The killing of Minister Siraj raises critical questions about VIP guards

An auto rickshaw at Waberi Xamarweyne market in Mogadishu. Auto-rickshaw drivers have been victims of indiscriminate shooting and harassment by VIPs security guards. File Photo: Goobjoog News
An auto rickshaw at Waberi Xamarweyne market in Mogadishu. Auto-rickshaw drivers have been victims of indiscriminate shooting and harassment by VIPs security guards. File Photo: Goobjoog News

The killing of Public Works and Reconstruction Minister Abbas Siraj last evening at the entrance of Villa Somalia has robbed the country of one of her most promising and inspiring sons whose humble rise to MP and Minister was a beacon of hope for millions of young people.

Having endured the difficulties of living in Daadaab refugee camp for 20 years and going through to acquire a degree in Computer Science from University of Nairobi, Siraj was not only a symbol of determination but a silver lining for many young people who have to battle odds for a better Somalia.

Though the circumstance surrounding his death remain scanty with multiple sources alluding to friendly fire, the killing of the minister points to the greater malaise in common sense use of weapons among security guards attached to VIPs in Somalia.

Several road users particularly auto rickshaw drivers have suffered and lost their lives through indiscriminate and cold blood shooting by trigger happy guards escorting VIPs in Mogadishu.

Somalis both VIPs and ordinary men and women deserve respect and sanctity for life is paramount. It is imperative therefore that whereas the security of VIPs is of utmost importance just as that of the ordinary man, maximum restraint must be exercised to avoid unnecessary killings.

It would be illuminating to know the quality and calibre of security personnel attached to VIPs and the level of accountability imposed upon them in regards to protection of human life.

The government should consider the vetting and retraining of VIP guards to equip them with among others knowledge on basic human rights and protection of life whilst attending to their daily chores.

 

 

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