Oral Intervention On Somalia

Human Rights Council: 21st Session
Item 10: ID with IE Somalia
Oral Intervention
East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP)

Delivered by Ms Zahra Mohamed Ahmad

Thank you Madam President

With the election of a new President, Somalia is at a crossroads in its history. It is essential that all stakeholders take this opportunity to commit to the full promotion and protection of human rights in the country. The test of the new government will be whether it can deliver on human rights commitments. We therefore thank the Independent Expert for his report and detailed recommendations in this regard.

Indeed, as the IE’s report demonstrates, serious human rights violations continue throughout Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland. Over the last three months, the Somali Women Development Centre has documented a horrifying increase in the incidents of rape in IDP camps, with on average 10 reports of women being raped every day. Al-Shabaab has continued to administer arbitrary justice in the areas it controls, including beheadings, beatings, and torture. TFG forces and TFG-aligned militias also committed serious abuses against civilians. The previous government largely failed to protect the basic human rights of the population in areas under its control.

We therefore encourage the new government to take up the IE’s recommendation to develop a human rights road map and we would emphasise that civil society’s input to such a plan is essential. Any human rights road map must be founded on respect for the rule of law and a commitment to justice. We agree that all killings and assassination attempts against journalists and human rights defenders must be investigated. But thorough, impartial and independent investigations must be followed by credible prosecutions of perpetrators of human rights violations from all sides in order to end impunity in the country. The Somali people are tired of conflict. We are calling for justice.

Finally, Madam President, we are deeply disappointed by the failure to meet the 30% quota for women’s representation in the national assembly. What are the IE’s recommendations to ensure women’s full participation in the rebuilding of Somalia?

Thank you Madam President.

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Malab Alneel was only 20 when Sudan’s revolution started in December 2018, but she knew it was the moment to get involved: “I grew up in a house that was very political. All of my sisters are activists, my parents are very involved. Activism has always been there. But for me it started with the revolution. It just felt like a time for change.”

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