$40,000 rewards offered in unsolved murders..

Halkaan ka akhri

This is a great victory for the Canadian Somali community in Alberta.  The Alberta Somali Community Center and the Canadian Somali Congress had lobbied the Chief of the Edmonton Police Service to offer substantial rewards as a way to solve the cases of our young men.  It is great to see that they have listened and that our hard work to push this issue has resulted in this rewards initiative. CSC

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Police Commission is offering $40,000 rewards for information leading to arrests and convictions in 11 unsolved homicides involving victims tied to the city’s central-east African communities.

The move comes in response to requests made last December by leaders of the Somali community, said Mahamad Accord, director of the Alberta Somali Community Centre.

“They are symbolic anyway, to show that at least there is something,” he said. “It shows (the police) are listening.”

The deaths date to February 2006 and are as recent as November 2009. Most of the victims had ethnic ties to Somalia. Some grew up in Edmonton, while many moved here from Toronto, some just months before their deaths.

Commission chairman Brian Gibson said he hopes the money will encourage someone to come forward and talk with police. “We’ve got these 11 homicides and we just haven’t been getting any information,” he said. The commission approved the rewards at their public hearing Thursday night.

Community meetings and even a standing committee between Police Chief Mike Boyd and senior members of the Somali community have not yielded sufficient evidence to make arrests in any of these cases. “The community themselves have concerns about what is happening.”

Gibson said $40,000 is a standard amount for a reward. Historically, few rewards offered through the commission have been claimed.

Hassan Ali, president of the Somali-Canadian Cultural Society, said the community has been working on three fronts. They have been trying to prevent youth from getting involved in crime through homework and soccer clubs, and school liaisons.

They are trying to recruit more Somali police officers to build better relations between police and community members. Finally, community leaders are working with parents in Edmonton and Toronto to encourage them to be more involved in their children’s lives.

“Hopefully we can stop these things from happening,” he said. The young men on the homicide list have already been lost, but catching those who killed them is still essential, he added. “We are pushing police to resolve this. This is one step forward.”

Rewards are offered in connection with the following deaths:

– -Feb. 12, 2006: Police were called to a shooting at 9, 10823 115th St. Omar Mohamad Abdalla was found dead at the scene.

– -May 15, 2007: Police received calls from the area of 133rd Avenue and 82nd Street of possible gunshots. They found a vehicle stopped in the alley at the rear of 13331 82nd St. One victim was in the driver’s seat. The second victim was found in the backyard of 13329 82nd St. Both Deng Bulgak and Juk Ring were killed.

– -Sept. 2, 2007: Police were called to Fulton Place Community Hall, 6115 Fulton Rd., regarding gunshots at that location. They found Farhan Hassan and Mohamed Kasim dead at the location.

– -Sept. 16, 2008: Police were called to 7055 132nd Ave. after receiving a report of an injured adult male. Nasir Said was found dead at the scene.

– -Oct. 31, 2008: A passerby found a man dead in Northmount Park, 9208 140th Ave. The victim was identified as Abas Abukar.

– -Dec. 2, 2008: Residents in the area of 109th Street and 130th Avenue heard several shots coming from the Grand Trunk Park. Adbul Mohamoud was found dead.

– -Dec. 2, 2008: Police responded to numerous reports of gunshots in the area of 148th Avenue and 90th Street. Ahmed Abdiraham was found dead on scene.

– -Nov. 12, 2009: Police were called to the Beth Israel Synagogue at 131 Wolf Willow Rd. They found Abdulaziz Isse dead.

– -Nov. 29, 2009: Police responded to reports of gunshots near 105th Street and 106th Avenue. Rohleh Mohamed was found dead at the rear of 10610 105th St.

Source: Edmonton Journal


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