CSHRDs Annual Report 2021 (Our annual review of human rights around Somalia)

Somalia

CSHRDs Annual Report 2021

            

Somalia Map

Coalition of Somali Human Rights Defenders CSHRDs

NATIONAL NETWORKING OF HUMAN RIGHT DEFENDERS FOR STRENGTHENING COORDINATION & ADVOCACY IN SOMALIA (Human Rights Civil Society)

Accumulated 2021 Human rights Reports in Somalia.

Contents

Foreword. i

Acknowledgements. ii

Executive Summary. iii

Recommendations. 1

Methodology. 2

Background. 3

Background. 4

– Collected Reports of Human Rights Occurrences in 2021

The Federal Government of Somalia and its (Regional member states)
Banadir
Juba Land  
Hirshabelle
Galmudug
Puntland
South West
Somaliland
About the CSHRDs                                                                                                                                                                             Verified and Confirmed Sources

  1. Foreword:  

CSHRDs is pleased to present this report, covering the entire year of 2021 human rights occurrences. The chairperson is delighted to accomplish this report in collaboration with CSHRDs members.

As we ink this annual report, many challenges rise that can affect our society and ourselves, which is a unprecedented challenge to our leadership and humanity. More importantly you will discover in our previous reports, the past two years in addition to inter-continental pandemic of COVID-19 presented immense challenges to our world and nation. Environmental and climate disasters became our new reality, along with rampant disregard to basic fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution by those legislators have introduced new methods in which we must rise to the challenge and adapt new way to solve these challenges and to prevent, protect and consistently promote the human rights of all citizens of Somalia. 

This report highlights and summarizes human rights occurrences e.g. violations and abuses of human rights in our country, the advocacy gap that exists, and the increasing demand for more effective human rights advocacy in consistent with our realities. At the same time, our work of documenting these violations and abuses will not stop nor will it be hindered by the stalling tactics and horrendous negotiations of those in charge to deter us from blowing the whistle on misuse of judicial and executive powers. We demand accountability and transparency within our country and institutions, before the real battle to end impunity begins in earnest.  

As we leave the year 2021 behind us, we as the society of human rights defenders, need to demonstrate resilience in the face of persecution, increasing threats and many other crises and challenges. In 2021 we learned lessons, we solved problems and gained new experiences that are relevant for better management of the future to effect positive changes in our country, as our expectations are that human rights violations are no longer dependent on human rights activists, but the whole of our country, uniting us all against those who continue to perpetrate violations of human rights in disregard to the supreme laws. 

  1. Acknowledgements 

Coalition of Somali Human Rights Defenders CSHRDs expresses its gratitude for the invaluable contributions to this report made by its member organizations as well as CSHRDS expresses its appreciation and thanks to the volunteers, and staff who made this report possible to be published. We appreciate their invaluable contributions and efforts. We thank all organizations that collaborate and make generous contributions to the human rights advocacy undertaken by CSHRDs in Somalia.  

CSHRDs is also here to express its special appreciation and gratitude to the following organizations and entities for their invaluable contributions to the protection of HRDs/WHRDs at risk in Somalia:

  • The Swedish International Liberal Centre SILC
  • ifa – Germany
  • CCI – Italy and the Italian network of ‘’IN DIFESA DI’’.
  • PADOVA UNIVERSITY and its human rights center (Università degli Studi di Padova – Centro di Ateneo per i Diritti Umani)
  • Trento University
  • Padova municipality and others who are committed in the defense of human rights for all.
  • Protection International Africa PIA
  • Rights CoLab
  1. Executive Summary 

This is the annual report of 2021 prepared by the coalition of Somali human rights defenders CSHRDs between January to December, 2021. Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. The country is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. The constitution of Somalia recognizes international treaties such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  

Each year, CSHRDs disseminates its annual report to inform all relevant stakeholders including the government of Somalia about the human rights issues that require immediate remedy and improvement. In 2021, we have seen an increasing trend of arbitrary arrests, detentions, violations of freedom of expression, censorship and a complete misuse of judicial and executive powers granted to officials, as well as there was an increased number of al-Shabaab suicide bombings targeted against journalists, lawyers and other human rights defenders. Furthermore, the number of journalists arrested for merely doing their jobs and reporting on the state of affairs of Somalia has increased. These journalists are not arrested for committing real crimes in real time, nor have they stolen state secrets but reporting on daily issues facing Somali citizens. As such, our report highlights arbitrary arrests of journalists and citizens, police brutality, and internally displaced people as well as other serious human rights violations and associated impunity. All stakeholders are recommended to make immediate improvements.

