New York, US (PANA) - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Augustine Mahiga, has expressed concern over recent violent clashes in the northern city of Hargeisa, located in Somaliland, between Somali security forces and citizens which allegedly resulted in deaths on both sides.
The clashes followed protests over the sentencing of 17 civilians to death, by a military court in Hargeisa, for attacking a military base in relation to a land dispute.
A UN statement made available to PANA in New York on Sunday said Mr. Mahiga regrets the loss of life on both sides and expresses concern the trial of these civilians was conducted by a military court in contradiction of both applicable statutes and customary norms of standards of international law.
It quoted the envoy as calling for the immediate transfer of the case to a criminal court and encourages the authorities to ensure that fair trial rights are respected in a new trial.
Mahiga also called for ''a full, impartial, independent and transparent investigation
into the incident and its aftermath.''
The sentencing led to dozens of people marching through the city's streets demanding the release of the defendants, before riot police reportedly dispersed the crowd.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 20May2012