Stoning Victim Begged for Her Life

Last week’s stoning of a 13 year old girl in Somalia occurred partly because the nation has no stable government, is terrorized by rival militias and is awash in arms. Individuals claiming to be eyewitnesses report that the girl begged for her life and that many people in the crowd at the stadium opposed the stoning but could not intervene because the militia in control had guns. People who attempted to intervene were fired upon. A 15 year old boy was killed.

Anarchy has prevailed in Somalia since 1991 when the central government collapsed. Constant warfare between rival warlords terrorize the people. The port of Kismayo where the stoning of 13 year old Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow took place was captured in August by a coalition of forces loyal to rebel leader Hassan Turki, and al-Shabab, the country’s main radical Islamist insurgent organisation.

In spite of an arms embargo, Somalia is awash in arms. According to the UN, arms arrive continuously in small shipments aboard fishing boats and small aircraft. These shipments originate or are routed through Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The main Somali entry points are Boosaaso, Marha, El Ma’an and Kismayo, along with the airstrips around Mogadishu.

Map of Somalia
Map of Somalia

Atrocities like the stoning of a 13 year old child will continue to take place in Somalia unless the international community intervenes to restore stable government and the rule of law and enforces the arms embargo already in place.

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