Publicerad den 3 feb 2014
Hayat was born in Mogadishu (Somalia) in 1989, but had to flee from the country before she was even two years old to avoid the beginning of an armed conflict that is still going on today. While fleeing the country, she passed through Dadaab (Kenya), which is now the largest refugee camp in the world. She continued living in Kenya and Tanzania until 12 years ago, when destiny brought her to Spain and from where she has followed, with sorrow, the distinct phases of the never-ending Somali war.
More than 20 years later, Hayat prepared herself to travel to a northern region of ancient Somalia, of which her mother had always told her family stories: Somaliland. Although it is not recognized throughout the international community as a sovereign country, Somaliland declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, at the beginning of the war. From then on, it has resurged from the ashes, to construct a state with its own political institutions, a democratically elected president (elections are monitored by international observers) and its own currency. Contrary to Somalia, which is still suffering from a dramatic armed struggle with tinges of Islamic extremism and anarchy, Somaliland enjoys stability and peace, something which is quite unusual in this region of the Horn of Africa.
The documentary is the narration Hayat’s emotional journey, excited to complete her dream of getting back in touch with her roots, and with an autonomously functioning unknown country that is fighting for international recognition. Hayat will visit the President and the principal ministers of the country in order to learn the political functionings of an unofficial country and without international support. Furthermore, she will meet the directors of the leading businesses in the country and learn about, with her own eyes, the materials necessary for sanitation and education, as well as the emerging interest of foreign investors in the country. Hayat will also deepen the role of the Somaliland Diaspora and its key contribution from abroad to the reconstruction of the country and survival of its families. The project purports to have the viewer discover the workings of the country along with Hayat through her very own perspective, and converse with her protagonists.
In this photo taken Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, Chairman of the Somaliland War Crimes Commission Kadar Ahmed, left, oversees members of the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team as they work to uncover bodies buried in a mass grave in Hargeisa, Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia. An American volunteer gently brushes away dirt to reveal the bones of a Somali victim buried in a mass grave some 30 years ago. Tens of thousands of skeletons may lie in mass graves here, on the northern edge of Somalia, where many want to see justice prevail, even if delayed. Last year 38 bodies were uncovered in two graves by the Somaliland War Crimes Investigation Commission, which is overseeing the work on a third site where another dozen bodies are buried. (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso) The Associated Press
By Jason Straziuso
Friday, March 07, 2014
HARGEISA, Somalia (AP) — An American volunteer gently brushes away dirt to reveal the bones of a Somali victim buried in a mass grave some 30 years ago. Tens of thousands of skeletons may lie in mass graves here, on the northern edge of Somalia, where many want to see justice prevail, even if delayed.Last year 38 bodies were uncovered in two graves by the Somaliland War Crimes Investigation Commission, which is overseeing the work on a third site where another dozen bodies are buried.
More than 200 mass graves with the bodies of 50,000 to 60,000 people may be in the region, according to the commission.
Why dig up the past now?
Many African countries try to forget about atrocities carried out in their recent pasts, said Kadar Ahmed, chairman of the commission, speaking at the gravesite. He wants this northern tip of Somalia — a self-governing region called Somaliland — to confront those ghosts head-on. He said he hopes an outside tribunal will take up the case of the unknown numbers of deaths.
The commission was created in 1997 with the dual aim of offering a proper burial to the victims and taking judicial action against those responsible for the killings. Ahmed, who was not in Somaliland during the 1980s violence, has headed the commission the last four years.
If government’s aren’t held responsible for mass killings, then killings will continue, said Ahmed. Another aim is to “find the individuals and take them to court,” he said. Ahmed believes that one general who gave the order to commence a slaughter is dead. The other, he says, is outside the country.
Those killed were civilians and militia members from the Isaq clan who were hunted and slain in the late 1980s by the regime of Siad Barre, Ahmed said. Barre’s overthrow in 1991 unleashed 20 years of chaos, making Somalia a failed state.
The victims’ families “are all grieving and all sad because of non-recognition of the government. We can’t get any recognition from any court or any individual,” Ahmed said about the killings.
About a dozen people from the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team are helping Somaliland unbury the past, and also helping to train Ahmed’s staff so they can one day take over. Franco Mora leads the team and says the work is about helping friends and family close the mourning process.
“Families are waiting for answers,” said Mora, who has worked on similar projects in Congo, Guatemala and Mexico. But the Somali team needs more training: “We are explaining to them you can’t go into the field and use heavy machinery. We are teaching them to recover the remains in a way you can use them for prosecution.”
Mora noted that the skeletons being uncovered in the latest mass grave were all buried facing toward Mecca, a holy site for Muslims. He suspects that means the victims were buried with care by local residents.
“This country is a big mass grave. There are graves everywhere. People are living with death. It’s everywhere,” Mora said.
Source:The Associated Press (AP)
Genocide Experts Find Third Mass-Grave In Hargeysa
Hargeysa, Somaliland, February 22, 2014 (SL Times) – International experts who are investigating the genocide that was inflicted on Somalilanders in the nineteen eighties by Siyad Barre’s military regime have identified a third mass-grave in Hargeysa. The mass-grave contained six bodies.
Dr Franco Moro who is leading the team of experts said the bodies were found facing north and they wore their regular clothes, and the marks of the tractor’s teeth could be seen.
The new findings are expected to provide Somaliland’s committee for investigating genocide with further evidence on the scale of the genocide that took place in Somaliland.
Source: Somaliland Times
Human remains are revealed in a grave site in the Somaliland capital of Hargeysa. An excavation in Hargeysa, Somaliland, by International students from a Peruvian based forensic anthropology team known as Equipo Peruano de Antropologia Forense (EPAF) who have arrived in the country to exhume some of the estimated 50,000 to 60,000 people killed between 1988 and 1991 by the former dictator of Somalia, Mohamed Siyad Barre. According to the Somaliland War Crimes Investigation Committee (WCIC) the massacre happened after a tribe known as the Isaaq began an uprising against Barre’s regime. He responded by ordering the execution of all members of this clan. Men, women and children were taken to killing sites by the army and shot. The bodies were dumped across the city and buried with bulldozers.