, that led to the eventual withdrawal of US forces from Somalia.[102]

TFG police personnel are supposedly identifiable by their khaki uniforms and blue berets.[103] But some TFG police officers have reportedly sold their uniforms on the open market[104] and some Ethiopian-trained "police" continue to wear the camouflage uniforms issued to them at the end of their training in Ethiopia. In practice, as one UN official put it, "Since the end of last year we have a situation where the police are wearing a mixture of all uniforms."[105] The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia reported in April 2008 that "The Somali Police Force no longer differs from other actors in the armed conflict…There is a certain confusion in the streets about who is part of the Somali Police Force, as it operates jointly with the militia of [former Mogadishu mayor] Mohamed Omar Habib (commonly known as Mohammed 'Dheere') and the Somali National Army."[106]

Ethiopian-Trained Security Forces

This report makes no direct mention of the Somali National Army-the TFG's largely theoretical professional military force. Where trained TFG military forces appear in the accounts described below, they were identified by their victims as Ethiopian-trained forces, often acting in concert with ENDF forces or under the command of ENDF officers.

The Ethiopian government has provided training to roughly 5,000 Somali military and police personnel at a camp inside Ethiopia; as discussed below the curriculum of that training course is a closely guarded secret.[107] Upon completion of their training, graduates of the course were outfitted with green camouflage uniforms and weapons and sent back to Somalia.[108] These forces are intended to form the nucleus of a professional TFG military force, though about 1,000 former trainees have reportedly been absorbed into the TFG police force.

Ethiopian-trained troops have been frequently deployed in security operations in Mogadishu. According to local residents, activists, and journalists, many have operated under the command of ENDF officers and some have reportedly been stationed at ENDF bases across Mogadishu.[109]

National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) is the TFG's intelligence service, under the command of Mohammed Warsame Darwish. The NSA maintains its own detention facility at the Baarista Hisbiga in Mogadishu; the appalling conditions in this facility and the treatment meted out to NSA detainees there are described below.[110] The NSA has arrested several journalists and aid workers. In October 2007 the NSA detained and interrogated a World Food Program official for nearly a week after storming the WFP's offices. Darwish publicly defended the action.[111]

TFG-Aligned Militias

In addition to its formal security forces, key figures within the TFG have deployed their private militia forces to participate in military and police operations. These militia forces have often operated jointly with ENDF forces or TFG police. From the perspective of ordinary Somalis this is the only way they can be reliably distinguished from the criminal freelance militias that continue to plague the country.

By all accounts the most frequently used TFG militias have been those of TFG President Abdullahi Yusuf (largely made up of Majerteen clan militia from Puntland who have been designated as a presidential guard); police commissioner and former warlord Abdi Qeybdid; NSA head Mohammed Warsame Darawish; and former Mogadishu Mayor Mohammed Omar Habib (Mohammed "Dheere").[112] None of these militias wear uniforms that would allow members of the public to easily distinguish them from other armed groups.[113]

Under the terms of Somalia's Police Act, Mohammed Dheere's militia was permitted to act with all the powers and authority of the TFG police while he served as Mogadishu mayor.[114] TFG Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein fired him from his position in September 2008 after overcoming significant opposition from TFG President Abdullahi Yusuf. Human Rights Watch obtained an internal UNDP memorandum describing a conversation between one UNDP official and SPF deputy commissioner Bashir Jama. According to that memorandum, written while Mohammed Dheere was still serving as mayor, Bashir acknowledged that the police "often finds [itself] negotiating with Mohammed Dheere regarding 'illegal' police operations which come to light through information from the community."[115] As illustrated by the following pages, the term "illegal police operation" is in reality a euphemism for operations that often amount to brutal assaults on Somali civilians and which are carried out by various TFG security forces.

Assault, Rape, and Killings by TFG Forces

Many of the abuses documented by Human Rights Watch took place in the context of search-and-seizure operations in residential areas that TFG forces have carried out regularly since the beginning of 2007. These operations have included the participation of the TFG forces described above. Many witnesses reported that as of mid-2008 these operations were increasingly being carried out by Ethiopian-trained TFG security forces under the command of ENDF officers or in conjunction with ENDF forces.[116]

These house-to-house searches are intended to apprehend insurgent fighters and seize illegal weapons and other contraband. In some cases these searches are carried out with professionalism and courtesy towards the local residents.[117] But often TFG forces treat the operations as opportunities to prey upon a helpless public, subjecting them to violence, humiliation, and theft with complete impunity.