The areas covered in this report include:  

  • Arbitrary arrests for cases related to freedom of expression around Somalia 
  • Police brutality and power abuse  
  • Sexual and gender-based violence and al-shabab targeted suicide bombings
  • Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)- and access to humanitarian aid  
  • Drone attacks and extra judicial killings
  • Election-related violations and violence
  • HRDs at risk
  • 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

  • Need to sign the Rome Statute in order to join the International Criminal Court as recommended by the latest UPR, as this will substanitially contriubte to transitional justice in Somalia
  • Need to comply with the existing local and international laws in dealing with the media and journalists
  • Need to respect freedom of the press and stop silencing critics and independent media outlets and targeting human rights defenders to end the climate of fear that prevails in the country
  • Need to amend laws for better human rights practice
  • 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
  • Need to strong justice institutions that can end impunity

To the President

  • Need to consider the national and international human rights law to better understand the importance of press freedom and accept critics for the democratic process

To the Cabinet of Ministers

  • Need to work hard to contribute to the improvement of human situation in Somalia

To the Parliament

  • Need to hire national and international law experts to draft laws that consider and 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

  • Need to respect 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 in order to create one-clan inhabited regional state.

To 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 security improvement
  • 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 and enjoy impunity
  • 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.

Key International Actors (The international partners of Somalia)

  • The African union peace keeping mission need to respect military engagement rules and protect civilian lives in their military operations in Somalia
    • The EU & the UN Human Rights Council need to stay focused on rights violations occurring in all over Somalia
    • All Stakeholders need to support civil society in Somalia in order to promote inclusion, democracy and universal human rights principles, as well as protecting HRDs/WHRDs.

2. Methodology

This annual report of 2021 is the result of a research conducted by CSHRDS staff and member organizations and human rights monitors in all regions of Somalia. CSHRDS periodically monitors and documents human rights abuses and violations, verifying and recording the information on record. CSHRDs collected all human rights occurrences throughout 2021 in order to produce a final annual report from confirmed sources. We do our best by establishing proven & consistent methodology based on information gathered from various sources of information, and field-based research.

CSHRDs staff and sources regularly do site visits in their own regions. CSHRDs conducts field investigations, interviewing victims, evicted or displaced people. Our goal with any research or information is to gain enough verifiable information about an incident or repeated incident violation to bring into being an accurate picture of what occurred.  

While there is no uniformed way in which we conduct interviews and focus group discussions, what is consistent to interviewing and conducting research is standardized within the organization: evidence and story to corroborate statements, truthful information, monitors remain impartial, and protecting the privacy, security and dignity of witness. Most of the commonly utilized techniques in the organization are interviewing witnesses and victims to conduct interviews in private settings, focus group discussions or telephone interviews.

Apart from field research used during our reporting and research, we employ legislative and policies in the country, civil society reports, and international laws during reporting season. As always, conducting research and gathering information can be challenging, especially in a society that is conservative. Accessibility to prisons or rape documents are hard to come by and challenging to obtain. Access to individuals in prisons are challenging, therefore advocating for the individual and obtaining their story is done through their family and covert style etc. 

Collecting and gathering existing data and reports to build a single report to easily capture 2021 human rights occurrences across Somalia. 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. independent media outlets were closed down, media equipments that were confiscated, and journalists were arbitrary arrested without and with charges; al-shabab continued to pose existential threat against rural and urban communities in Somalia through its terror campaign. CSHRDS closely monitored and documented Gender based violations e.g. systematic rape carried out by different figures and entities mainly in southern Somalia

The main problem of the press freedom in Somalia partly arise that the government uses outdated laws rather than the constitution, because the constitution of Somalia guarantees freedom of expression, media and assembly. Finally, in 2021 CSHRDS helped protect HRDs who were at risk because of doing their legitimate human rights advocacy work by relocating them with the help and direct support in collaboration of international partners.

3. Background 

Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. The country is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia has the longest coastline on Africa’s mainland.

CapitalMogadishu

Population18 million (2021) official source

State Structure

Due to weak governmental institutions and prolonged transitional state building process and repeated political rifts, climate change driven droughts and other serious crisis related to the newly adopted federal system; human rights violations seem to get only more perpetuated in a way that improvement of the human rights situation on the ground becomes uncontestable challenge as impunity prevails.

–      Collected Reports of Human Rights Occurrences in 2021

The Federal Government of Somalia

(The federal institutions and the presidential place are situated in Banadir region) – Banadir

Elections

Somalia’s presidential elections were scheduled to take place 8 February 2021, allowing for the nomination of a new president before the current president’s term ends. However, the vote never took place after a disagreement among the country’s leaders on how to hold the election. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, ended his term on 8th February 2021 with no elected successor, leaving a power vacuum. The situation is a familiar one, with the previous two presidents of Somalia having stayed in office beyond their constitutional terms. 

As a result of electoral dispute clashes broke out on 25 April between forces loyal to Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” and those aligned with the political opposition as Somalia’s deepening electoral crisis descended even further into violence. Rival forces exchanged gunfire in neighborhoods of Mogadishu, including those in which opposition political leaders reside. Local sources indicate that the clashes resulted in approximately two dozen casualties and displaced hundreds of civilians. The fighting subsided by Sunday evening and Mogadishu was quiet the next morning, with most residents staying at home. The situation remains tense, however, as heavily armed rival security units are still deployed in parts of the city, an ominous reminder to all who come across them that fighting could resume at any moment.

The violence comes on the back of the Somali elite’s repeated failure to agree on how to hold an election, with the temperature continuing to rise after President Farmajo ran over his term limit and stayed in office after 8 February. Tensions escalated further this month when parliament on 12 April extended the current government’s term by two years, infuriating the opposition who say that Farmajo’s continued occupation of the presidential palace is unconstitutional.

The immediate trigger for the fighting was the influx into Mogadishu of Somali National Army (SNA) units loyal to opposition politicians. The troops, originally based in Hirshabelle and elsewhere in south-central Somalia, were led in by a commander who shared a clan constituency with former presidents and current opposition leaders Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. On arrival, those forces took up positions in areas of north east Mogadishu. Federal government troops tried to retake these positions, resulting in heavy exchanges of gunfire. Amid the chaos, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said federal forces attacked his residence.

Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble followed this with a short statement, noting that the government is open to dialogue. But he also encouraged the army to maintain public order, seemingly signaling support for the government incursions into opposition areas of the capital. Somalia’s international partners, such as the UKU.S.European Union (EU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development and UN, condemned the fighting and called for a return to dialogue.


On 2 October 2021 International Friends of Somalia note that President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble continue their mediation efforts to resolve the differences expressed in their September 16, 2021 information exchange. However, friends are concerned that fundamental issues remain unresolved, despite more than two weeks of mediation efforts.

On 19th July Somali presidential candidates expressed concern over holding free and fair elections on the scheduled time. the candidates based their concern on dispute between the Somaliland election committee, and apparent lack of good progress on Gedo and Hiran situations, and slow preps for the Upper House elections.

On 9 October 2021 Somalia’s Indirect Electoral Commission says it has high hopes that parliamentary elections will take place within the 50-day deadline, and expects the nominations for the lower house of parliament to be submitted this week. The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mohamed Hassan Irro, said political disputes were part of the reason for the delay. VOA correspondent Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulle interviewed Chairman Cirro in Mogadishu. 


On 31 October 2021 Two seats in the lower house of the Somali Federal Parliament are expected to be up for grabs in Mogadishu in the coming days. Last week, Speaker of the Upper House Abdi Hashi Abdullahi and Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled unveiled new procedures for electing seats in the northern regions (Somaliland), they said. The process was also discussed by the Electoral Dispute Resolution Committee.  

30 Dec, 2021 African Union chair calls for restraint, dialogue between Somali PM and president, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has issued a statement calling for the “utmost restraint” and “continued engagement” between Somalia’s prime minister and the country’s president, amid a deepening political crisis that has sparked widespread international alarm. In recent days, heavily armed factions loyal to either party could be seen patrolling parts of the capital Mogadishu, raising fears that the tensions could erupt into violence. On Tuesday, soldiers loyal to Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble took up positions near the presidential palace a day after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo, announced the suspension of the premier, who accused him of an “attempted coup”. Relations between the pair have long been frosty, but the latest developments have sparked concerns for Somalia’s stability as the country struggles to hold long-delayed elections and fight a jihadist insurgency. Faki said the African Union remained committed to scaling up its support for durable peace and political stability in Somalia.

