On the 11th of November, local radio station Dalsan News tweeted four pictures of a ceremony that was held for Mohamud Abshir, an alleged member of parliament in Puntland, and an underage girl who was identified as Farhia Abdi Farah.
The man in the pictures has been wrongly identified as being a member of parliament, according to our sources in Somalia. The individual goes by the nickname “Xildhibaan Cabeeye”, which can be translated as MP Cabeeye. The man himself falsely states that he is an MP for “the council of the district of Garowe” in a video posted on Facebook. Puntland has 66 elected members of parliament, and his name does not appear on the official list of parliamentarians that was released to the media by the Vetting and Approval Committee for Representatives of the Puntland Parliament in 2018. It is not clear why the individual made these false claims.
Child marriages in Somalia are illegal under the country’s constitution. Under Article 28(5) of the Somali Provisional Constitution of 2012, it states that “A marriage shall not be legal without the free consent of both the man and the woman, or if either party has not reached the age of maturity”.
Representatives of Puntland’s parliament are yet to comment on this case.
It is not clear what actions will be taken against the individual for committing the crime of marrying a child.