Amnesty International urges Somali government to adopt human rights plan

Human rights defenders have called on the Somali Government to accelerate efforts in fulfilling its pledge to guarantee justice and security for the people of Somalia. 

Amnesty International on Tuesday presented the Somali government with a 10-point plan, outlining the steps it must take to improve the human rights situation in the country.

Amnesty said the Somali government stated that its priorities would include security, justice, reconciliation, and social development. 

They have called on President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to take all necessary action required to improve and prioritize human rights, to ensure accountability for violations and abuses, and to protect civilians.

“The election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in May 2022 was an opportunity for the new administration to address many of the country’s outstanding human rights challenges, and to draw support from the international community to ensure sustainable change and progress in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

“However, no concrete measures have been taken to prevent violations of human rights, to hold suspected perpetrators accountable for their actions, or to ensure access to justice and effective remedies including adequate compensation for victims. The government must prioritise the protection of civilians by ensuring that all Somali security forces receive appropriate training in human rights and humanitarian law. The government should also instruct all security forces not to target civilians and civilian objects during military operations.”

Amnesty International’s 10-point human rights agenda sets out what the Somali government must prioritize: protection of civilians in conflict, reforming the judicial system,  ensuring justice and reparation for abuses committed by foreign forces and upholding, as well as respecting freedom of expression.

The Government has also been urged to Guarantee and adequately resource access to the right to health for everyone.

Amnesty also wants protection of Internally Displaced Persons and the end of forced evictions. 

Safeguarding children, women and girls’ human rights and protect them from sexual violence and Mitigating against climate change and other crises have also been set as the agenda for new administration. 

Amnesty International has called on the Somali Government to establish and operationalize the National Human Rights Commission. 

The ongoing conflict between Somali authorities and the armed group Al- Shabaab, which also involves allied regional and international forces including AFRICOM and  ATMIS, continues to have a devastating toll on civilians.

Over the years, Amnesty International has documented indiscriminate attacks, unlawful killings of civilians, torture, rape and other violations by all parties to the conflict including Somali security forces and allied militia in military operations. 

While successive governments have committed to security reforms, no meaningful improvements have been made, and impunity for violations remains widespread.

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