30 Dec, 2021 – US ramps up support for efforts by the Somali PM (Mohamed Hussein Rooble) to implement credible elections, as undersecretary of state for African affairs, Molly Phee, talks to president Mohamed Abdullahi aka Farmaajo. Ongoing elections in Somalia are marred by rigging votes and manipulations conducted by powerful regional war lords in all regions of Somalia, and the worst region in terms of election irregularities is: Juba Land where Somali’s last standing war lord is ruling with iron fist supported by the Kenyan defense force KDF, where Sheikh Ahmed Madobe kills anyone who opposes his ruling and conducts mass displacements for demographic change interests according to reports coming to our established reporting hotline.  

  Enforced Disappearances, GBSV/GBV & Others

In 2021, Somalia witnessed a catastrophic increase in the number of vulnerable women and girls exposed to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) risks. Natural disasters and armed conflicts resulted in multiple displacements, forced evictions, and the destruction of livelihoods, health facilities, GBV service sites and schools. To mitigate the unprecedented and complicated humanitarian emergency in Somalia, all stakeholders need do everything to better understand how to better mitigate GBV risks of vulnerable women and girls. Between January 2021 and December 2021, a series of surveys and research were conducted in order keep update on the GBV situation mainly in rural areas, and some of the occurrences in different regions in Somalia will get published in this report. 

The situation of women and girls with the COVID-19 is worsened by the persistent droughts in Jubba land, South West State, Hirshabelle, Puntland, Galmudug and Somaliland. Increasing incidences of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and abuse is most likely to become worse as more women and girls suffer multiple displacements, loss of live livelihoods, food insecurity, sexual abuse and exploitation, poor access to markets and water insecurity. Puntland report on the Humanitarian situation estimates population affected 1,876,624 persons. Out of the total population it is estimated that 469,156 women and girls (25 percent of women and girls of reproductive age) are impacted by the drought events. In Gedo region of Juba land, a total estimate of 133, 310 women and girls have been reported to be impacted by the droughts in Garbaharay, Bardera, Belethawa, Elwak, Dolow and Luuq. A Somaliland Drought Risk Assessment Report indicate that a total population of 135,500. 50 percent of the total displaced population of 17,700 displaced were women and children as forced marriages and FGM increased gradually with the commence of covid19 crisis.

On June 26, 2021 Ikran Tahlil Farah, a member of the National Intelligence and Security Agency, has gone missing and later declared dead by the NISA (National Intelligence and Security Agency) and NISA accused al-shabab of kidnapping and murdering Ikran, but the family of Ikran insisted that she was murdered by NISA officers and then tried to mislead the public. According to the family of the slain ikran; Ikran was a victim of the information she knew and had.              

On August, 2021 – (Somalia: Sexual Violence On the Rise) – According to Forbes Magazine; the U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, and the U.N. Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, warned about the alarming increase in sexual violence in Somalia and called upon all perpetrators to cease these violations. 

According to two recent reports, the Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict and the Report of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, 2020 has seen an almost 80% increase in cases of sexual violence in Somalia as compared to 2019. Among the cases, close to two-thirds reported rape, and the remaining cases included attempted rape, forced marriage, sexual harassment and sexual assault. 

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia verified cases of conflict-related sexual violence perpetrated against 400 girls, 12 women and 7 boys, primarily attributed to clan militias and Al-Shabaab. The number of cases of sexual violence ​​attributed to Al-Shabaab has doubled. The Islamist militant group continues to use sexual violence and forced marriage against women and girls. The number of acts of violence by clan militia has almost tripled in 2020. Other actors implicated in the crimes were the Somali Police Force (in 16 cases), the Somali National Army (in 25 cases), the Jubaland security forces (in nine cases) and Puntland forces (in five cases). Unfortunately, the majority of the perpetrators remain unidentified. Impunity for the crimes will only provide fertile ground for further crimes. 

