Somalia: No deal without human rights
(Brussels, 16 September 2013) As leaders meet today in Brussels at the New Deal for Somalia conference, Amnesty International has urged the EU to use its discussions with Somalia to highlight continuing human rights abuses in the country.
“The EU must press the Somali authorities to hold all perpetrators of human rights abuses to account. The EU also remains accountable itself for the use of EU funding in Somalia,” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.
Amnesty International has released two new briefings in the weeks prior to the conference, following the organisation’s first mission to the country in decades. The briefings, Rape and Sexual Violence in Somalia: an ongoing epidemic and Somalia: No place for the displaced, document the insecurity and risks that displaced people face on a daily basis.
“Conditions in Somalia for those who have been displaced remain dire. Large scale human rights abuses are occurring as people are being forcibly evicted from camps. Sexual violence is widespread and the inability and unwillingness of the Somali authorities to investigate and bring the attackers to justice contributes to a climate of impunity,” added Nicolas Beger.
Rape and sexual violence are a constant threat, particularly for women and girls living in IDP settlements. The UN reports that at least 70 percent of rapes were carried out by armed men wearing government uniforms in 2012. There have also been allegations of rape against members of the peacekeeping AMISOM.
Last week the EU announced a further €124 million for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Amnesty International has also reported that thousands of IDPs are being forcibly evicted from central Mogadishu and pushed out to insecure areas on the city outskirts where basic services are lacking. Some of those who have tried to resist their evictions have been met with force, resulting in injuries and deaths, including the death of an eight-year-old boy.
Note to editors:
Ahead of the conference, a Somali activist will be interviewing the President of Somalia focusing on the issue of rape and sexual violence in Somalia, the engagement of the Somali diaspora in creating a stable Somalia and the role of the European Union. This video will be available on Monday 16 September.
Please contact Prerna Humpal to use the video: [email protected], tel: 0483 227 628.
For more information:
Media & Communications Officer
European Institutions Office
Tel: +32 (0) 2 548 1383