Many victims and eyewitnesses provided vivid accounts of these abuses. One young man told Human Rights Watch that he was several blocks from his home in Mogadishu's Yaqshid district in May 2008 when a search operation was underway. The forces he saw in the streets were a combination of TFG and ENDF personnel wearing similar green camouflage uniforms. As he walked quickly towards his home, an armed man in a green camouflage uniform called him over and accused him of being an insurgent:

They caught me and said I was a mahaakim [Islamic Courts insurgent]. I said no and they did not believe me. They gave me a gun and said, "Show us how you do it!" I said, "I don't even know how to use it." They said, "Yes you do, you are lying." Then they started beating me with their guns. They were beating me and beating me and when I started screaming they stuffed a cloth in my mouth.

After beating the young man for several minutes, they tied him to a tree and abandoned him there by the side of the road with the cloth still stuffed in his mouth. After they left the area a woman who lived nearby came out of her house and untied him.[118]

One morning in late March or early April 2008 TFG forces carried out a search operation near Bakara market. There had been exchanges of gunfire in the immediate area the previous days. A half-dozen TFG security personnel wearing green camouflage uniforms and driving a double-cabin pickup truck arrived at one family's home. Human Rights Watch interviewed a member of the family, a 15-year-old girl, about the ordeal that ensued:

Our mother ordered us to get into the house and the house was closed. She ordered us to slip under the beds…About five of them entered the house. I could see their legs as they searched the house. They came in, started searching the house and turning everything upside down.
The other children [in the room with me] panicked and shouted for their mother and at that moment I came out from under the bed and tried to escape but as I was running I was hit from behind with the butt of a gun. Then I fell forward. The man was wearing a [camouflage] uniform and carrying an AK-47 [military assault rifle]. At the back of his gun it was metal.
I attempted to run because I knew that definitely they would do what they have done to me…From that particular moment I last remember a man holding my neck as another climbed on top of my body. I woke up to yelling and the cries of my mother.

The girl told Human Rights Watch that she felt the rape was not unexpected because she had heard accounts of similar attacks befalling other girls in the area. "Their intention was to rape and loot," she explained. "That is the order of the day for the government forces in the area. It is their culture." When Human Rights Watch interviewed her she was three-months pregnant by one of the men who raped her.[119]

On June 19, 2008, uniformed TFG police entered the Al Mathal primary and secondary school in Mogadishu after a mortar attack on the international airport that originated in the general vicinity of the school. According to eyewitnesses and journalists who later visited the scene, police officers smashed and set fire to classroom supplies, beat up and robbed the school's watchman, and fired random bursts of gunfire across the school premises. The school was in session at the time and one young child was reportedly wounded by a stray police bullet.[120]

In the first week of June 2008, TFG personnel wearing what one surviving witness described as uniforms "like those worn by ENDF soldiers," carried out a search operation in Yaqshid district in Mogadishu. A young man was in a room at the back of the family house when they arrived:

They knocked on our door. When my [two] brothers opened the door they started arguing-I did not hear exactly what they were saying because I was at the back of the house, and then I heard shots. I came out as they were shooting my second brother… they shot him in the head. I immediately ran to the back of the house again so they would not see me.

The armed men then forced the young man's 10 and 16-year-old sisters to leave with them. Their brother said that when the girls returned home two days later they told him that they had been raped repeatedly by their captors. "It is so terrible I cannot explain it," the young man said, "but it is something all Somalis are sharing."[121]


TFG security forces and militia participating in search-and-seizure operations often rob the homes they search even if they leave the families who live in them physically unharmed. Victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch related numerous accounts of TFG police, soldiers, and militia stealing items including cellular telephones, jewelry, electronics, money, and even furniture from their homes.

