Somalia: Musician murdered by men armed with knives




Musician murdered by men armed with knives

In the early hours of 18 June 2008, the musician Abdulkadir Adow Ali was stabbed to death in Mogadishu.

By Abdulkadir M. Wa’ays

Abdulkadir Adow Ali was a former member of the Waberi National Band, and a multi-skilled musician, singer, actor, and music composer.

He was killed by men armed with knives on the road near the Dabaqaynka Mosque in Dharkaynley district in Mogadishu while he was heading home to his house. A funeral was held on 19 June.

Waberi band was one of the former national music bands which ceased to exist as a consequence of the deadly civil war in Somalia 1991.

The identities of the assailants and the motive behind this murder have not yet been established. As it has always been the case with murder cases of Somali musicians in the past, and as confirmed by Freemuse’s contacts in Mogadishu, no government officials have yet spoken about this assassination while no investigation is currently underway or anticipated in respect of this murder case. In the meantime, and as before, local media, stringers of international news groups and, civil society organisations still remain muted about this murder.

Musician shot dead
In March this year, soloist Aden Hasan Salad, former member of the Waberi National Band, was shot dead by three men armed with pistols at a teashop in Waberi district in the capital Mogadishu.

According to his neighbours, the late Aden had long abandoned to make a living by practisng his great talent and artistic skills in order to save his life. Instead, he was earning a living as a labourer by offering his services as a wheel-barrow driver at the main markets in Mogadishu. To date, no investigation has been made as to who and why this musician was murdered.

Community censorship
These cases highlight the ferocity of the prevailing community censorship on music in Somalia and how far it has affected the work of the local and international media outlets, civil society groups as well as the rights organisations to the extent that they can now report on the death of a journalist, school teacher, businessman, or a teashop owner, but not on the murder cases of innocent musicians.

Somalia was plunged into chaos in 1991 when warlords ousted dictator Siad Barre, creating a power vacuum. The United Nations helped set up a transitional government in 2004. But the weak government was unable to exert control over much of the country. Islamists-led opposition groups, who briefly controlled South and Central Somalia in 2006, are now engaged in deadly guerrilla fighting with the unpopular government troops and its allied Ethiopian forces. Since December 2006, the Islamists have continued to launch almost daily attacks in Somalia.

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