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 Al-Shabaab puts Mogadishu’s rapists and robbers on notice

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Abu Hafsa
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PostSubject: Al-Shabaab puts Mogadishu’s rapists and robbers on notice   Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:29 am

By CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO (email the author)
Sunday, July 05, 2009


A few days ago Somalia’s radical al Shabaab insurgents, who control large parts of the country and might well overrun the fragile government in Mogadishu, made an example of four teenage thieves.

The rebels, who follow a strict form of Islamic law, cut a hand and a leg each off the teenagers as punishment for robbery. Earlier, they stoned a rapist to death.

To the human rights community, and to the East African middle class, this is barbarism.

But, I suspect, in the crime-riddled slums, working class quarters, and countrysides in many parts of the region, not to mention Africa, these bloody measures are winning al Shabaab many brownie points.


Abhorrable as al Shabaab’s extreme actions might be, and their alleged links to al-Qaeda notwithstanding, they would probably win elections against many sitting governments in several African countries if the contest was based on the single issue of crime.

In Kenya, in parts of the country like central Kenya where citizens are besieged by criminals and extortion gangs, highly lethal vigilantes have been formed to fight back.

The methods they are using against suspected members of the outlawed Mungiki sect, for example, make al Shabaab’s amputations look like a sweet scent-filled massage.

In South Africa, another country whose towns have been all but taken over by vicious criminals and rapists, not too long ago a popular people’s vigilante group, People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD), emerged to clean up the streets.

The reason vigilantism is finding appeal, is that people know that rogue elements in the security services are keepers of the law by day, but at night they are leaders of criminal gangs.

The appeal of citizen action against crime can thus only grow.

For example, though I am a pacifist and oppose the death penalty, I am extremely conflicted where rapists and mass murderers are involved because I think the level of these and other crimes in Africa has reached levels that could destroy our societies.

If al Shabaab had asked me whether the rapist who was stoned to death should be spared and given a life sentence instead, I probably would have offered an ambiguous answer that gave them the impression that I favoured the stoning.

The greatest “instability” that an al Shabaab regime would cause, therefore, might not be through spreading the al Qaeda menace in East Africa, but in showing up the other governments.

So Al Shabaab takes power: It beheads hundreds of thieves, chops off a hand and leg from every Mogadishu pickpocket, hangs rapists in the market squares, blinds all bribe-taking policemen, and drowns the pirates who have become a menace in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, and clears khat off the streets.

Mogadishu could become a mini-paradise where people don’t have to lock their doors, and little girls can walk from their grandparents’ house two streets away back home at 7:30 pm without fear of being molested.

Pressure would grow in other fear-ruled East African capitals for al Shabaab-style crackdowns on crime. That would be tricky for some governments, because they need crime and corruption to survive.

Charles Onyango-Obbo is executive editor for the Nation Media Group’s Africa Media Division

http://www.hiiraan.com/comments2-op-2009-j..._on_notice.aspx
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urban rose
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Shabaab puts Mogadishu’s rapists and robbers on notice   Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:49 pm

thumbs up

when they amputate someone, do they just do it? how does the person not bleed to death? scratch embarassed
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Abu Hafsa
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Shabaab puts Mogadishu’s rapists and robbers on notice   Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:06 pm

They take him to the hospital..
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urban rose
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Shabaab puts Mogadishu’s rapists and robbers on notice   Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:41 pm

Suraqah al-Andalusi wrote:
They take him to the hospital..

and is it just done straight out or with anaesthetic?
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Abu Hafsa
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Shabaab puts Mogadishu’s rapists and robbers on notice   Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:01 pm

I'm not sure. I've never heard that it's done with anaesthetic so probably straight out. But then they take them to the hospital and make sure they get better, etc..

Also, they don't just do it like that.. the person needs to be found guilty in court, etc, etc..
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urban rose
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PostSubject: Re: Al-Shabaab puts Mogadishu’s rapists and robbers on notice   Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:01 pm

Suraqah al-Andalusi wrote:
I'm not sure. I've never heard that it's done with anaesthetic so probably straight out. But then they take them to the hospital and make sure they get better, etc..

Also, they don't just do it like that.. the person needs to be found guilty in court, etc, etc..

oh no, i know about the guilty part and stuff, but just summat ive thought about before...in regards to the amputating and stuff...
jazakAllah thumbs up
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