The brutal murder of a 24-year bajaj (auto-rickshaw) driver and his passenger by a rogue police officer in Hawlwadag district in Mogadishu Saturday yet again demonstrates the unbridled character of what has become of some of those tasked with public safety and security in this country.
Deeq Fooley Baaslaawi represented the aspirations of millions of young men and women in this country trying to earn a living and hopefully making our country better than it has been. He represents the business community whom Prime Minister Hassan Khaire heaped praise yesterday during the Spring Roundtable with donors in Washington.
Baaslawi and his passenger are now among the increasing number of bajaj drivers and city residents felled by a clique of trigger-happy security officers whose possession of the gun has seemingly elevated their stature and given them absolute rights over life; one which even the Constitution has never contemplated over the state.
The murder of Baaslaawi, his passenger and a number of others yesterday who died during the melee which rocked the city is just a reminder of the danger an undisciplined force can pose to the public. We are reminded of 9-year-old Deeqo Dahir Ali whose life was cut short when a military officer aboard a pick-up truck brazenly opened fire at a school bus last September. The list is not short.
Whereas there have been promises to bring to book some of these officers, little or none is known of what becomes of such pledges. Meanwhile, another policeman, military man will still find it just ok to brandish his gun and shoot a civilian.
Peace and security is not in the hands of security forces only; the public too, and much more so, play a critical role. When relations between the two is strained as is the result of such killings, we both lose.
These killings must end and perpetrators brought to book.