MOGADISHU, Somalia – In a significant development, a military court in Puntland, the most stable region in Somalia, has handed down sentences to three militants belonging to the extremist group Al-Shabaab. The court found Mohamed Deeq Salad Abdi guilty and sentenced him to 20 years, Ismail Daud Jirow Harfanay to 30 years, and Abdulkhadir Abukar Sheikh Mohamed to 15 years. The court ruled that the evidence against them was compelling, proving their involvement with the terrorist group.
The presented documentation revealed that the three individuals were responsible for planting explosives in Galkayo, a town located on the border between Puntland and Galmadug states in central Somalia. The military court decided to impose imprisonment terms based on the severity of their crimes. Additionally, the court confirmed that they were connected to networks associated with Al-Shabaab, some of whose members have already been executed, while others are currently incarcerated. This sentencing coincides with the ongoing efforts by Somalia to combat violent extremism in the central and southern regions of the country.
Although the defendants confessed to having close ties with Al-Shabaab, their lawyers argued that their confessions were coerced and that they were forced to admit to crimes they did not commit. However, military courts in Somalia have established themselves as reliable and efficient bodies in the administration of justice.
Notably, six months ago, the Puntland military court executed 13 militants from both Al-Shabaab and the Islamic State terrorist groups. The region has consistently demonstrated its commitment to combating Al-Shabaab militants by training and maintaining a robust regional security force.
Analysts believe that the outcome of this case will significantly contribute to the ongoing fight against Al-Shabaab, causing some members to defect and align themselves with the government of Somalia. Al-Shabaab is presently engaged in a campaign to overthrow the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia.