Accumulated 2020 Human rights Reports in Somalia.

NATIONAL NETWORKING OF HUMAN RIGHT COALITIONS/NETWORKS/ASSOCIATIONS FOR STRENGTHENING COORDINATION & ADVOCACY IN SOMALIA

Accumulated 2020 Human rights Reports in Somalia.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents
METHODOLOGY 1
Methodology: 1
Recommendations 5
Background 8
Banadir 9
Galmudug 12
Hirshabelle 13
Jubaland 17
Puntland 24
South West 26
Somaliland 39
The Federal Government of Somalia 43
Freedom of expression and Association 43
Somalia: Already 20 journalists arrested in the first half of 2020 44
Acknowledgement 57
Incidents Confirmed Sources 58


SOMALIA MAP

METHODOLOGY
Methodology:
Methodology – Collecting and gathering Existing data and reports to build a single report to easily capture 2020 human rights occurrences across Somalia.
Scope: Whole Somalia, and all documented human rights violations
Terminology: All new words and vocabularies used in our report will be translated and written in the glossary at the end of the report.
Coalition of Somali Human Rights Defenders CSHRDS conducted research for this report in Somalia from Septmeber 21 to October 5 and from October 7 to November 28, 2020
CSHRDs member organizations that operate in different regions documented human rights violations in many regions in all over Somalia from press freedom violations e.g. idependent outlets were closed down, media equipments were confiscated, and journalists were arbitrary arrested without and with charges; alshabab continued to take extort money from communities in south and central regions of Somalia, and intensified US drones strikes in 2020 continued to target civilians and claimed innocent civilian lives.
CSHRDS closely monitored and documented Gender human based rights violations e.g. systematic rape carried out by different figures and entities were also reported.
Firstly, the Coalition of Somali Human Rights Defenders CSHRDS annual Report covers comprehensively the human rights issues and is based on the organizations’ monitoring and documentation of human rights issues in Somalia in 2020. The Report is a result of the daily human rights work by the Coalition.
Secondly, the Report mentions an unchanging situati on of crackdown on the media, people arrested due to their freedom of expression. In this year 2020, the Human Rights Coalition has recorded 60 people arrested for cases related to freedom of expression. This includes 14 people who are journalists and 46 who are not journalists in different regions in Somalia. The people arrested without due process of law and targeted for what they have said or posted on social media which includes the following. ⮚ ⮚ Journalists who are usually targeted by the government. CSHRDS documented and confirmed arrests of 14 journalists who were put in jail during their daily operation, and charged with (accused of): a) Anti national propaganda b) Publication of false news c) Defamation. The problems partly arises that the government uses outdated laws rather than the Constitution of Somalia. The Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, media and assembly. In this year two media houses were shut down in Hargeisa Public protests are not allowed in Somalia’s northern region aka Somaliland whether Opposition Political Parties or normal citizens. Any kind of public demonstration remains inconvenienced. On 10 th August 2020, 25 people who are members of Tawfiq Transportation Association in Berbera were detained by the police as the result of demonstration against the election of their new chairman of Tawfiq Transportation. Police used force against them; as a result person got injured for that operation. Somaliland police forcefully evicted family from their place of residence and injured two people another two people were arrested. The government is behind that violent activity, there was no one who sued that act along with no remedy has been done. On other hand, The cases of SGBV and GBV are not much narrated this year compare to the previous year because of the global pandemic caused by the COVID 19 also known as Corona Virus.
The ongoing conflict had a devasting impact on the civilian population and over 1,000 were killed and injured. The authorities cracked down on critics, including journalists, and opposition members stifling their rights to freedom of expression and assembly, in some cases using excessive force resulting in deaths.
Al-Shabaab also severely restricted journalists’ ability to work. Sexual violence against women and girls remained widespread. Conflict, drought and floods displaced more than 300,000 people.
Over 2.6 million displaced people remained at risk of exploitation and abuse. Impunity for human rights violations was widespread 2020 report contains human rights violations gathered from different regions in Somalia that contains human rights violation incidents from drone attacks against civilian population in Somalia and the controversial law of child marriage to systematic rape and summery and extra judicial killings.
The reports highlight some of the most updated reports about human rights violations and suggest solutions in the recommendation in this report directed at all stake holders of the human rights situation in Somalia.
The report contains information about human rights violations against journalists and independent media outlets in Somalia as well as other human rights defenders and the civil society entities.
Somalia’s parliament has sparked outrage by replacing long-awaited legislation to protect women and girls from violence with a new bill permitting child and forced marriage. In 2018, Somalia’s cabinet approved the landmark Sexual Offences bill aimed at criminalizing a wide range of forms of gender-based violence including rape, child marriage and sex trafficking.
The bill sets out clear duties for police, investigators and prosecutors and provides specific protections for vulnerable groups such as children, people with disabilities and internally displaced people.
It had been pending before the lower house of parliament for over two years until Saturday, when a new bill, the Sexual Intercourse bill, which allows for girls who reach puberty to be married, was introduced before legislators. CSHRDS member organizations made a lot of efforts to positively influence the projectile of events for the best interest of women/girls and children. To help Somalia adopt new laws that better protect women and girls through the rule of law.
CSHRDS helped protect HRDs who were at risk because of their legitimate human rights work by relocating them with the help and direct support of the Urgent Action African Fund through Horn Afrik News Agency for Human Rights HANAHR and Inskoy human rights organisation.


Recommendations
To the Government of Somalia
To the President, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Parliament, the FGS member States and the international partners of Somalia
To Federal government of Somalia
The federal government

  • Need to comply with the existing local and international laws in dealing with the media and journalists
  • Need to respect freedom of expression and allow journalists to do their work without fear
  • Need to amend the new draconian media bill that sparked the outcry of Local and international press freedom watchdogs
  • Need to end impunity to human rights violations committed against journalists and ordinary citizens
  • Need to strengthen the rule of law and end all forms of corruption
    To the President
    The president
  • Need to consult with legal experts of national and international human rights law to better understand the importance of press freedom and critics for the democratic process

To the Cabinet of Ministers
The cabinet of Ministers

  • Need to put all their efforts to better serve the country build good democratic institutions
    To the Parliament
    The parliament
  • Need to hire national and international law experts to draft laws that respect human rights of all citizens equally and comply with the universal declaration of human rights
  • Need to work on ending impunity to human rights violations in Somalia
    To the FGS member States
    The federal FGD member states
  • Need to respect of human rights of all Citizens and indigenous people living or inhabit in their regions and stop conducting enforced mass displacements, and demographic changes for political and specific clan interests over the account of other clans
    To the international partners of Somalia
    The international partners of Somalia
  • Need to support Somalia with security reforms to better combat alshabab
  • Need to allow better training and equipment for Somali national army to better combat alshabab
  • Need to train judicial body of Somalia to offer better justice service to Citizens
  • Need to avoid supporting warlords in Somalia and allowing them to be politically active and participate in the political process
  • Need to support Somalia with transitional justice to create a sustainable peace
  • Need to offer robust support to CSOs in order to build better infrastructure for democracy and human rights promotion

Background
The word ‘’Somalia’’ is believed to be derived from ‘’Soo, Maal”, if so, it is well-named. The country has the largest livestock in the region like camels, cows, and goats. Post – Conflict Somalia still faces many challenges from alshabab’s insurgency and corruption to state building and development.
Political tensions intensified throughout 2019 and 2020. The Somali federal and regional authorities, along with their international partners, focused on fighting Al-Shabaab and on managing elections and so far accomplished the South West regional presidential elections in late 2018, Puntland parliamentary and presidential elections in early 2019 and Jubaland parliamentary and presidential elections in August 2019. The elections were marred by political infighting and allegations of rigging, and authorities muzzled freedom of expression and assembly, in some instances using excessive force which resulted in civilian casualties.
In such complicated context of Somalia serious human rights violations are taking place with impunity and lack of strong judicial entities that can hold all perpetrators accountable, and from this point we see the importance of such annual human rights report that highlights human rights violations and suggest solutions accordingly.

Banadir
Press freedom
On July 29, the Benadir regional court sentenced Abdiaziz Ahmed Gurbiye, the chief editor of Goobjoog Media Group, to six months’ imprisonment and a fine on baseless charges of having insulted a government body and for publishing “fake news” related to the government’s Covid-19 response. His prison sentence was commuted
Al-Shabab remains capable of carrying out massive attacks in Somalia and surrounding countries despite the fact that alshabab was largely defeated in big cities in Somalia and reduced to operate as guerrillas… A military spokesman for al-Shabab issues a statement south of Mogadishu. … Last updated January 10, 2020 … groups; piracy; kidnapping; and extortion of local businesses, farmers, and aid groups, among others.
In 2020 Alshabab carried a number of car bomb attacks claiming many civilian lives in Benadir region. Attacks by al-Shabaab and Islamic State (ISIS) in Somalia
“Al-Shabaab maintained the capability to use vehicle-borne and person-borne
improvised explosive devices to carry out high-profile attacks. On 13 July, the Chief of Defence Forces of Somalia, Brigadier General Odawa Yusuf Rage, survived a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack on his convoy in Hodan district. At least six people –three Somali National Army soldiers escorting the convoy and three civilian bystanders –were killed, and 10 others were injured. On 4 July, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated at a security post manned by the Somali Police Force in Xamar Jajab district, resulting in five police officers and an unconfirmed number of civilian bystanders being injured. On 23 June, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest near a Turkish military training facility, killing two Somalis. On 17 May and 27 June, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices targeted government officials in Mogadishu but there were no casualties.” (UN Security Council, 13 August 2020, p. 4)
“An increase in Al-Shabaab activity was also recorded in the northern regions. In Mudug, on 17 May, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device targeted the convoy of the Governor of Mudug in Gaalkacyo, killing the Governor and four of his bodyguards
“Three attacks against government security forces were attributed to pro-Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) elements: two in Mogadishu and one in Boosaaso, Bari Region. This represents a decrease compared with the previous period, when six incidents were recorded. A total of seven air strikes in May, two in June and three in July were recorded in the Gedo, Juba Dhexe, Lower Juba, Shabelle Hoose and Bari Regions, targeting Al-Shabaab and ISIL. In the first seven months of 2020, there were a total of 45 air strikes, compared with 47 in all of 2018 and 63 in all of 2019.” (UN Security Council, 13 August 2020, p. 4)
On 5th jully 2020 A powerful roadside bomb has ripped through a passenger bus in the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu causing unknown casualties, police and witnesses said.
According to an eyewitness the blast which has resulted from a remote controlled landmine struck a minibus ferrying passengers near “Hawa Abdi” village lower Shabelle region, some 18 km south of Mogadishu.

the bus which was heading to Mogadishu ran over the landmine causing deaths and injuries.
There was no immediate confirmation of the casualties as the area is sealed off by the police and ambulances are on the scene to transport the victims to the hospitals.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, for more information of this incident

Galmudug
In Galmudug state in centre, parliament 2 Feb elected federal govt-backed candidate Ahmed Abdi Qoor Qoor as state president; federal govt forces 27-28 Feb clashed in state capital Dhusamareb with local Sufi paramilitary group Ahlu Sunnah Waa-Jama’a (ASWJ) which opposed federal govt-controlled electoral process, at least 22 reportedly killed; ASWJ leadership 29 Feb surrendered to federal govt and announced their exit from Galmudug politics.” (ICG, March 2020)
Conflicts between clans
“In Galguduud region in centre, inter-clan fighting 24-27 June reportedly left around a dozen dead.” ICG, July 2020)
“In north and centre, clan militias 3-19 May clashed over land disputes reportedly leaving at least ten dead in Mudug and Galguduud regions. Fighting 23 May reportedly broke out between clan militia and army leaving at least eight dead in Mudug region.” (ICG, June 2020)
“Inter-clan violence erupted in south and centre leaving more than 100 dead;
Al-Shabaab attacks continued against security forces and civilians in rural areas and capital Mogadishu, and against officials in Puntland state in north; and amid ongoing tensions with federal govt, president of federal member state Jubaland consolidated his position.“ (ICG, May 2020)
„Inter-clan violence late March-early April killed more than 100 in Lower Shabelle, Lower Juba, Bay (all south) and Galguduud (centre) regions. Notably, rival clans 2 April reportedly clashed over land dispute in Kismayo area, Lower Juba, leaving at least twenty dead; days later, clan in town of Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle, reportedly launched revenge attack against rival clan, leaving over twenty dead.“ (ICG, May 2020).

Hirshabelle
AMISOM admits 3 civilians killed in southern Somalia
MOGADISHU, June 9 — Three civilians were killed and two others injured during the crossfire between the African Union peacekeeping forces and al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia on Monday, the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) admitted on Tuesday.
Francisco Madeira, the head of AMISOM, said the incident in which three women were killed in the crossfire while two were injured occurred when al-Shabaab terrorists laid an ambush on the main supply route in an area northeast of Janaale in the Lower Shabelle region.
“Our AMISOM forces on a tip-off engaged the terrorists and, unfortunately, some civilians were caught in the line of fire, resulting in casualties,” Madeira said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Tuesday evening.
He said the terrorists planned to attack and disrupt the movement of people and goods in the area.
The AU mission head said the injured are currently receiving medical attention at the AMISOM hospital.
He also sent the AU mission’s apologies and heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and wished the injured a speedy recovery. Enditem
Mogadishu, 30th May, 2020 – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) condemns the abduction and deliberate killing of seven health workers and a civilian at a local health centre in Gololey village in the Balcad District of HirShabelle State on May 28, 2020.
AMISOM made the immediate media release below:
For immediate release
AMISOM PR/14/2020
Mogadishu, 30th May, 2020 – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) condemns the abduction and deliberate killing of seven health workers and a civilian at a local health centre in Gololey village in the Balcad District of HirShabelle State on May 28, 2020.
According to local reports, at about 13:00hrs on May 27, 2020, armed men in military uniform abducted seven health workers and a civilian from Gololey Health Facility. Eight bullet-ridden bodies were subsequently thrown on the main road in the area the following day.
As Somalia continues to face the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic, health workers continue to provide much needed quality health care. They are putting their lives on the line to save others in very difficult circumstances.
“I am shocked by the senseless killings of civilians. Deliberate attacks against health professionals and facilities are a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law and constitute a war crime in non-international armed conflicts,” said the Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Madeira.
The African Union Mission in Somalia presents its sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the people and government of Somalia, for the loss of these dedicated citizens.
For more information contact;
Snr. Communications Officer or Force Spokesperson
Ms. Gifty Bingley or Lt. Colonel Charles Okongo Imbiakha
Email: au-amisomhom@africa-union.org,
Cell phone: (Somalia) +252 617 682 175; (Nairobi) +254 722 672 488

On 5 July, in Shabelle Dhexe, the group abducted and killed a Member of Parliament from Hirshabelle.23.While security operations have been ongoing in Shabelle Hoose since the resumption of Operation Badbaado in March, Al-Shabaab continued to target recovered areas with attacks on the Somali National Army and AMISOM forces.
Pressure on Al-Shabaab in Shabelle Hoose appears to have forced the group to adapt and increase its presence in the Bay and Shabelle Dhexe Regions. In Bay, Al-Shabaab intensified an improvised explosive device campaign targeting AMISOM convoys on the main supply routes. Two Al-Shabaab attacks on 23 and 24 May targeted civilians during Eid celebrations in Baidoa and Diinsoor, reportedly resulting in seven people being killed and over 40 injured. A World Health Organization contractor was injured in a hand grenade attack at a restaurant on 10 July in Kismaayo.” (UN Security Council, 13 August 2020, p. 4)
“Somalia Al-Shabaab kept up insurgency; federal govt and member states agreed to hold elections as previously scheduled; and parliament ousted PM Khayre. In south, Al-Shabaab 4 July detonated bomb killing at least five civilians and security personnel in Bay region; next day kidnapped and killed regional lawmaker in Middle Shabelle region; 6-13 July launched attacks on security forces reportedly leaving at least seventeen dead in Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba regions.” (ICG, August 2020)
“In capital Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab 8 July detonated bomb killing two police officers; 13 July launched unsuccessful suicide attack on army chief, General Odowa Rage; 18 July detonated bomb failing to kill deputy security minister; 27 July shot policeman dead.” (ICG, August 2020)
“In centre and south, Al-Shabaab attacks against security forces throughout month killed at least 14 soldiers and three civilians in Hiraan, Lower Juba, Bay, Gedo, Middle Shabelle, and Lower Shabelle regions. In Lower Shabelle region, fighting between Al-Shabaab and local self-defence militia 18 June left at least seven dead, and unclaimed bombing 20 June killed at least four soldiers and civilians. In capital Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab militants 7-27 June shot and killed four police officers and one local official. Unclaimed roadside bombing 18 June killed at least three civilians. Al-Shabaab suicide bombing at Turkish military base 23 June left two civilians dead.” (ICG, July 2020)
“In south, Al-Shabaab militants 3-7 May killed at least two civilians in Lower and Middle Shabelle regions. In Lower Shabelle, Middle Juba and Bay regions, string of Al-Shabaab and unclaimed bombings 24-31 May killed at least fourteen soldiers and fourteen civilians;

“Security forces 6-26 June reportedly killed at least 67 Al-Shabaab insurgents in counter-insurgency operations in Bakool, Lower Juba, and Middle Juba and Hiraan regions. In Puntland in north, security forces 6 June shot and killed Al-Shabaab militant in Mudug region.” (ICG, July 2020)
“Counter-insurgency operations 10-31 May left at least 70 Al-Shabaab dead in Middle Juba, Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle, Bay, Hiraan and Gedo regions. according to local elders, soldiers 27 May abducted and killed seven aid workers and one civilian suspected of sympathising with insurgents in Middle Shabelle region, army denied involvement.” (ICG, June 2020).

Jubaland
Jubaland aka north-korea in side Somalia due to its dire situation for the media practitioners and other human rights defenders. There are no independent journalists and independent media outlets operating in Jubaland, Somalia. Authorities in the region don’t allow the presence of independent journalists due to their fear of fair and unbiased reporting about the human rights violations unfolding in Jubaland e.g. summery and extra judicial killings, enforced evictions and displacements of the indigenous communities there.
There are radio and TV outlets run by Ahmed Madobe’s supporters who broadcast propaganda and biased reports.
Kenyan defense force aka KDF sustained by local militias commit targeted killings as well as summery and extra judicial killings with full impunity.
Both run the seas port and the airport where they export charcoal to the UAE and in collaboration with Alshabab as various UN reports confirmed that account.
For over a decade, communities in Jubaland, Somalia and in Kenya’s northeastern region have painfully endured – and continue to experience – a collective punishment meted out by the Kenyan Defence Forces. Across the border in Somalia, a similar approach to residents in Somalia’s Gedo region –with indiscriminate death raining from the sky.
Between 2013 and 2020, Somalia’s Gedo region witnessed at least 84 deadly and unsanctioned airstrikes by Kenyan Defence Forces, mostly targeting markets, hospitals, private property, and nomadic settlements and taking with them the lives and futures of hundreds of civilian victims and decimating uncountable livestock. In short, Gedo residents have unabatedly suffered an airstrike, every month, for the past seven years. Seven years of unchallenged impunity.
Mildly comparable to what’s happening in Yemen and Syria, it’s perhaps the only region in Somalia that has seen incessant and illegal bombardment campaign orchestrated by a neighbouring state. In a typical setting, such acts would pound the drums of war or at least generate a national outcry. Except, we no longer operate from the parameters of ‘typical’. Whilst men, women and children in Somalia’s Gedo, Syria’s Idlib and Yemen are racking in fear of impending and indiscriminate airstrikes, their outcries and suffering are largely ignored or overshadowed by inconsequential events.
Eighty-four (84) airstrikes! And not a single outcry from the 12 parliamentary and senatorial members that seemingly ‘represent’ the region.
Eighty-four (84) airstrikes! And the national attention is consumed by the routine deployment of Somalia’s police forces to man Somalia’s porous border points with Kenya.
Eighty-four (84) airstrikes! With the latest one conducted two nights ago in Raaso-Ugaas, near Ceel-Waaq. As the seven missiles raced with indiscriminate precision towards the village, Raaso-Ugaas will never be the same again. Federal govt forces deployed to Jubaland state’s Gedo region where fighting could intensify. Tensions rose in Gedo following late Jan escape from capital Mogadishu prison of former Jubaland security minister Abdirashid Janan: Janan reportedly arrived in Gedo in early Feb via Kenyan capital Nairobi, and federal govt deployed some 700 troops to region; federal govt forces 4 Feb launched offensive and captured Dolow and Bula Hawa towns near Kenyan border prompting Janan to flee across border in Kenya to Mandera town; federal govt 5 Feb accused Kenya of interference for allegedly aiding Janan. Federal govt forces 8 Feb clashed with Jubaland forces in Bula Hawa, leaving at least two dead. Also in Jubaland, fighting 12 Feb broke out in capital Kismayo between state forces and supporters of state President Madobe’s political rival, death toll unclear.
“Inter-clan fighting erupted in Lower Juba region in south in early Feb leaving at
least twenty dead. sooh and centre, security operations and Al-Shabaab attacks 2-27 Feb left at least 34 soldiers and 61 militants dead in Feb. U.S. airstrikes 2-28 Feb reportedly killed ten Al-Shabaab militants, including Al-Shabaab commander involved in early Jan attack in Kenya’s Lamu county.” (ICG, March 2020).
US Drones in Somalia 2020
The timeline below contains information on all US drone strikes and covert operations in Somalia recorded by the Bureau in 2020. The Bureau derives its data from open sources – predominantly media reports and, latterly, the US headquarters responsible for the war in Somalia, Africa Command or Africom.
Please note that our data changes according to our current understanding of particular strikes. The information below represents our present best estimate. The Bureau ceased recording strikes in February 2020.
The Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has carrying out air strikes and ground raids in Somalia for ten years, though it has been conducting clandestine operations against al Qaeda in East Africa, and its local ally al Shabaab, since the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
JSOC are routinely deployed on the ground for surveillance, reconnaissance, and assault and capture operations. Air attacks began in 2007 with helicopters and AC-130 gunships – vast ground attack aircraft that bristle with weapons. In June 2011, the US began carrying out drone strikes in Somalia.
The US has been chasing leaders of al Shabaab, a local Somali insurgent groups, who had ties to al Qaeda. This therefore made them targets under the 2001 Authorisation for the Use of Military Force Act, a hastily drafted law giving the US president the right to target and kill al Qaeda and its associates wherever he might find them.
Al Shabaab as a whole has not been specifically targeted, the US says, despite, al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri announcing on February 9 2012 that al Shabaab had formally become a franchise of al Qaeda. In 2014 the frequency of US attacks in Somalia increased as the US started giving African peace keepers air support, targeting al Shabaab fighters who threatened the African troops and their US advisors.
The Bureau publishes a narrative timeline of US strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen each year. The 2019 timeline for Somalia can be found here, and all other timelines can be found here.
We also publish spreadsheets detailing casualty numbers in each country. You can download the entire Somalia sheet here.
US air and drone strikes Additional US attacks
Total strikes 12
Total people killed 14-15
Civilians reported killed 0-2
Children reported killed 0
People reported injured 2-4
Strikes
SOM189 link
19 FEBRUARY 2020
3 reported killed
The US military carried out an airstrike in the vicinity of Wadajir that killed three al Shabaab fighters, a press release from US Africa Command read.
Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the strike.
Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Vicinity of Wadajir, Somalia
References: US Africa Command
SOM188 link
17 FEBRUARY 2020
No casualties reported
The US military carried out an airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib that destroyed an al Shabaab facility, a press release from US Africa Command read.
Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the strike.
Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Vicinity of Jilib, Somalia
References: US Africa Command
SOM187 link
6 FEBRUARY 2020
2 reported injured
The US military carried out two airstrikes against an al Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Jilib that wounded two al Shabaab fighters, according to a press release from US Africa Command.
The facility was also “severely degraded”, the release added.
Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the strike.
Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Vicinity of Jilib, Somalia
References: US Africa Command
SOM186 link
4 FEBRUARY 2020
1 reported killed
The US military carried out an airstrike in the vicinity of Beer Xaani that killed one al Shabaab fighter, according to a press release from US Africa Command.
Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the strike.
Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Vicinity of Beer Xaani, Somalia
References: US Africa Command
2 FEBRUARY 2020
1-2 reported killed, including 0-1 civilians
0-2 civilians reported injured
The US military carried out an airstrike in Somalia that killed one al Shabaab fighter, according to a press release from US Africa Command.
The strike took place in the vicinity of Jilib and Africa Command say they currently assess that it did not cause any civilian casualties.
Morad News reported civilian casualities resulting from the US drone strikes in Somalia.
„U.S. airstrikes in several regions 2-10 April killed 32 Al-Shabaab insurgents including senior leader Yusuf Jiis. Ethiopian army 13 April said it had killed at least seventeen Al-Shabaab militants in airstrikes in Jubaland state’s Gedo region. Also in Gedo, fighting 22 April broke out between federal govt forces and Jubaland forces near Bula Hawa town, number of casualties unknown.” (ICG, May 2020)
“[…] security forces 5 March killed eight Al-Shabaab militants in Hiraan; 16 March took back Janaale town in Lower Shabelle from Al-Shabaab militants, number of casualties unknown; 21-29 March killed at least 37 militants in Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle.” (ICG, April 2020)
“In Jubaland state’s Gedo region in south, standoff between federal govt troops and Jubaland forces continued and fighting erupted again 2 March in Bula Hawa town near Kenyan border reportedly leaving at least eleven civilians and combatants dead.” (ICG, April 2020)


Puntland
It is the second high-profile attack claimed by Al-Shabaab in northern Somalia in 2020, after the killing of the Governor of Nugaal in Garoowe on 29 March. On 21 June, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device exploded at a checkpoint near a police station in Hobyo district, killing two soldiers.
In Puntland in north, ISIS militants 9 May attacked security forces in city of Bosaso, leaving soldier and at least two militants dead; in following days, security forces shot and killed ISIS militant and arrested four others in Bosaso. Al-Shabaab 14 May launched attack on military base near Bosaso leaving soldier and three assailants dead; 17 May detonated suicide bomb in Mudug region’s capital Galkayo killing at least four including Mudug governor. In capital Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab continued to target security personnel reportedly killing at least five throughout month.” (ICG, June 2020)
„In south, Al-Shabaab militants launched several attacks on civilians and security forces, including Ethiopian contingent of African Union mission (AMISOM), in Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Lower Juba, and Bay regions; violence left at least eleven soldiers and eleven civilians dead throughout month. In Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab militants killed at least three soldiers and six civilians in several attacks, including 26 April mortar attack at UN compound which struck nearby house killing four civilians. In Puntland in north, Al-Shabaab militants 5-10 April killed two local officials in Mudug region’s capital Galkayo.“ (ICG, May 2020)
“In south and centre, Al-Shabaab attacks in March left at least 22 security force members dead in Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabbele, Lower Juba, Hiraan, Bay and Gedo regions, while Al-Shabaab roadside bombing 25 March left five civilians dead in Lower Juba, and in Middle Juba, Al-Shabaab 31 March executed six civilians accused of spying. In capital Mogadishu, militants 1 and 18 March launched mortars at UN compound; Al-Shabaab suicide bombing 25 March left at least four dead.” (ICG, April 2020)
“In Puntland state in north, Al-Shabaab militants 17-29 March reportedly killed three local officials.” (ICG, April 2020)
“Al-Shabaab continued to attack security forces and civilians, tensions mounted in Galmudug as rival camps appointed parallel parliaments, and in coming weeks militia fighting could erupt in Jubaland state in south. In capital Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab killed at least six people 8-11 Jan. In Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions in south, clashes between Al-Shabaab and security forces and Al-Shabaab attacks 7-25 Jan left at least sixteen soldiers and civilians dead, and some 80 militants.” (ICG, February 2020)
“Counter-insurgency operations 6-19 July reportedly killed at least 29 Al-Shabaab militants in Lower Shabelle, Lower Juba and Bay regions. U.S. airstrikes 9 and 29 July reportedly killed two Al-Shabaab insurgents in Lower Shabelle and Middle Juba region; reports of civilian casualties also emerged. In Puntland in north, security operation with U.S. air support 21 July reportedly left 27 Islamic State (ISIS)-Somalia militants dead in Bari region.” (ICG, August 2020)

South West

Human Rights Situation
Reports of Human Rights Violations in the region filed by the CSHRDS member organization operating in south west state region.
24/10/2020 – Wanlaweyn district in lower shabelle region two women of 26 and 32 years old including a young girl aged 16 years old have been tortured and raped by four unknown men with closed faces without uniform it was midnight around 2:10 Pm the perpetrator jumped their house while they were sleeping and they start to work up force and ordered if they shout will kill both of them in the spot the victims they are alone while the accident happening in their home the perpetrators took whatever they had in the house after they rape they left the victims was seriously injured one of them because she was young virgin and the other two was married already no one helped them it was midnight .
22/10/2020 – Urunbusle outskirt of Xudur district around early to this morning a member of AS killed a young child aged 16 years old after bullet through member of AS to the father of the young child the reason behind this killing was after member of AS and the father of killed child misunderstanding/argued for some money needed to pay to support them in by force this accident has led by a high tension to the village.
We, as the South West Human Right Defenders Network (SWHRDN), condemn with the strongest terms the horrendous murder of Hamdi Mohamed Farah, a young educated woman from Mogadishu, Somalia.
Last week, Hamdi was raped by multiple assailants who then murdered her by throwing her off the 6th floor of a building. Hamdi is the most recent in a long list of women and girls of all age groups who have been subjected to SGBV in Somalia, but we cannot let ourselves become used to this. We must remind ourselves and the community that the violent and torturous death Hamdi suffered is a tragedy, and that this tragedy is the result of misogyny.
We assert that rape and all other forms of sexual and gender-based violence are not exclusively a woman’s issue, but a political one that should concern all citizens. We strongly demand that justice is done in this and all other cases of sexual or gender-based violence.
We note with grave concern the widespread occurrence of sexual violence against women in complete violation of their fundamental rights to personal security as recognized in Somali law and international human rights and humanitarian law.
We strongly urge the Somali government to improve accountability mechanisms through significant justice system reform, beginning with passing the Sexual Offences Bill and ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Maputo Protocol).
We further call upon the Somali government as well as the African Union and the international community to Support the inclusion of gender equality and non-violence components in Somali school curricula and community-based educational programs
Invest in women’s equal participation in all structures and institutions of society.
South West state human right activist please join in together with Somali volunteers in standing up for a victim of injustice in lower Shabelle region of SWSS.
We somali community volunteers call for the immediate realise of a head master of a school arrested illigaly in lower shabelle for the mere involment of reconciliation attempt within the community but ended up in jail for 8 months to the this day. The victim is a humble and law abiding citizen who has caused no harm to any person but rather was a peaceful and good fearing person. He is the sole provider of an extended family and his dependents in tears appeal to all with humanlt heart to call for justice for the headmaster. The family put the blame for comming from the poweless and voiceless maginalised community that more often than not surfer injustice for their tribe is an armed and poweless both in government and on tribal line and as such pleaded that this happening to them because of Been Jarer – in their own words.
If at all there is a government in Somalia and the rIle of law is ablicable we call for immediate and unconditional realise of the victim.
Reports from Bay region say that an attack started by Al-Shabaab fighters on a government base in Goof Gaduud Buureey area, about 30km from Baidoa town in Bay region.
Sources say a heavy fighting broke out there resulting in casualties. Al-Shabaab said in a statement that it had taken control of a military base in the Goof Gaduud Buureey area, after launching a suicide bombing.
This is the second attack by Al Shabaab in 24 hours using an improvised explosive device (IED) vehicle and fighters. It was yesterday when Al-Shabaab fighters attacked the Elite Hotel near liido Beach in Mogadishu.
Reports from Baidoa Bay region indicate that a recent explosion occurred in town The explosion is a land-based mine, the blast have taken place at a restaurant in the district near an army checkpoint in Baidoa town known as HAREERI KAADIYOW. Sources indicate that at least 5 people were killed and 9 casualties were injured.
Security forces and civilians have also arrived to help those affected by the blast. There has been no word from the South West security department about the casualties. In the past few years, there have been several security incidents in Baidoa including a series of bombings and assassinations of the late leader of Disability Group and ChairMan of ALLE Magan, Mr. Sharif Jiis. R.IP

Heavy fighting between Somali troops and Al-Shabab militants reported at Abaal and Abaarey villages Bakool region, on this morning.
The battle erupted after Alshabab fighters mounted an attack on a military base manned by Somali forces in Abal village, about 20 km East of Xudur town.
The attack was followed by heavy fighting between the two warring sides reportedly resulting in casualties of 7 dead and 13 injuries. According to a local resident, Al-Shabab militants attacked the military base leading to a gunfight. There are casualties from al Shabaab and government forces including the Civilians of those villages.
Tension in the area is reportedly high, neither the government nor Alshabab commented on the fight.
A powerful roadside bomb has ripped through a passenger bus in the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu causing unknown casualties, police and witnesses said.
According to an eyewitness the blast which has resulted from a remote controlled landmine struck a minibus ferrying passengers near “Hawa Abdi” village lower Shabelle region, some 18 km south of Mogadishu.
The bus which was heading to Mogadishu ran over the landmine causing deaths and injuries.
There was no immediate confirmation of the casualties as the area is sealed off by the police and ambulances are on the scene to transport the victims to the hospitals.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, for more information of this incident we will update you.
As we SOUTH WEST HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER NETWORK ( SWHRD ) We extend our deepest condolences and indignation for this brutal attack against heath care and to humanity.
We are appalled to hear that eight Somali health personnel and a civilian were abducted from a NGO call ZAMZAM FOUNDATION, run health clinic center in Gololey village, Balcad District, Middle Shabelle on 27 May 2020 ,All eight were subsequently killed.
These fine individuals served their communities everyday saving lives and relieving suffering. They were now on the front-lines against Coronavirus, risking their health and lives still to help people. It is unacceptable, and a breach of international humanitarian law and any common decency to target health care workers with violence.
Our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of the victims.
Baidoa NISA officers arrested this afternoon Mr.Muktar Mohamed (better known as Catoosh) on his way to home, according to his Colleagues told as Mr. Mukhtar was arrested over a critical editorial article questioning the ethical behaviour of the security forces between Afgooye and Bur Hakapa Districts also criticized the use of disproportionate powers of the army during operations on the road that links Mugdisho to Baidoa which was broadcast on VOA and also published on its social media platforms on today 20 April 2020.
South west Human Rights Defenders Network (SWHRDN) is concerned about the arrest of journalist Mukhtar Mohamed Catoosh and calls for his unconditional freedom. And we condemn this arrest of VOA Reporter, in the strongest terms possible and call for his immediat release”.
The victim was reported to have shot and killed by armed men, who fled the scene.
Reports indicate that Sharif Mukhtar Jiis was killed at his home in a displacement camp in Baidoa.
It is not yet known the exact motive behind the killing of the deceased, who is also one of the special needs.
Also, South west security forces arrived at the scene and conducted a brief search.
South west officials who spoke out about the killing expressed condolences and said further investigations are underway.
Mr. Mukhtar he was a board member of SOSWENSA However he was a well known in Baidoa, Mr. Mukhtar in December 2018, he was wounded by armed groups, despite recovering from injury.
On behalf of SOUTH WEST HUMAN RIGHT DEFENDERS NETWORK (SWHRDN) May Allah give the family the strength and patience during this trying time. Surely we have lost a father figure.
Today around 2:40 Pm Baidoa Hanano 2 side there was a heavy Explosion at a puplic gathering of Festival of the Eid , five people’s have been dead and 20 injured in this tragedy and the casualties may be increased. This site of the blast is very close to Baidoa Relocation IDP camps. It is unclear whether the explosion was a landmine or hand Blast, for more of this situation will keep you informed.
The heavy rain of yesterday morning 22nd April 2020 in Baidoa caused flooding in the town and more seriously in the IDP sites.
Out of the 483 IDP sites hosting 55,005 households, 73 IDP sites (15%) with population of 13,582 IDP households’ approx. 81,492 individuals affected by flooding directly. Some 45 per cent of latrines were either damaged or filled with flood water.
As far as floods are concerned, we need to mitigate the effects of floods. Partners are redirecting their attention and resources to combat COVID 19 pandemic, Let us not forget to respond to the ongoing humanitarian crises in the IDP sites.
Attached is assessment report done by CCCM partners in all Baidoa IDP sites and list of affected sites is also attached.
This are some of the urgently recommended needs:
NFI kitsProvision of other shelter packages apart from non-food items, e.g. construction of transitional or semi-permanent sheltersBack filling to the low land living sitesMosquito netsSanitary tools like wheelbarrows, spades, rakes and forks. Livelihood support
The provision of rapid emergency response activities is necessary to reduce the suffering of these vulnerable IDPS including most recently newly arrived IDPs. If any partner wants to respond please contact with the CCCM cluster for proper coordination at site level.
Reports from Tiyeeglow district in Bakool region say that a young man was reportedly killed while he was walking in the town.
The deceased was identified as Yusuf Mohammed Osman aged 34 Years, and the men escaped immediately after the incident and yet to know what is on behind,
Almost thousands of people affected by floods in Abeesale and ,Banbar, also urunbusle villages in Xudur district were displaced due to the flooding which also caused a deaths of two Children’s and one old man in the Banbar Village,
The villages are on emergency situation from flash flooding caused by heavy rain fall in the Villages. That many people displaced from their houses due to collapse of homes and latrines.
Heavy flooding since last week has submerged entire communities and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes, The Regional headquarter Mr. Toll says.
It added that an estimated 30,000 people were affected, including internally displaced people, refugees and the host commnities in the villages already hit by years embergo from shabab were effected this tragedy of heavy Floods,
On early of today 24/10/2020 Wanlaweyn district in lower shabelle region two women of 26 and 32 years old including a young girl aged 16 years old have been tortured and raped by four unknown men with closed faces without uniform it was midnight around 2:10 Pm the perpetrator jumped their house while they were sleeping and they start to work up force and ordered if they shout will kill both of them in the spot the victims they are alone while the accident happening in their home the perpetrators took whatever they had in the house after they rape they left the victims was seriously injured one of them because she was young virgin and the other two was married already no one helped them it was midnight . On 24th August 2020 South West state human right activist please join in together with Somali volunteers in standing up for a victim of injustice in lower Shabelle region of SWSS.
We somali community volunteers call for the immediate realise of a head master of a school arrested illigaly in lower shabelle for the mere involment of reconciliation attempt within the community but ended up in jail for 8 months to the this day. The victim is a humble and law abiding citizen who has caused no harm to any person but rather was a peaceful and good fearing person. He is the sole provider of an extended family and his dependents in tears appeal to all with humanlt heart to call for justice for the headmaster. The family put the blame for comming from the poweless and voiceless maginalised community that more often than not surfer injustice for their tribe is an armed and poweless both in government and on tribal line and as such pleaded that this happening to them because of Been Jarer – in their own words.
If at all there is a government in Somalia and the rIle of law is ablicable we call for immediate and unconditional realise of the victim.
On 23 August Reports from Bay region say that an attack started by Al-Shabaab fighters on a government base in Goof Gaduud Buureey area, about 30km from Baidoa town in Bay region
Sources say heavy fighting broke out there resulting in casualties. Al-Shabaab said in a statement that it had taken control of a military base in the Goof Gaduud Buureey area, after launching a suicide bombing.
This is the second attack by Al Shabaab in 24 hours using an improvised explosive device (IED) vehicle and fighters.
On 20 Jully 2020 eports from Baidoa Bay region indicate that a recent explosion occurred in town The explosion is a land-based mine, the blast have taken place at a restaurant in the district near an army checkpoint in Baidoa town known as HAREERI KAADIYOW. Sources indicate that at least 5 people were killed and 9 casualties were injured .
Security forces and civilians have also arrived to help those affected by the blast. There has been no word from the South West security department about the casualties. In the past few years, there have been several security incidents in Baidoa including a series of bombings and assassinations of the late leader of Disability Group and ChairMan of ALLE Magan, Mr. Sharif Jiis. R.IP.
Heavy fighting between Somali troops and Al-Shabab militants reported at Abaal and Abaarey villages Bakool region, on 16 jully 2020 .
The battle erupted after Alshabab fighters mounted an attack on a military base manned by Somali forces in Abal village, about 20 km East of Xudur town.
The attack was followed by heavy fighting between the two warring sides reportedly resulting in casualties of 7 dead and 13 injuries. According to a local resident, Al-Shabab militants attacked the military base leading to a gunfight. There are casualties from al Shabaab and government forces including the Civilians of those villages.
Tension in the area is reportedly high, neither the government nor Alshabab commented on the fight.
As SOUTH WEST HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER NETWORK ( SWHRD ) We extend our deepest condolences and indignation for this brutal attack against heath care and to humanity.
We are appalled to hear that eight Somali health personnel and a civilian were abducted from a NGO call ZAMZAM FOUNDATION,run health clinic center in Gololey village, Balcad District, Middle Shabelle on 27 May 2020 ,All eight were subsequently killed.
These fine individuals served their communities everyday saving lives and relieving suffering. They were now on the front-lines against Coronavirus, risking their health and lives still to help people. It is unacceptable, and a breach of international humanitarian law and any common decency to target health care workers with violence.
Our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of the victims.
Baidoa NISA officers arrested this afternoon Mr.Muktar Mohamed (better known as Catoosh) on his way to home, according to his Colleagues told as Mr. Mukhtar was arrested over a critical editorial article questioning the ethical behaviour of the security forces between Afgooye and Bur Hakapa Districts also criticized the use of disproportionate powers of the army during operations on the road that links Mugdisho to Baidoa which was broadcast on VOA and also published on its social media platforms on today 20 April 2020.
South west Human Rights Defenders Network (SWHRDN ) is concerned about the arrest of journalist Mukhtar Mohamed Catoosh and calls for his unconditional freedom. and we condemn this arrest of VOA Reporter, in the strongest terms possible and call for his immediate and unconditional release,”
The victim was reported to have shot and killed by armed men, who fled the scene.
On 1st June 2020 A Reports indicate that Sharif Mukhtar Jiis was killed at his home in a displacement camp in Baidoa.
It is not yet known the exact motive behind the killing of the deceased, who is also one of the special needs.
Also, South west security forces arrived at the scene and conducted a brief search.
South west officials who spoke out about the killing expressed condolences and said further investigations are underway.
Mr. Mukhtar he was a board member of SOSWENSA However he was a well known in Baidoa, Mr. Mukhtar in December 2018, he was wounded by armed groups, despite recovering from injury.
On behalf of SOUTH WEST HUMAN RIGHT DEFENDERS NETWORK ( SWHRDN ) May Allah give the family the strength and patience during this trying time. Surely we have lost a father figure.
May janah be your destiny inshallah
On May 18 Today around 2:40 Pm Baidoa Hanano 2 side there was a heavy Explosion at a puplic gathering of Festival of the Eid , five people’s have been dead and 20 injured in this tragedy and the casualties may be increased. This site of the blast is very close to Baidoa Relocation IDP camps. It is unclear whether the explosion was a landmine or hand Blast, for more of this situation will keep you informed.
The heavy rain of yesterday morning 22nd April 2020 in Baidoa caused flooding in the town and more seriously in the IDP sites.
Out of the 483 IDP sites hosting 55,005 households, 73 IDP sites (15%) with population of 13,582 IDP households’ approx. 81,492 individuals affected by flooding directly. Some 45 per cent of latrines were either damaged or filled with flood water.
As far as floods are concerned, we need to mitigate the effects of floods. Partners are redirecting their attention and resources to combat COVID 19 pandemic, Let us not forget to respond to the ongoing humanitarian crises in the IDP sites.
Attached is assessment report done by CCCM partners in all Baidoa IDP sites and list of affected sites is also attached.
This are some of the urgently recommended needs:
NFI kitsProvision of other shelter packages apart from non-food items, e.g. construction of transitional or semi-permanent sheltersBack filling to the low land living sitesMosquito netsSanitary tools like wheelbarrows, spades, rakes and forks. Livelihood support
The provision of rapid emergency response activities is necessary to reduce the suffering of these vulnerable IDPS including most recently newly arrived IDPs. If any partner want to respond please contact with the CCCM cluster for proper coordination at site level.
On 19 june 2020 Asad Reports from Tiyeeglow district in Bakool region say that a young man was reportedly killed while he was walking in the town.
The deceased was identified as Yusuf Mohammed Osman aged 34 Years, and the men escaped immediately after the incident and yet to know what is on behind,
On 14th June 2020 around 8:00am Almost thousands of people affected by floods in Abeesale and ,Banbar, also urunbusle villages in Xudur district were displaced due to the flooding which also caused a deaths of two Children’s and one old man in the Banbar Village,
The villages are on emergency situation from flash flooding caused by heavy rain fall in the Villages. That many people displaced from their houses due to collapse of homes and latrines.
Heavy flooding since last week has submerged entire communities and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes, The Regional headquarter Mr. Toll says.
It added that an estimated 30,000 people were affected, including internally displaced people, refugees and the host commnities in the villages already hit by years embergo from shabab were effected this tragedy of heavy Floods,

Somaliland
The Somaliland government severely restricted reporting and free expression of journalists and perceived critics on issues deemed controversial or overly critical of the authorities. In January, Somaliland executed six prisoners.
In late August, Somaliland’s lower house approved the Rape and Fornication Bill, which allows for child and forced marriage, criminalizes witchcraft and “false” reporting of rape, provides for the death penalty for same-sex sexual relations, and includes an unacceptable definition of rape that excludes the possibility of rape within marriage and does not take into account consent. At time of writing, the bill was pending for upper house review.
Censorship, harassment and prosecution of government critics increased in Somaliland. Authorities raided and shut down at least three media houses, and arbitrarily arrested and prosecuted individuals perceived to be critical of government policies, including poets, journalists and opposition politicians. The Human Rights Centre, a local organization, said that 88 people, including 26 journalists, were arrested for cases related to their exercise of the right to freedom of expression and opinion.
Senior opposition politicians, including Wadani Party members Khadar Hussein Abdi (the Secretary General), Barkhad Jama Batun (the spokesperson) and Mohamed Sidiq Dhame (the youth wing leader), were arbitrarily arrested for criticizing government policies. They were later released but Mohamed Sidiq Dhame faced trumped-up charges and prosecution.
In 2020, Abdimalik Muse Oldon, a freelance journalist, was released from prison in Hargeisa and he was only arrested outside his home in Burao for criticizing President Muse Bihi Abdi on Facebook. He was charged with “spreading anti-national propaganda” and “disseminating false news” and, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison where he remained at the end of the year.
Although Somaliland’s 2001 Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression, including press freedom, the authorities continued to prosecute people under the 1964 Penal Code which contains several overly broad and vaguely worded provisions that can be used to unduly restrict the right to freedom of expression.
Somali Broadcasting Corporation’s Khadar Mohamed Tarabi and Universal TV’s Khadar Farah Rigah were arrested for covering a demonstration on 16 June in Las Anod, in Somaliland, and were held for 24 hours on the provincial governor’s orders.Jul 3, 2020
Somaliland court sentences journalist Abdirahman Mohamed Hiddig to 21 months in prison
January 28, 2020
January 28, 2020 — Authorities in Somaliland should immediately release journalist Abdirahman Mohamed Hiddig from prison and drop all charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
On January 15, authorities in the town of Erigavo, in the eastern Sanaag region, detained Abdirahman, a reporter with the privately owned broadcaster Eryal TV, according to representatives of two regional press freedom groups, Yahye Mohamed, executive director of the Somaliland Journalists Association, and Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, secretary general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate, both of whom spoke to CPJ via messaging app.
The arrest was sparked by a complaint from Mohamed Abdirahman Liban, the deputy manager of the breakaway region’s government-owned printing press, about a post on Abdirahman’s professional Facebook page, the two press groups said in separate statements. Abdirahman had previously been detained in December 2019 in connection to the same complaint, and was released on bond on January 4, Abdalle said.
Following his arrest on January 15, authorities brought Abdirahman before a court where he was tried without a lawyer present and was sentenced to 21 months in prison, according to the statements by the press groups and Abdisamed Giirre, an Eryal TV journalist who spoke to CPJ via messaging app. Abdisamed said he did not know what Abdirahman was charged with, and the statements do not specify any charges.
CPJ was unable to determine the exact charge that Abdirahman faced.
The court also fined Abdirahman 6 million Somaliland shillings ($700), according to Yahye, who told CPJ that an appeal has been filed on Abdirahman’s behalf.
“Somaliland authorities must immediately release journalist Abdirahman Mohamed Hiddig from prison and cease jailing reporters for their work,” said CPJ sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo. “Sentencing a journalist to 21 months in prison after a sham trial without a lawyer present is an outrage.”
Abdirahman frequently posts political commentary and clips of his journalism on his public Facebook page, which has about 5,000 followers. In a December 2019 post beginning with “Breaking news,” Abdirahman alleged that Mohamed, the deputy manager of the printing press, did not support a peace process in El-Afwein, a town in the Sanaag region, according to the Somali Journalists Syndicate statement and a screenshot of the post, which CPJ reviewed and which has since been deleted.
The journalist is being held in Erigavo district prison, Abdisamed and Yahye said.
When CPJ called Mohamed Abdirahman Liban for comment yesterday, he told CPJ that he was in a meeting and said he would call back later. When CPJ called back today, he declined to comment. CPJ emailed Somaliland Attorney General Hassan Aden for comment but did not receive a response.
Over the past year, Somaliland authorities have arrested journalists, shut down outlets, blocked websites, and detained reporters carrying out their work.
“In the Sool and Sanaag regions, on 22 December, a government-backed committee facilitated a peace deal to conclude protracted conflict between two warring sub-clans in Ceel Afweyn, Sanaag region. On 2 January, the deserter militia laid down its weapons following the pardon by Mr. Bihi of the militia, its integration in the army of “Somaliland” and the exile of the militia’s ringleader.” (UN Security Council, 13. Februar 2020, S. 4)


The Federal Government of Somalia
Freedom of expression and Association
Federal and regional authorities repeatedly harassed, intimidated, and attacked journalists. Arbitrary arrests and detentions, sometimes followed by prosecutions on baseless charges under the criminal code, were common.
On February 16, journalist Abdiwali Ali Hassan was shot dead by unknown attackers in the town of Afgooye. Media groups reported that he had received journalism-related threats. While Somali authorities seldom investigate attacks on journalists, in September, the attorney general established a special prosecutor to investigate crimes against journalists.
On May 3, Somalia’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo,” committed to reforming criminal code provisions that restrict media freedoms and to ending the use of criminal law against journalists. Mid-year, he signed into law a new media law, which while providing for key rights of free expression, contains overly broad content restrictions.
On March 7, National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) officials in Mogadishu arrested journalist Mohamed Abdiwahab Nur “Abuja” and held him incommunicado for three months. On August 5, the military court acquitted him of alleged charges of Al-Shabab membership and murder and ordered his release.
Journalists were beaten, harassed, threatened, subjected to arbitrary arrests and intimidation by the authorities, including the police, military and other government officials throughout south central Somalia and in Puntland. Al-Shabaab members also targeted journalists with violence, intimidation and threats.
Authorities restricted access to information and used new techniques to suppress media freedom including by bribing media outlets to self-censor and harassing journalists and other critics both online and offline. In June, the Facebook accounts of 10 journalists were permanently disabled without their being given prior warning by the platform.
At least eight journalists fled Somalia between late 2018 and the beganing of 2020 following threats against their lives and remained in exile.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Global Impunity Index, published in [October], Somalia had, for the fifth consecutive year, the poorest record for prosecuting individuals suspected of murdering journalists. At least eight journalists were killed in south central Somalia and Puntland since 2020. With the exception of two cases including one in which a police officer was convicted in absentia for killing a journalist in Mogadishu in 2018, no one was held accountable for the other killings. The police officer remains at large.
With the notice that the authorities expelled the UN Special Representative to Somalia after he raised concerns about the killing, by security forces, of protestors in Baidoa following the South West regional state’s presidential elections. After his expulsion, the UN suspended its monthly human rights reports on the country.
Somalia: Already 20 journalists arrested in the first half of 2020
With 20 arrests of journalists since the start of the year, including five in June alone, Somalia arrests more reporters than almost any other country in sub-Saharan Africa. Only the Democratic Republic of Congo has conducted more arrests of journalists in the past six months.

The latest victim is Jabir Said Duale, a journalist also known as “Bulshawi,” who works for privately-owned Horyaal24 TV in northwestern Somalia’s self-proclaimed independent republic of Somaliland. He was released on 28 June under a pardon issued by Somaliland’s president after being held for seven days in the city of Erigavo. He was arrested twice, on 16 and 22 June, for filming an allegedly illegal protest in Erigavo about the failure to include civil society representatives in the historic peace talks that the presidents of Somalia and Somaliland have just held in an attempt to solve problems resulting from Somaliland’s decision to break away in 1991.

Among the other Somali journalists arrested or summoned by the police in June was Bishar Ibrahin Adan, a local radio journalist who was arrested on 10 June in Burdhubo, a town in southern Somalia’s Gedo region, and was released without charge three days later. Abdishakur Mohamed Hassan, a reporter for privately-owned SAAB TV, was briefly detained on 12 June for covering a demonstration in Beledweyne, the capital of the central province of Hiraan. Somali Broadcasting Corporation’s Khadar Mohamed Tarabi and Universal TV’s Khadar Farah Rigah were arrested for covering a demonstration on 16 June in Las Anod, in Somaliland, and were held for 24 hours on the provincial governor’s orders.