"They visit people at their houses," said one woman whose home was looted by TFG forces who were working with ENDF soldiers to search homes in her neighborhood in April 2008. "The moment they enter, if you are unaccompanied as a woman your money, your belongings-they take it and don't even ask you. If you argue they can arrest you and accuse you of being a[n insurgent] sympathizer."[122] Another woman, a former resident of Hamar Weyne neighborhood, said that her house was searched several times by TFG patrols and that "when they came, we would hide anything valuable and I would just leave a small amount of money where they could find it, so they would take that."[123]

One woman told Human Rights Watch that during a search operation in May 2008, TFG personnel in camouflage uniforms entered her home to search for weapons. They found nothing but before leaving they demanded that she give them money. She insisted that she had nothing to give and they left-but only after one of the departing men paused on his way out the door to slap her across the face.[124]

TFG forces also loot goods and money from vendors across the city. A former shopkeeper from Mogadishu told Human Rights Watch that "They always used to come and just take things. It was just a daily routine. They would take drinks, one time they took my [mobile] phone, sometimes they would make me open the safe and take money out of it."[125] 

An elderly man who owned a small shop near Cirtoogte, a center of arms trading around Bakara market, told Human Rights Watch that in early April 2008 a small contingent of TFG forces came under fire near his store. "They responded, entering the market center firing bullets," he said. Most civilians in the area fled, and as soon as the threat seemed to have dissipated the men set about looting some of the shops in the area.[126]

Another merchant who used to own a shop in the Hawal Wadag area told Human Rights Watch that several times TFG militia or uniformed police came to his store to extort small payments from him. He said that on one such occasion, "They asked me, 'Did you pay your taxes?' I said yes, and they said, 'Good, but now you have to pay us our daily qat.' I had to pay them, otherwise they would beat me."[127]

Another Mogadishu resident told Human Rights Watch that while eating lunch at a restaurant near his home, a group of uniformed TFG police arrived and ransacked the establishment. "The people ran away without paying for their lunch," he said. He and some other customers went back later to pay their bills and the restaurant owner told them that the police had taken all of the proceeds from that day's business.[128]

One woman, widowed since her husband died in a roadside bomb explosion in late 2007, told Human Rights Watch that in early 2008 her home was looted by a group of 11 TFG security personnel. TFG police had arrested several young men from the neighborhood earlier in the day and this was followed by a search operation across the area:

They asked for permission to enter the house. I accepted, and then they started looting. On coming out [of the house] each of them came out with some of my belongings…they did not harass or beat me but they took all of my utensils and some money which was given to me by relatives of my [late] husband.

"How do I try to fight with a man who has a gun and who wants to take my things?" she asked.[129]

Arbitrary Detention and Torture

TFG police and NSA personnel have frequently arrested residents of Mogadishu on suspicion of links to the insurgency. Persons who are arrested as suspected insurgents often face abusive interrogation at the hands of SPF or NSA officers. One young man told Human Rights Watch that he was arrested in February 2008 at his father's home in Medina during a search operation. A group of TFG security personnel wearing camouflage uniforms arrived in front of the house. "They knocked at the door," he said. "They said they were going to search the house. They identified themselves as government." The search turned up nothing but they took the young man into custody without giving any reason for the arrest.

He was taken to an SPF police station in the Hosh neighborhood of western Mogadishu, where he was interrogated by TFG police wearing khaki uniforms:

I was questioned where I was constantly asked to confess that I was part of the chaos. I was interrogated twice and asked to confess. The second time they threatened me, "If you don't tell us what you know about them [the insurgency], we will kill you." They used the butt of a gun to try and force me to confess, beating me at the back and chest for about five minutes. Then I was taken back to detention.

