Somalia: Somaliland criticized over arrest of musicians that held concert in Mogadishu

Published: September 28, 2015

Somalia: Somaliland criticized over arrest of musicians of holding concert in Mogadishu
Authorities in the Somalia’s breakaway region have arrested at least four musicians after being accused of holding a night concert in the Somali capital, Mogadishu last week.
The arrests of Nim’an Hilac, Hamda Abdikarim (Hamda Queen), Mohamed Ahmed Bakal and Abdirahman Aydid Oday who are part of the Horn of Africa stars band, has brought sharp criticism from the entire Somali community and popular artists.
‘’There is a big difference between politics and music… they can’t be interrelated in all circumstances. Their arrest just creates hatred and shows how they [Somaliland authorities] are arrogant,’’ said a group of angry Somali artists.
Somaliland unilaterally declared independence in 1991 when Somalia’s central government in Mogadishu collapsed. It has not been formally recognized by any country or international body in the world, all of which consider Somaliland an autonomous region within Somalia.
‘’They should be released unconditionally and whoever who ordered for this illegal act should be brought to justice,’’ said another artist.
Reports claim that the Somaliland authorities warned the musicians to not hold any performance in Mogadishu, which under their rules prohibits some groups to not interact with the other Somalia unless businessmen.
In May, the breakaway region announced that it will not give entry to its region Somali returnees belonging to southern clans who were escaping the violence in Yemen. After facing criticism from the Somali community and international organizations, Somaliland authorities were forced to make a U-turn on the racial discriminatory policy decision.
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