The Federal Government of Somalia has officially announced the closure of its main prison facility, located in the capital, Mogadishu on Sunday.
The Minister of security, Mohamed Abukar Islow said Godka Jilacow prison, which has been serving as a key interrogation center for Somalia’s intelligence agency will be turned into a training academy.
The jail has been a spotlight of criticism by rights groups and Somalis over massive rights abuse of inmates mostly suspected Al-Shabaab militants held in the high-security facility.
Godka Jilacow located in the vicinity of the country’s Presidential Palace was reported to be one of the tools of torture used by the U.S.-funded National Intelligence and Security Agency [NISA] for years.
In 2014, heavily armed Al-Shabaab fighters have attacked the prison attempting to set free other fellow Islamic extremists held there. Several Somali soldiers were killed in the bomb and gun attack.
The attack started when a suicide car bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of the prison, followed by gunmen who fought their way into the prison.
Al-Shabaab is now mostly active in the south and central regions after being ousted from the capital by Somali troops backed by African Union soldiers [AMISOM] in 2011.
The Al-Qaeda-linked terror group is still able to launch lethal attacks – often involving militants on suicide missions – within Mogadishu, the seat of the UN-backed weak Somali Federal government.