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Somalia: Almaas Elman Shooting: The Grief of a Husband

Zakaria Hersi, the husband of Ms Almaas Elman Ali Ahmed, a former Somali Diplomat and Peace Activist who was killed on Wednesday in Somalia, has broken down, saying his wife’s death was “unfair” and “unjust.”

At 14.34 hours on November 20, 2019 at the heavily-guarded Halane Base camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, a bullet struck Ms Almaas Elman Ali Ahmed, a former Somali Diplomat and Peace Activist.

The deceased had contracted the services of a private transport company for a meeting within the Base camp.

They were travelling to the Aden Abdulle International Airport after the meeting when she was shot

According to preliminary findings by AMISOM, there were a total of 3 people in the vehicle – a driver, a non-injured passenger and the deceased who was in the back seat behind the driver in a right hand soft-skin vehicle.

The bullet pierced the rear passenger window of the vehicle and injured Ms. Elman who was pronounced dead on arrival at the AMISOM Level II hospital.

“AMISOM immediately constituted a Board of inquiry, which has already visited the scene of the incident and interviewed the driver and some identified eyewitnesses,” the entity said in a statement on Saturday night.

“Pending a final report, preliminary investigations indicate Ms. Elman was hit by a stray bullet, especially as no firearm discharge was reported within the Base camp at the time of the incident. The Base camp in the past has recorded similar incidents of stray bullets.”

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However, the family of Almaas is not convinced about the circumstances under which Elman was killed.

Elman’s husband, Zakaria Hersi, said his wife was pregnant at the time she was shot.

“On Wednesday I lost my love of my life, my best friend, my soul mate. I lost my wife and my unborn child,” mourned Zakaria, a Somali-Swedish tech entrepreneur.

“Two years ago you held my face when we got married, today I held your face when I went down in the grave with you. My heart is broken and I cry for the future we lost, but grateful for the past and the memories we had,” he noted.

“You completed me beyond words, I pray you get the highest place in jannah and that I will be reunited with you again. You had a life full of people who loved you but you had the biggest heart,” he added.

“Your death is unfair and unjust, there will be consequences for it and your legacy will keep going. Your family is mine and your legacy will live through us. I love you Almas forever.”

Prominent activist 

The deceased’s killing is seen as a big blow to efforts by Somalis living in diaspora to return home and rebuild their troubled country.

Ms Elman hailed from prominent family of activists who have for deceased struggled for a peaceful Somalia.

Her father Elman Ali Ahmed, a peace activist, was shot dead in Mogadishu in 1996.

The deceased’s mother, Fartuun Adan, founded Elman Peace Center in 1990 to fight for peace and human rights in Somalia.

Elman’s elder sister of Ilwad Elman, a social activist was recently shortlisted for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

The family fled to Canada after the outbreak of the Somali civil war in the early 1990s but returned in 2010 to support the rebuilding of the war-torn country.

The shooting occurred at one of the most highly protected areas in Somalia. The sprawling base camp is secured by AMISOM and United Nations Forces.

The deceased previously worked at the Somali Embassy in Kenya before consulting for the European Union delegation to Somalia.

AMISOM said it would “work jointly with the FGS, Somali security forces and other agencies to fully investigate the incident. The findings will be shared with the public.”

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