By Abdirahman Issack:
4th October, 2015 news of 12 clerics arrested for youth radicalization in a small village called Hareri in my county spread. The story got national concern and major newspapers mobilized their team to report on the matter. Like always they gathered the wrong information of the police and rushed to publish.
Here is the truth from the ground.
The number of the clerics arrested as reported were 12. Seven out of this are close cousins to the area chief Mr. Hussein Diis. This is a story of entrapment set by the area chief.
A philanthropist brother of the chief Mr. Adan Diis who is a senior employee of the UNHCR established a Madarasa at Hareri. He was the only sponsor and financier of the institution. At the earlier years the madarasa was managed by the area chief who happens to be the real brother of philanthropist Adan Diis.
Approximately 2 years ago a rift happened between the two brothers. This rift resulted from misappropriation of Madarasa funds by the chief. This forced the philanthropic Adan Diis to direct all his assistance via the principal/head teacher of the madarasa. The head teacher is apparently reported to be a rival sub-clan.This move angered the Chief.
In his first report to do an entrapment and teach a lesson to the clerics of the Madarasa he approached the County director of Education (C.D.E) with a narrative that children of school going age are forcefully keep in the madarasa and denied chances of free primary education. The ministry investigated this and found that it was malicious and hence dropped.
As a result of this report the madarasa management was angered and seek the interventions of the elders who solved the matter amicably.
Another instance that happened which can directly be mapped to the arrest of the clerics is when the residents of the area accepted suggestions from the clerics that a deceased body (relative to the chief) not be prayed on as he was non prayer. This is too religious. The chief felt that he lost the control of the town and it is time to deal with the clerics. In another instance a body (relative to the chief) was denied burial in Muslim cemetery in the area.
Using such stories as a backup and the history of the imam as at ATPU (anti-terror police unit) it was easy for the Chief to label the clerics radicals and the institution (madarasa) a radicalization Centre.
On 2nd October, 2015 Mohamed Ahmed Muktar (in custody) took to the masjid podium to deliver Friday summons. The topic was jihad. He accused the Chief and county workers (some who were present that Friday) as murtids.
On 3rd October, 2015, the Chief (Hussein Diis) and some old wazees visited the DCIO of Mandera county. In their report they made assertion that the institution was a base for radicalization of minor and all its teachers are members of Al-shabaab. The DCIO mobilized a team of ATPU and arrested all the teachers who were present on Sunday. Among the arrested include a popular IRE/ARABIC teacher at Barwaqo boys secondary school who tutors the madarasa on weekends.
Today 6th October, 2015 there was a lengthy meeting at Hareri where elders deliberated. My source from the meeting confirms that the chief (Hussein Diis) has confessed to have laid the entrapment. The reasons for doing this was to make sure he wins his brother’s trust back to manage the madarasa fund.
Names of the clerics
Yussuf Maalim Ahmed
Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed
Mohamed Hassan Osman
Abdi Mohamed Ahmed
Abdiaziz Hassan Issack
Abdi Adan Elmi
Adan Ibrahim Issack
Osman Abdullahi Mude
Ahmed Abdi Mohamed
Ahmed Moore Adan
Mohamed Ahmed Sheikh
My source also indicates chances of two clerics being too radical.
The writer is an Investigative Blogger. This article first appeared on his blog