“Whether judicial detention, police arrests or just summonses for questioning, the level of abuses against Somali journalists continues to be very high,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “Only strong, ambitious measures will succeed in ending these practices, which amount to systematic intimidation. We reiterate our appeal to Somalia’s federal authorities and Somaliland’s local authorities to decree a moratorium on arrests of journalists pending a reform of media legislation that abolishes imprisonment for media offences.”
April 16, 2020
Somali authorities should immediately and unconditionally release journalist Abdiaziz Ahmed Gurbiye and guarantee that the media can cover and comment on the COVID-19 pandemic without facing jail time, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
On April 14, police arrested Abdiaziz, an editor and deputy director of the privately owned Goobjoog Media Group, after he responded to a summons to appear at the Hodan Police Station in Mogadishu, the capital, according to Goobjoog director Hassan Mohamud, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app, and a statement by the Somali Journalists Syndicate, a local press rights group.
Yesterday, Abdiaziz appeared in a Mogadishu court, where state prosecutors alleged that he had spread false news and offended the honor of the president, according to one of his lawyers, Mohamed Genboon, and Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, secretary general of the Federation of Somali Journalists, another local press rights group, both of whom attended the hearing and spoke to CPJ via messaging app.
The accusations stemmed from Facebook posts Abdiaziz made on his personal page and on “Gurbiye Official,” a page that he manages, in which he alleged the government had mismanaged its COVID-19 response, and criticized President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, according to Moalimuu and Hassan. On the two pages, which each have about 10,000 followers, the journalist posts a mix of original reporting and commentary, and also shares content originally published by Goobjoog.
Mohamed Genboon told CPJ that authorities did not produce a formal charge sheet against the journalist and said Abdiaziz was sent to Mogadishu Central Prison yesterday pending an investigation into the case.
“Every moment that Abdiaziz Ahmed Gurbiye remains detained sends the message that there is no room for critical reporting or commentary on the COVID-19 outbreak in Somalia,” said CPJ sub-Saharan Africa Representative Muthoki Mumo. “Somali authorities should immediately and unconditionally free Abdiaziz, and cease reacting to criticism by throwing journalists behind bars.”
Hassan said that he accompanied Abdiaziz to the police station in response to the summons on April 14, and that police showed them a court warrant for the journalist’s arrest and took him into custody.
The warrant, which CPJ reviewed, was issued in response to a complaint by the attorney general alleging that Abdiaziz contravened a section of Somalia’s penal code that makes it a crime, punishable with up to three years in jail, to “offend the honor or prestige” of the head of state or blame him for government actions.
Yesterday in court, the prosecution cited Abdiaziz’s Facebook posts and further accused him of contravening sections of the law stipulating up to six months in prison for the publication of false news, and up to a year prison for offending authorities by damaging official posters, according to Mohamed Genboon and Moalimuu. The prosecution also accused him of violating a section of the penal code on international reciprocity for crimes committed against foreign heads of state, but did not clarify how Abdiaziz was alleged to have contravened that section, Mohamed Genboon and Moalimuu said.
Mohamed Genboon told CPJ that the court rejected Abdiaziz’s bail application and said the journalist’s lawyers were filing applications challenging the jurisdiction of the court hearing the case and the judge who issued the arrest warrant.
CPJ reviewed two of Abdiaziz’s Facebook posts, both published on Gurbiye Official and his personal account on April 13. One of the posts alleges that the president had taken away a ventilator donated to a local hospital. The second alleges a lack of drugs at the same local hospital and corruption on the part of public officials.
In a phone call, Ismael Mukhtar Omar, the spokesperson of Somalia’s Ministry of Information, referred CPJ to the police for comment on the case. Deputy Police Commissioner Zakia Hussein Ahmed did not answer phone calls from CPJ or respond to text messages.
In texts sent via messaging application yesterday, presidential spokesperson Abdinur Mohamed told CPJ that the presidency had not instituted any complaint against Abdiaziz and, citing the independence of other state organs, declined to comment substantively on the case.
CPJ called, emailed, and texted Attorney General Suleiman Mohamed Mohamud and Muse Moalim Mohamed, chairman of the Banadir Regional Court, but did not receive any responses.
Somalia’s federal government received international praise for its planned economic reforms, including its national development plan, but it made little progress with security and judicial reforms while conflict-related abuses, insecurity, and the humanitarian crisis took a heavy toll on civilians.
All parties to the conflict committed violations of international humanitarian law, some amounting to war crimes. The militant group Al-Shabab conducted indiscriminate and targeted attacks on civilians and forcibly recruited children. Inter-clan and intra-security force violence killed, injured and displaced civilians, as did sporadic military operations against Al-Shabab by Somali government forces, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops, and other foreign forces.
Severe weather, locust infestations, and Covid-19 worsened the humanitarian crisis, with over 620,000 new displacements due to flooding, adding to the country’s 2.6 million internally displaced.
Somali authorities restricted media freedoms and the federal and Somaliland parliaments considered problematic sexual offenses bills. The Somali government did not hand over Al-Shabab cases from military to civilian courts. Authorities throughout the country carried out executions, many following military court proceedings that violated international fair trial standards. The government did not establish a National Human Rights Commission, nor did it move forward with the planned review of the outdated criminal code, pending since the previous administration.
Relations between the federal government and member states deteriorated, leading to a stalemate over federal election modalities, and fighting on occasion caused civilian casualties, notably in the Gedo region. An agreement was reached in September on the electoral framework paving the way for another restricted electoral process in late 2020 and early 2021.
Attacks on Civilians
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) recorded at least 596 civilian casualties, including 296 killings, by early August. The majority were due to Al-Shabab targeted and indiscriminate attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), suicide bombings, and shelling, as well as targeted assassinations. Al-Shabab continued to execute after unfair trials individuals it accused of working or spying for the government and foreign forces.
In the first quarter, the UN recorded an increase in civilian casualties due to clan conflict, including revenge killings. In April, civilians were killed, and thousands displaced during inter-clan clashes in Wanlaweyn, with media reporting that a man was burned to death.
On January 28, 2020, Jubaland’s security minister, Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur “Janan,” implicated in serious crimes in the Gedo region, escaped detention in Mogadishu. In March, forces loyal to Abdirashid Janan fought with federal government forces in Gedo. According to the UN, the clashes killed five civilians and displaced 56,000. The presence of federal forces in Gedo continued to create tensions between the government in Mogadishu and Kismayo.
The US increased its military activity; in the first three months of 2020, it conducted twice as many airstrikes as in the same period of 2019. Some US actions killed and injured civilians. A February 2 strike in Jilib town, Middle Juba, killed a young woman and injured her two sisters, both children, and her grandmother. A March 10 attack on a minibus near the town of Janaale, Lower Shabelle, killed five men and a child.
On May 27, five masked gunmen, four in government uniforms, abducted seven health workers and a pharmacist, in the village of Gololey in Balcad District. Their bodies were found bullet ridden. At time of writing, the outcomes of federal and regional investigations were unknown.
Sexual Violence
Sexual violence against women and girls was widespread in south central Somalia, and in Puntland. The UN documented over 100 incidents of sexual violence against girls. Attacks often went unreported due to a climate of impunity, as well as the stigma and fear associated with the crime which prevented many survivors from speaking out.
Child marriage in the country has increased during coronavirus – and now a newly-tabled bill would allow children as young as 10 to marry.
Marriage under 18 is not illegal, although Somalia’s constitution prohibits it and the country is signed up to several international treaties promising to tackle it. In July 2014, the government signed a charter committing to end child marriage by 2020. But in August, the Somali parliament tabled a controversial bill that would allow a child to be married once they reached puberty, which can mean 10 years old. The sexual intercourse related crimes bill would also allow marriage if parents consented. The UN has called the bill “deeply flawed”.
The new bill has been fiercely criticised after MPs realised that it was different from a sexual offences bill unanimously adopted in 2018 by ministers but not enacted, which sought to prevent child marriage, and effectively criminalise a wide range of sexual offences.
Last year, the speaker of the house returned the draft bill, which has been in development since 2013, to the cabinet requesting changes. It remained dormant until two weeks ago when a new version was introduced under a new name: the sexual intercourse related crimes bill.
“It is completely unacceptable,” says Sahra Omar Ma’alin a member of the parliament’s human rights committee. “We have to protect the rights of our children. We have asked the deputy speaker to bring back the original bill, which we had been working on for so many years. It was such a comprehensive document that provides women the dignity and protection they deserve.”
Somalia’s current political instability and the forthcoming general elections makes it difficult for Ma’alin and civil society organisations to keep the pressure on for human rights.
The country is now run by a caretaker government after Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire was ousted in a vote of no-confidence in July.
“It is a race against time as the parliament’s mandate is going to end in a few months,” says Ma’alin. “The fate of our children is being politicised. Some politicians are using the bill as a campaign tool. They attempted to carry out the voting in the same manner they used to remove the former prime minister – in just a seven-minute debate – but we will never allow that to happen.”
In 2015, Somalia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the UN applauded as a significant achievement for the country’s 6.5 million children.
“It is a shocking development, given that 2015 was a watershed moment for Somalia,” says Brendan Ross, chief of child protection at UNICEF Somalia.
“Unicef has been supporting the Somali government in domesticating that convention. To see a piece of drafted legislation which allows for the marriage of young girls once they are ‘sexually capable’ is astonishing in 2020. We are certainly opposed to that and the UN is unified on that.”
It took Mohamed five months to convince her parents to allow her to get divorced. Her former husband was addicted to chewing khat, the stimulant leaf common in east Africa.
“He would spend the little money he gets on khat instead of buying milk for our hungry children,” she says. “He took advantage of the support he had from my family. But I was relentless and kept on demanding until I was finally relieved.”
Although her parents welcomed her home, Mohamed has to support her children. Her father can only do so much, as he is already struggling to put food on the table for his other 10 children and two wives.
Mohamed now ekes out a living selling tea on the street, putting up with the stigma associated with being a single mother. “My priorities in life have changed. My main mission now is to build a better future for my kids so that they never experience what I went through.”
The UN documented over 100 cases of conflict-related sexual violence, mostly against girls. The UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Somalia found that on April 6 two Somali National Army officers raped a woman and a girl during the takeover of Janaale town.
In August, the speaker of parliament in Mogadishu tabled a new Sexual Intercourse Related Crimes Bill that violates Somalia’s international and regional human rights obligations. The bill would allow for child marriage by defining a child around physical maturity instead of age, reduce penalties for forced marriage, exclude a broad range of sexual offenses, and include weak procedural protections for survivors. The current status of the bill is unclear.
The Somali criminal code classifies sexual violence as an “offense against modesty and sexual honor” rather than a violation of bodily integrity; it also punishes same-sex relations.
Abuses against Children
All Somali parties to the conflict committed serious abuses against children, including killings, maiming, the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and attacks on schools.
Al-Shabab continued its aggressive child recruitment campaign with retaliation against communities, refusing to hand over children. National and regional forces recruited and used children, according to the UN.
Somali federal and regional security forces unlawfully detained children for alleged ties with armed groups, undermining government commitments to treat children primarily as victims. The government failed to put in place child rights compliant justice measures.
Displacement, Access to Humanitarian Assistance
A combination of Covid-19 and natural events, increasing in intensity and frequency by climate change, such as flooding and desert locust swarms, exacerbated communities’ existing vulnerabilities.
Between March 16, when the first Covid-19 case was confirmed, and November 20, there were 3,890 reported cases and 99 deaths; at least 133 health workers were infected. Flooding contributed to an uptake in acute watery diarrhoea and cholera and deterioration in food insecurity. As of September, 3.8 million people faced acute food insecurity.
The United Nations and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) reported 1,092,000 people had been displaced as of late November, mainly due to flooding and conflict. The displaced communities faced sexual violence, cycles of forced evictions, dire living conditions and limited access to basic services. Restrictions imposed by the government to limit the spread of the pandemic, including restrictions on movement and measures to ease congestion, along with price hikes and reduced remittance flows, further limited access to livelihoods and health care for displaced communities.
Authorities in Baidoa announced a moratorium on forced evictions in order to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. As of September, 65,677 displaced were evicted in Mogadishu alone, two thirds of the total number recorded in the country.
Humanitarian agencies face serious access challenges due to insecurity, targeted attacks on aid workers, generalized violence, and restrictions imposed by parties to the conflict. Al-Shabab imposed blockades on a number of government-controlled towns and occasionally attacked civilians who broke them. According to the UN, between January and August, 11 humanitarian workers were killed.
Key International Actors
International support focused on building Somalia’s security sector, improving relations between federal and state authorities including the stalemate around the electoral process.
In September, the European Parliament called on the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Somalia to ensure better human rights monitoring and follow-up of the Somali government forces it trains. At the UN Human Rights Council, the European Union raised serious concerns over rights violations.
US military strikes increased in the first five months of the year. In April, the US military command in Africa (AFRICOM) released its first quarterly report on civilian casualty assessments, acknowledging killing two civilians and injuring three in February 2019. In July, it acknowledged that the February 2 Jilib strike (see above) had killed and injured civilians. It established an online reporting portal, but many Somalis do not have access to the internet to use it. In June, AFRICOM stated that it had not paid any compensation in Somalia for civilian casualties it had acknowledged since 2017.
In March, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank declared Somalia eligible for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, after Somalia cleared its arrears with international support.
Competition among Gulf States over political and economic dominance in Somalia continued to exacerbate intra-Somalia tensions.

Acknowledgement
CSHRDS Expresses its gratitude for the invaluable contributions to this report made its member organisations, and here is to specially mention invaluable contributions by Ilyas Adam, Dr Faysal, Maxamed Abdullahi Shiino, Mohamud Sheikh and colleagues in accomplishing this report.

Incidents Confirmed Sources

  1. Morad News outlet
  2. Inskoy.org
  3. Horn Afrik News Agency for Human Rights hanahr.net
  4. BBC Somali broadcasting
  5. Crisis Group
  6. Halgan Media Outlet
  7. Hiiraan.com
  8. NUSOJ.ORG