An Islamic court in southern Somalia on Tuesday sentenced a man who had killed a United Nations aid worker to pay the victim’s family 100 female camels as compensation.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the murder of a senior World Food Program official. The trial took place in a region that is under the control of the Shabab, a hard-line Islamist group, and its allies. The Islamist administration in the area has opened courts applying Sharia, or Islamic law, over the past year. In the UN aid worker's murder case, the judges deliberated and gave the victim's family the option to choose the death penalty for the accused or receive compensation.
Abdullahi Hussein, a local elder who was part of a committee involved in the case and suggesting an adequate sentence, said the 100 female camels were worth about 10 million Somalia shillings, or around $45, 000 in American money.
The victim, Abrahim Hussein Duale was shot dead by masked gunmen on January 6. Aid workers have been frequently targeted in Somalia, where the UN estimates that a third of the 10 million inhabitants are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Well, there are better ways of treating Peace Corps and UN volunteers.
Outside my jurisdiction, but I am thinking a tour of the Somalian deserts is not on my agenda.