The long saga of a war criminal Col. Yusuf Abdi Ali Tuke who lived comfortably and with impunity in one of the freest countries on earth with the very people he has brutalized in unimaginable ways including setting victims on fire may be finally over. Mr. Tuke was taken into custody by the United States Homeland Security Investigations in Springfield Virginia for war crimes he committed in Gabiley Somaliland.
Colonel Tuke as he is widely known first surfaced in Canada where he immigrated after the collapse of the dictatorial regime of Siad Barre where he served as the Commander of the Fifth Brigade in Gabiley in the present-day Republic of Somaliland where the people of Somaliland and particularly the Isaaq tribe were targeted for genocide by Barre’s regime.
In Canada, Mr. Tuke was exposed by his victims who reported him to the authorities and the media, where Mr. Tuke even faced reporters to deny the accusations leveled against him and taunt his victims to “go to court”. He was deported by Canadian authorities to the United States in October 1992.
Mr. Tuke has been arrested in the United States before, in 1998 for an immigration-related matter and although US government agencies were aware of the accusations against him, he remained in the United States.
In late 2019, a jury in the Eastern District of Virginia found Colonel Tuke liable in a civil suit brought by Mr. Farhan Warfaa who accused the former member of the Somali Army of shooting him at point-blank range and leaving him for dead after months of torture. Mr. Warfaa, who was represented by the Center for Justice and Accountability, was awarded 500,000 US in damages. It is unclear if Mr. Tuke has made restitution to Mr. Warfaa.
Mr. Tuke’s current legal predicament is the most serious, as this time he faces the genocidal acts he committed in Gabiley in 1987 – 1988 where his monstrous acts have taken place.
“While Yusuf Abdi Ali’s apprehension cannot undo the pain that he allegedly inflicted upon the victims of his purported human rights abuses, it is my sincere hope that by seeing him answer for his apparent role in these heinous crimes, they will be given some form of peace,” said Derek W. Gordon, acting special agent in charge of HSI Washington, D.C. in a press release.
Mr. Okeke-Von Batten, who claimed to have changed his mind about efforts to lobby for Somaliland after learning about Somaliland’s “human rights violations” and instead went to lobby for the Somali government and the Somali United Alliance charity organization, denied any knowledge of Mr. Tuke and his crimes against humanity. Mr. Tuke works for the Somali Embassy in Washington, DC.
Although media outlets are reporting Colonel Tuke as high-ranking in the murderous Somali National Army, in the vast and complex genocidal war machine deployed by dictator Siad Barre against the people of Somaliland, there are even bigger violators such as General Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan widely known as the Butcher of Hargeisa.
General Morgan, who is the late dictator’s son-in-law and his last Minister of Defense, currently serves as an advisor to President Saeed Abdullahi Deni of Puntland province of Somalia and was the commander 26th Sector of the Somali Army based in present-day Somaliland.
Because of the genocidal acts committed by Dictator Barre and his henchmen such as Tuke and Morgan against the people of Somaliland, an armed struggle by the Somali National Movement has begun and despite the unfavorable odds faced by ordinary men and women that stood up against tyranny, SNM has brought the end of Barre’s rain of terror and ushered in the rebirth of the Republic of Somaliland.
So far efforts to bring war criminals like Tuke to justice were entirely done by private individuals and while there are others who declined to speak about their efforts with various authorities around the globe to bring other war criminals accountable for their actions, the Somaliland government has not actively pursued war criminals like General Morgan who lives within 100 kilometers from its borders.