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What Does RRU Stand For And What Is The Purpose Of This Creation?


The creation of this policy unit is questionable. Is this unit created to terrorize the public or to protect the public from its enemies? I have been witnessing the brutality that has been committed by this unit since its creation. First of all, I heard there are two interpretations for what RRU stands for. The first definition, which is disclosed, is Rapid Response Unit. The second one is Resistance Reaction Unit. The Somaliland officials claimed the creation of this unit is to conduct bomb disposals, fire fighting and first aid. Another version says the creation of this policy unit is to protect only the foreign Aid works and diplomats in the country. In other words, it’s to protect the foreign dignitary and expatriates when they are functioning in Somaliland. A third reason for its creation is to be a specific police unit trained for emergency response, included terrorism acts, and control riots. I concluded the real intention of creation by this unit is not clear. We really do not know if the creation of this unit is to oppress the Somaliland civilians or to protect them. But one thing we know is since the day this police unit has been created, they have killed several innocent civilians. For example, in December 2012, the Rapid Response Unit (which is the correct form) killed three (3) teenagers and injured others in Hargeysa after youth supported Haqsoor political party demonstration was occurring. After one year, on December 22, 2013 the Rapid Response Unit fired live ammunition and killed one (1) young man. The victim was a street-vendor and was not involved in the same demonstration. Even though the government denied it, the reason behind the demonstration was because of the regional policy commander had dismissed his position. After the youth heard the dismissal of the commander, they prepared a huge demonstration.

The RRU has not only committed killings, but the government also used RRU to destroy the assets of the opposition and the media that was revealing the government’s corruptions. Suppression committed by the Rapid Response Unit is widely known. For example, they have invaded the compound of Hubaal newspaper and shut down that whole system. The RRU have definitely been terrorizing the public.

Somaliland needs to respect human rights, good governance, freedom of speech, fair and free election and rule of law. As Diaspora citizens, we are unable to sell the recognition as long as the current government tyrannizes their civilians. The killings of citizens are not acceptable. The international community does not welcome anything that harasses the human rights in Somaliland. If the Rapid Response Unit continues this kind of turmoil, the public uprising and civil unrest would be inevitable.

Rapid Response Unit is funded by Britain. In addition, the British government also provides the instructors. However, if the current government continues to use Rapid Responses Unit to oppress its own citizen, it would reach the point that citizens would submit complains to those who are funding it. Again, if this unit continues killing and oppressing its people it could possibly cause another tribal problem and create confrontation between tribes.

Osman Awad