The young man was released unconditionally after two days. He told Human Rights Watch that, "After that I got scared and never used to walk outside freely."[130]

There is no meaningful judicial review of the legality of detentions, both because the police generally make no attempt to charge detainees in court and because the judicial system has collapsed to the point of inutility.[131]


Torture and Mistreatment in Detention

The TFG's National Security Agency maintains a dungeon-like detention facility in the Baarista Hisbiga building near Villa Somalia in southern Mogadishu.[132] Human Rights Watch gathered detailed accounts of the appalling conditions of detention there from four former NSA detainees.[133]

The detention facility consists of a long basement corridor with seven rooms branching off of it. Five of those rooms are holding cells and two of them serve as communal toilets and washrooms. There is no source of natural light or fresh air and as many as 200 detainees are held there at one time. The cramped holding cells cannot hold such large numbers so the doors are usually left open and detainees compete for space inside of the cells and along the corridor. One former detainee recalled that on his first day there, "The most difficult issue was that you could not get a place to sleep. I sat down somewhere and someone yelled at me, 'Don't sit there, that is my place!'"[134]

The toilets are filthy and often back up and overflow with raw sewage and cold water. The taps inside of those rooms are the detainees' only source of drinking water. The two holding cells opposite the toilets would flood whenever the toilets overflowed; the guards sometimes use these as punishment cells for detainees who caused trouble or made too much noise.

The only time detainees normally leave the basement detention facility is if they are brought up the stairs for questioning and many detainees remain underground for weeks or months at a stretch. These conditions caused some detainees serious psychological distress. One former inmate recalled that, "At night it was very hot, people are shouting, sometimes they are jumping to try and break the door at the top of the stairs" that served as the only exit from the place.[135]

The detainees who spoke to Human Rights Watch had been interrogated both by NSA and ENDF personnel. None said they had been tortured, but all had seen other detainees shoved down the stairs back into the basement after questioning bearing the signs of severe beatings and other forms of torture. "When people came back from upstairs they were bloody and beaten," one former prisoner recalled. "People were crying. And there is no doctor in there."[136]

The Baarista Hisbiga's detainees were a diverse group. Those interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that during their time there they met suspected insurgent fighters; businessmen suspected of supporting the insurgency; journalists; and relatives of wealthy people who had never been interrogated and believed they were being held only for ransom. Others said they had been arrested at random off of the street following roadside bomb attacks or ambushes of TFG or ENDF personnel.

One journalist interviewed by Human Rights Watch was held for 15 days in the Baarista Hisbiga in early 2008. He was questioned only once, by an NSA official in the presence of an ENDF officer. All of the questioning concerned radio reporting he had done that the intelligence official believed was overly sympathetic to the ARS-Asmara.[137]

Another journalist said he was questioned for the first time 15 days after being arrested and locked up in the Baarista Hisbiga. "They were accusing me that I was a killer," he said. "But they questioned me only once. They never took me to court, they never asked me any other questions." After his interrogation he spent 33 more days in the basement before being released without any further questioning. His family told him that they had paid US$1,500 to secure his release and asked him to leave the country so they would not have to do it again; he has not been back to Somalia since.[138]

Another man told Human Rights Watch that his teenage son disappeared one night in January 2008. The next day he received a call from his son's cell phone-the caller demanded a ransom of $20,000 if he wanted to see his son alive again. Negotiations ensued and eventually the caller revealed that his son was being kept at the Baarista Hisbiga. Through the help of a friend with connections to the NSA he managed to reduce the ransom to $1,000 and secured his son's release-37 days after he was arrested.[139]

Arbitrary Detention and Extortion by Somali Police Force Officers

Somali Police Force officers have frequently extorted ransom payments from detainees or their relatives, refusing to free them until a payment is made. In effect, many police officers have turned police work into a form of kidnapping.

In March 2008 insurgents ambushed a group of TFG security personnel along a main road in Mogadishu's Medina neighborhood, killing two of them. The insurgents fled after a brief exchange of fire, passing through a residential neighborhood. A group of TFG police officers in khaki uniforms were chasing after the men, but they gave up their pursuit and instead arrested four men who were sitting outside talking.

The brother of one of those four men was alerted to what had happened by his wife almost immediately. "I went after them," he told Human Rights Watch. "They were headed towards the police station at Galbeed." He went on:

I know one of the police officers [who had arrested the four men]. He demanded some money to secure the release of the boys. They were still walking towards their car with them and by then they were conducting a sweep in the neighborhood. By then I did not have money so I promised to catch up to them before they went to the police station. I hurriedly rushed home, dressed and rushed to a nearby shop of a friend, took money on credit and went after them.
They [the police officers] thanked me and apologized, but warned the boys never to associate themselves with the muqaawama ["resistance"] and asked me as a resident of the area to cooperate with them and inform them of any suspected insurgent operations or people.

