Somalia unveils supersized prison in Mogadishu, largest in region

A new prison on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu is expected to become one of the largest penitentiaries in Africa, holding thousands of inmates when it is full to capacity.

The opening of the new modern facility coincided with the 49th anniversary of the founding of the country’s Custodial Corps.

A well-organised ceremony took place in the Somali capital attended by senior government officials and guests from several countries.

Authorities say the new penal institution has been designed to meet United Nations standards on prison conditions.

The prison had been under construction for three years, state-run Radio Mogadishu said, without mentioning who funded it.

The station said inmates from other prisons in Mogadishu would be transferred to the new facility, which it called the biggest in the Horn of Africa region.

According to human rights groups, conditions in most prisons in Somalia are harsh, with reports of overcrowding and extensive use of lengthy pretrial detention.