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Forensic DNA Evidence Helps to Arrest Rapists in Somalia for the First Time in History

The Bureau of Forensic Science of Garowe, Puntland, Somalia, was officially inaugurated on Spetember 6, 2017, in Garowe, Puntland, Somalia. It is the first of its kind in Somalia. Funding for the bureau was by the Swedish government and was facilitated by the United Nations Population Fund. The bureau has three sections: forensic biology, forensic chemistry, and physical and trace evidence. According to the press release, crimes related to gender-based violence were of a priority since the inception of the bureau due to “habitual rapists” who were “let loose to prey in Puntland and other places in Somalia simply because there was no scientific proof linking these criminals to the horrific crimes they had committed”.
Forensic DNA evidence worked by matching the DNA found at the crime scene with the DNA of the suspects. If a positive match is found, the suspect is thus linked to the crime scene and hence the crime. DNA evidence can be collected from semen, blood, skin cells, saliva, and hair with attached follicular tag, amongst others. The three men found guilty were sentenced to death. 7 others, mostly youths, were acquitted.

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