Somalia: Arrest and prosecute school girl killers

19 September 2018, 20:11 UTC

Following the Tuesday fatal shooting of a nine-year-old pupil while on a school bus by government soldiers who opened fire into a traffic jam in Mogadishu, reportedly to make way for their vehicle, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Joan Nyanyuki said:

“The authorities must immediately launch an independent investigation and hold to account the officers behind this act of recklessness that took the life of a child and caused this terrible anguish to her family.

“The Somali government must also take concrete steps to make sure that security forces do not use force unnecessarily and randomly against people going about their daily business.”

Amnesty International spoke to the girl’s distraught father, Dahir Moalim Ali Farah, who said:

“My 11-year old son, who was also in the bus with Deqa, came home crying and shouting and told us that she had been shot dead. I ran to the scene of the incident, where I was told the body of my daughter was taken to Masaarida hospital.”

“It was shocking to see the dead body of my daughter. I am helpless and need justice for my daughter. I need the killers of my daughter arrested and brought to justice.”

Nine-year-old pupil Deqa Dahir Moalim Ali Farah was on the school bus with other students on her way home around midday on 18 September. The bus was stuck in a traffic jam near the busy Banadir junction in Mogadishu, opposite of the Digfeer hospital, in Hodan district, when government soldiers opened fire in an apparent attempt to clear the road for their vehicle.

One of the bullets hit the girl on the head killing her instantly and injuring at least one other child. Deqa Dahir was buried today.