"I was lucky because I knew one of the officers," he said. "But the money was hard to pay back."[140]

Human Rights Watch interviewed one young man whose father, uncle, and grandfather were all arrested by TFG police after heavy fighting near their homes in Hawal Wadag neighborhood. He went to the police station in Hawal Wadag to demand his relatives' release but the officers at the station refused even to let him see the detainees. He said:

I then approached a relative of mine who is a police officer for help. He works at a different police post. Normally they would arrest people whenever they needed money. They demanded a bribe, and said they are not being paid. They asked for US$800. Since that was too much for the family to raise at such a difficult time, we sent a signal to all our extended family and the money was raised. It took several weeks to collect the money and they were still in jail [during that time].

The three men were released from prison towards the end of December 2007, more than a month after they were arrested.[141] His uncle had been hit in the ankle by a stray bullet just before his arrest, and by the time he was released the wound was badly infected.

Human Rights Watch interviewed several activists and refugees from Mogadishu who said they believed that the practice of police detention for ransom, while still a continuing problem, had decreased in frequency during the latter part of 2008. Part of the reason for this may be the efforts of TFG Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein to rein in the police force, something he has received widespread credit for at least attempting to do. But there may be other reasons for this trend. As one prominent activist put it, "Perhaps this is because of [political] pressure. Perhaps it is because there are not many people left in Mogadishu to arrest. Or perhaps because the area of Mogadishu the police can [safely] go to is shrinking."[142]

[96]Mooryaan is a derisive term that carries connotations of thuggish and criminal behavior. It is often used to describe the young gunmen who make up unaccountable militia forces throughout the country.

[97] Human Rights Watch interview with I.M., Dagahaley refugee camp, Kenya, July 1, 2008.

[98] Human Rights Watch interview with A.O., Dagahaley refugee camp, Kenya, June 29, 2008.

[99] Human Rights Watch interviews with foreign analysts, Somali human rights activists, and senior UN official, Nairobi, September 2008. Also see below, Direct Donor Support to TFG Security Forces.

[100] See International Crisis Group, Can the Somalia Crisis be Contained?, Africa Report No. 116, August 10, 2006, (accessed October 23, 2008), pp. 11-14.

[101] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Matts Sallstrom, Chief Public Prosecutor, International Prosecutions Office, Gothenberg, October 20, 2008. Prosecutors responded to a criminal complaint filed by Somalis living in Sweden when Qeybdid arrived there for a conference. The evidence to be submitted at trial included a videotape that allegedly showed Qeybdid participating in events that led to the mass execution of captured child soldiers in Kismayo in the early 1990s. The court declined to hold Qeybdid in custody to allow more time to gather evidence and he left the country.

[102] Qeybdid was arrested and detained by US forces during the 1993 raid that ended with the deaths of 18 US soldiers and led to the withdrawal of US forces from Somalia.

[103] Human Rights Watch interview with UN official, Nairobi, September 22, 2008. Many and perhaps most SPF officers dispense with the beret. Human Rights Watch interviews with former Mogadishu residents and activists, Dadaab, Nairobi, and Somalia, July to September 2008.

[104]Human Rights Watch interviews with Somali human rights activists and independent analysts, Nairobi, July, and September 2008. Some TFG officials have actually cited this fact as exculpatory evidence, arguing that serious abuses attributed to uniformed police officers could in fact have been committed by almost anyone because police uniforms are readily for sale on the open market. But as one prominent businessman from Bakara market put it, "That is a cheap excuse. If their uniforms are in the market it is they who are selling them." Human Rights Watch interview, Nairobi, July 6, 2008.

[105] Human Rights Watch interview with UN official, Nairobi, September 22, 2008.

[106] See United Nations Security Council, Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1766 (2007), S/2008/274, April 24, 2008, p.7.

[107] See Appendix, Direct Donor Support to TFG Security Forces.

[108] Human Rights Watch interviews with independent analysts and UN officials, Nairobi, September 2008.

