The government is taking urgent action to provide clean water and medical supplies to prisoners in Mogadishu Central Prison, His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon said on Saturday after visiting the custodial facility.
High seasonal temperatures have brought an outbreak of diarrhea and cholera, resulting in two deaths and 38 hospitalizations in the antiquated prison, which suffers from overcrowding.
“I am very disappointed to see prisoners in these deplorable conditions,” the Prime Minister said. “At present the situation is under control and we are providing immediate assistance in terms of providing sufficient quantities of clean water and medical supplies for all those who require treatment. For the longer term, we will be asking our international partners to support us as we embark on urgently needed renovation and expansion of our prison facilities.”
The Prime Minister said the growing numbers of prisoners was part of a process of normalization as the machinery of government was resuming operations after years of inactivity.
“As the security situation has improved and the judicial system has started operating again, inevitably we have been making more arrests and sending convicted criminals to prison,” he said. “Government capacity is limited so we do need more support. We are also taking action to expand the existing prison system by renovating two additional prisons in Afgoye and Lafoole.”
The Minister of Justice Abdullahi Abyan Nur, who accompanied the Prime Minister, together with the Minister of Information Abdullahi Alimoge Hersi and deputy ministers of health and defence, said the government is opening two workshops in Mogadishu Central Prison “to help ensure that when prisoners are released they have acquired some basic skills to help them to return to employment”.