General Mohamed Said Hersi Morgan, an infamous war criminal, took part in the inauguration ceremony of Somalia’s newly elected President on Wednesday.

Morgan, also known as the “Butcher of Hargeisa”, is the son-in-law of the former dictator of Somalia, Mohamed Siad Barre. He was a high-ranking general in his father-in-law’s military junta and was responsible for the deaths of 100,000 innocent Somalilanders during the civil war.

During the civil war, he ordered his soldiers to ‘wipe out’ Hargeisa and to ‘Kill all but the Crows’ – a chilling phrase now widely used to describe the deadly genocide that took place in Somaliland during the late 1980’s.

His presence at Farmaajo’s inauguration on Wednesday shocked many Somalilanders.

Many took to social media to express their concerns, including Rageh Omaar, a renowned British journalist who originally hails from Somaliland.

The sight of a war criminal freely taking part in government ceremonies in neighbouring Somalia sends a clear message to Somaliland that Somalia does not view Morgan as a war criminal – even in the slightest bit.

Furthermore, his involvement in modern day Somali politics highlights the stark differences between Somaliland and Somalia – and why reconciliation, even without uniting, will never be possible.

The fact that Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is a distant relative of Mohamed Siad Barre, also now raises fears that Morgan might be offered a role in his government.

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