Somalia: The Firing of the Puntland Agency for Social Welfare (PASWE) Directors

Puntland Agency for Social Welfare

Puntland Agency for Social Welfare ismail Adam Dirie Shaking hand with disabled child

PASWE Director Ismail Adan Dirie openly commented that he was saddened by the December 16th arrest of his assistant, the blind Mr. Abdikafi Hassan Mohamed, and the way he was handled after being transferred to Garowe’s main prison. Mr. Dirie said the reason Abdikafi was detained was his opinion regarding the present politics in Puntland, and he described this arrest as an action that is contrary to the presumed movement toward democratization.

Today, as was expected, the ruling party issued two memoranda stating that the directors were relieved of their duties.

These memoranda, concerning the firing of these officials, did not follow the usual and legal procedure. First, they were signed by Vice president Abdi Ali Shire, despite the presence of the President of Puntland in the country. The constitution does not give the Vice president such authority when the President is in the country, except when the President delegates his authority. There is no indication of any presidential delegation in the two documents.

Here is an audio of the Vice president explaining his authority during the campaign of 2008:
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Cabdikaafi oo sugaya gacanqaadka Boqor Burhaan Boqor Muuse

Abdikafi see Arrow

Abdikafi was fired for not fulfilling his duties at PASWE in contradiction to the assessment of his immediate superior Director Ismail, who described him as a qualified individual who discharged his duties well.

The second memorandum from the ruling party shows the temporary suspension of the Director Ismail Adam Dirie, who, in an interview with the Voice of America radio yesterday, stated that he was saddened by the arrest of Abdikafi Hassan. It has not been made clear why he was suspended. This goes against the law and constitution of Puntland.

When Horseed Media contacted Director Ismail, he informed them that he learned about his firing from journalists who wanted him to confirm his dismissal. He said that no official communication reached him. Since, like the President, he was in Bosaso and has not heard from the president’s office, he said that was continuing to do the work he came for, and that his main concern was the welfare of his colleague Abdikafi, who is still in detention and who has not been charged within the legal 48 hours period. He said that he was again requesting the release of Mr Abdikafi.

After great effort from Garowe’s elders who implored the President to free the blind official, Mr. Abdikafi was released from prison in late afternoon on Monday the 18th.

After his release, Mr. Abdikafi spoke to the local press and he told them that he was imprisoned and liberated without any due process. He said that only few days are left of the President Faroole’s term and he advised the President to give back to the people their liberty and safety. He assured the authorities that no amount of coercion or imprisonment would keep him from expressing his belief.

Khalid Yusuf
Horseed Media