A court in the United States has found a former Somali military commander guilty of torture and awarded one of his victims damages to the tune of $1.5 million.
A US based group the Center for Justice and Accountability, that represented Farhan Warfaa said that, the Virginia jury had found that Col. Yusuf Abdi Ali had tortured their client in 1987.
Mr Warfaa, a semi-nomadic herder explained the verdict of the court as a vindication of the excesses that he suffered along with others at the hands of the commander Ali (alias Tukeh.)
“The jury awarded Mr. Warfaa $500,000 in damages, including $100,000 in punishment damages.
CJA said“Over the course of a three-day trial, the jury heard evidence that early one morning in 1987,
Mr. Warfaa was rounded up with other men from his village and taken to the Military Headquarters of the Fifth Brigade of the Somali National Army
Mr. Warfaa testified that Col. Tukeh’s soldiers tortured and interrogated him, and that Col. Tukeh himself shot Mr. Warfaa several times at point blank range, leaving him for dead.
“Miraculously, he survived. Over thirty years after that ordeal, Mr. Warfaa faced Col. Tukeh in a federal courtroom, and prevailed.
“Evidence presented at trial included eyewitness testimony from former officers of the Somali National Army and other survivors of Somali National Army abuses, and expert testimony from former U.S. Special Envoy to Somalia, Ambassador Robert Gosende and medical experts, Dr. Allen S. Keller and Professor Daryn Reicherter.”
The event happened under the regime of President Siad Barre particularly against members of the Isaaq community during the Somali civil war. Present-day Somalia continues to battle against Al-Shabaab insurgents.
Semi-autonomous Somalian enjoys relatively better stoutness but has failed to secure international recognition after 28 years , declaring independence from Somalia. Hargeisa has been under enforcement to hold talks with Mogadishu.