Newly Refurbished Benaadir court complex officially opens

11 Sep 2015

Newly Refurbished Benaadir court complex officially opens

Mogadishu – The rehabilitated Benaadir Court complex in Mogadishu has been officially opened to support the delivery of justice and promote the rule of law in Somalia.

The United Nations Development Programme and the Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group (ROLSIG) under the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), supported the renovation of the Banadir Court premises under a pilot project with support from international partners that included the European Union (EU) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Under the project, the offices and courtrooms have been equipped with chairs, tables, filing cabinets, and a perimeter wall erected to improve security for judicial staff. The project is in line with the Peace and State Building Goal (PSG) number three of the Somali Compact on the establishment of independent and accountable institutions to deliver justice for the Somali people.

The Minister of Internal Security Abdirizak Omar Mohamed said, “I want to say thank you for the support provided by EU, UNDP and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia’s ROLSIG. We appreciate the support that you have been providing to the Somali Government over the years; and particularly the judiciary. The only thing that we can say is to thank you; and what we have to do as Somalis is to sustain this building.”

Aidid Abdullahi Ilkhanaf, the Chief Justice of Somalia who is also the Head of the Supreme Court, hailed the United Nations and international partners for the support in rehabilitating the court premises, and noted that the perimetre wall would guarantee security of judicial officers while at work.

“We very much appreciate the assistance to the judiciary. They renovated the entire building and the structure is now more solid. We know that most of the investment went into security and the perimetre wall, and we appreciate that because it saves lives,” added Chief Justice Aidid.

Michele Cervone d’Urso, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Somalia noted that the renovated court complex in Mogadishu and the deployment of mobile courts across the country would ease citizens’ access to formal justice.

Ambassador D’Urso said, “It’s an important day and I think it symbolises very much that the whole justice sector is standing up in Somalia. This refurbishment or renovation of the court complex represents tangible proof that the Somali justice sector is being rebuilt. If there is one thing the Somali people have been yearning for all those years is access to justice and accountability and it all starts here and we are very passionate about this.”

Mitch Dufresne, Chief of the Joint Justice and Corrections Section in UNSOM said, “It’s not just a complex; it’s not just a building. This is a place where justice is administered. People feel safer to come to work, people feel safe as citizens to come into the complex. The UN will continue to provide technical, advisory and material support to the justice chain institutions - police-justice-corrections. The security of justice personnel and institutions is of paramount importance, as they are key to rule of law and rule of law is the foundation for building a secure, peaceful and prosperous society.”