Somali Government withdraws charges against former regional minister wanted for murder, torture

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MOGADISHU (HOL) –  Somali Government has dropped charges against former Jubbaland security minister who is accused by the UN of murder and torture.

In a letter dated March 23, Banaadir Regional Court said all charges against the embattled former minister have been dropped forthwith.

The termination of the charges follows a request by Attorney General Suleyman Mohamud.

The AG told the court on March 22 that he was no longer pursuing any charges against Janan who is now in the hands of the federal government.

Janan was received by two ministers on March 25 in BeletHawo a day after the Banaadir court order. Janan escaped custody in Mogadishu January 2020 and was declared a fugitive by the Somali Police Force which also sought the help Interpol to arrest him.

The withdrawal of charges against Janan deals a major blow to calls by the UN and the rights group Amnesty International to prosecute him.

The UN Monitoring Group blamed Janan for torture, murder and gross violations of human rights between 2014 and 2017.

Janan was by then a district commissioner in Gedo region before being appointed by Jubbaland President Ahmed Madobe to head the security docket.

The move also affirms the Federal Government’s intent on using Janan to square off with Madobe who is seen by Mogadishu as a key political enemy.

EU ambassador to Somalia Nicolas Berlanga said the embrace of Janan by the Federal Government was aimed at achieving ‘short term gains’ in violation of rights of Janan’s victims.