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Senior govt’ officials in Somalia implicated in serious human rights abuses-HRW

Storyline:National News, Security

Some of the people serving in senior government positions in Somalia have been implicated in serious violations of human rights stifling the cause for protection and promotion of human rights in the Horn of Africa nation, the campaign group Human Rights Watch has said.

Human Rights Watch said in its World Report on Somalia Wednesday, systemic human rights violations were witnessed in the country in 2019 and that little effort were put in place by the government to address them including the formation of the National Human Rights Commission.

“The government has yet to endorse the list of nominees for the country’s first independent National Human Rights Commission. The government appointed individuals implicated in serious human rights abuses to high-level positions,” the report read in part.   The report does  not, however, make any references regarding such appointments.

HRW also noted the expulsion of former UN head to Somalia Nicholas Haysom in January 2019 for raising concerns of human rights violations in Baidoa during the December 2018 elections which saw the killing of about 15 people. The removal of Haysom came at a time Somalia had just become a member of the UN Human Rights Council, HRW said.

Positively, Somalia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and produced its first report for the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the report notes.


Al-Shabaab attacks continued claiming more lives in 2019 with 750 deaths attributed to the militant group out of 1,154 casualties documented by UNSOM, the report notes.  Inter-clan clashes intra-security force violence, often over control of land and revenge killings, sporadic military operations, including airstrikes, against Al-Shabab by Somali government forces, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops, and other foreign forces was responsible for about 30% of the casualties.

Journalists and media workers also suffered violations including arrests, harassment, and detention within the country including in Somaliland.

The report also captures child abuses with particular reference to forced rape and killing of two girls in Galkaayo last February. The Puntland government announced last week it will execute four men next month for gang rape and murder of 12-year-old Aisha Aden last February.

Hassan Mohamud, Goobjoog News