[109] Human Rights Watch interviews with journalists, independent analysts, and victims of TFG abuses, Dadaab, Nairobi, and Hargeisa, July and September 2008. Also see below, Assault, Rape, and Killings by TFG Forces.

[110] See below, Torture and Mistreatment in Detention.

[111] See "Somalia Confirms Detention of Food Aid Staffer," Associated Press, October 19, 2007, (accessed October 18, 2008).

[112] Mohammed Dheere's full name is Mohammed Omar Habib. Like most Somalis he is much more widely known by his nickname-Mohammed Dheere.

[113] Human Rights Watch interviews with victims of abuses by TFG forces, Somali human rights activists, and journalists, Dadaab, Nairobi, and Hargeisa, July and September 2008.

[114] Human Rights Watch interviews with independent analysts and Somali human rights activists, Nairobi and Hargeisa, July 2008.

[115] Memo dated June 10, 2008, on file with Human Rights Watch.

[116] The role of the SPF in these operations appears to have diminished over time. Some local activists believe that this is because the police have come under pressure to stop participating in the abuses connected to these raids. Others attribute it to the worsening security situation, which leaves SPF officers reluctant to venture into the streets to participate in such operations. Human Rights Watch interviews with Somali civil society activists, Nairobi and Hargeisa, July 2008.

[117] Human Rights Watch interviews, Hargeisa, July 10, 2008.

[118] Human Rights Watch interview with O.M., Hargeisa, July 11, 2008.

[119] Human Rights Watch interview with A.N., Dagahaley refugee camp, Kenya, June 28, 2008.

[120] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with journalist, Mogadishu, October 14, 2008; Email correspondence between UNDP and donor government officials, on file with Human Rights Watch.

[121] Human Rights Watch interview with M.A., Hargeisa, July 11, 2008.

[122] Human Rights Watch interview with F.O., Dagahaley refugee camp, Kenya, June 30, 2008.

[123] Human Rights Watch interview with A.A., Hargeisa, July 10, 2008.

[124] Human Rights Watch interview with H.O., Hargeisa, July 10, 2008.

[125] Human Rights Watch interview with O.I., Hargeisa, July 11, 2008.

[126] Human Rights Watch interview with I.M., Dagahaley refugee camp, Kenya, July 1, 2008.

[127] Human Rights Watch interview with A.A., Hargeisa, July 11, 2008.

[128] Human Rights Watch interview with S.Z., Hargeisa, July 11, 2008.

[129] Human Rights Watch interview with F.Z., Dagahaley refugee camp, Kenya, June 30, 2008.

[130] Human Rights Watch interview with M.M., Dagahaley refugee camp, Kenya, June 30, 2008.

[131]In July 2008 a UN official who works on capacity-building efforts for the TFG judiciary told Human Rights Watch that there were only two judges sitting on the regional court for Benadir, the region that encompasses Mogadishu. The official also maintained that five Mogadishu judges were killed and another dozen resigned between the end of 2007 and July 2008. Human Rights Watch interview, (location withheld), July 12, 2008.

[132]The same detention facility was used by the government of President Siad Barre, who built the Baarista Hisbiga to house the headquarters of his Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party.

[133]In May 2008 a television documentary on British television's Channel 4 included interviews with former Baarista Hisbiga detainees and with NSA head Mohammed Warsame Darwish. Aidan Hartley, "Warlords Next Door?" Channel 4, May 23, 2008.

[134] Human Rights Watch interview with H.M., Nairobi, July 19, 2008.

[135] Human Rights Watch interview with H.M., Nairobi, July 20, 2008.

[136] Human Rights Watch interview with M.Z., Nairobi, July 20, 2008.

[137] Human Rights Watch interview with M.Z., Nairobi, July 20, 2008.

[138] Human Rights Watch interview with M.I., Nairobi, July 19, 2008.

[139] Human Rights Watch interview with S.B., Hargeisa, July 12, 2008.

[140] Human Rights Watch interview with O.B., Dagahaley refugee camp, Kenya, July 1, 2008.

[141] Human Rights Watch interview with J.A., Ifo refugee camp, Kenya, July 3, 2008.

[142] Human Rights Watch interview I.J., Hargeisa, July 11, 2008.