The U.N. identified protracted conflict, structural gender inequality and successive humanitarian crises in the country as the main reasons for the ever-growing issue of sexual violence in Somalia. As the U.N. added, “political tensions in the run-up to national elections, inter-communal clashes related to land-based disputes, and a surge in extremist militant group Al-Shabaab’s activities, which intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

While instances of sexual violence in Somalia is on the rise, the Covid-19-related movement restrictions also mean that survivors of such atrocities have limited access to assistance, including basic services. Among others, “a paucity of personal protective equipment for shelter workers impaired their ability to admit survivors of gender-based violence.” Furthermore, some services usually provided remotely, such as psychosocial support, were severely affected by funding shortfalls. Lastly, as reported by the U.N., “judicial services, including the adjudication of sexual violence cases, were temporarily suspended.”

The U.N. Special Representatives have urged the Government of Somalia to take concrete measures to prevent sexual violence against women and children. They further called upon the Government to swiftly adopt a new national action plan on ending sexual violence in conflict.

Somalia is only one example of a country where rape and sexual violence is common. The situation in Somalia is yet another reason why we should work towards comprehensive actions to address sexual violence. In this spirit, Dr Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, announced a new initiative, the Red Line Initiative, which aims to strike a red line through sexual violence in conflict. The initiative will strive to create a legally binding international instrument to “evoke a clear moral rejection and international outcry when sexual violence is used as a weapon of war; ensure a more robust and timely response by states in line with their international obligations; and establish clear legal obligations that increase the costs not only for individuals but also for governments if they fail to act.” No State could object to such a proposal without becoming complicit in a crime that has no end.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewelinaochab/2021/10/09/sexual-violence-in-somalia-on-the-rise/?sh=46fc71fa4ed1

 Arbitrary Detention

On 10 of July Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansour has once again went on hunger strike, his relatives confirmed to Kulmiye Radio last night, He was forced to eat by security guards but refused. He fasted for almost 48 hours to put something in his mouth and locked in his door, Mukhtar Robow remains in custody of the Somali Federal Government. Since the last elections of SWS and now it seems that it related the Federal Government Elections in the state. Meanwhile we can post you and update regarding his condition.

Drone Attacks & Extra Judicial Killings of civilians

U.S. Military Conducts a Drone Strike Against Shabab Fighters in Somalia

The strike was the first against the militants since the Biden administration put strict limits on military action in the East African nation pending a review of drone policy.

By Eric Schmitt and Declan Walsh

July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The United States conducted a drone strike against Shabab militants in Somalia on Tuesday, the first such military action against the Qaeda affiliate in East Africa since the Biden administration took office in January.

The strike was carried out by military aircraft against Shabab fighters who were attacking members of the Danab, an elite American-trained Somali commando force, near the town of Galkayo in the country’s north, said a Pentagon spokeswoman, Cindi King.

The Biden administration placed new limits on drone strikes outside active war zones when it took office on Jan. 20, to give it time to develop a permanent policy. The Trump administration set broad rules for strikes in particular countries and delegated authority to commanders in the field about when to carry them out, but proposals for strikes are now generally routed through the White House.

The White House has since rejected a handful of requests by the military’s Africa Command to carry out drone strikes against Shabab targets in Somalia because they did not meet the new standards. But in this case, Mrs. King said, White House approval was not needed because the Africa Command has the authority to conduct strikes in support of allied forces under what the military calls collective self-defense.

Under orders from President Donald J. Trump, most of the 700 American troops based in Somalia to advise and assist Somali military and counterterrorism forces were withdrawn in the waning weeks of his administration, and sent to nearby Kenya and Djibouti.

Mrs. King said the Danab commandos were being advised remotely by American trainers when they came under attack.

 “There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation,” Mrs. King said in an email. “U.S. forces were conducting a remote advice-and-assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.”

A guide to the political news cycle, cutting through the spin and delivering clarity from the chaos. 

Galkayo is a divided city that sits on a fault line between two major clans, and it is on a major smuggling route used by militants traveling between Al Shabab’s heartland in southern Somalia and the northern part of the country. The city has been a focus of Shabab interdiction efforts by the Danab and other Somali government forces.

Mrs. King said fighting between Al Shabab and Somali forces was delaying the Africa Command’s assessment of the airstrike, the seventh overall this year against the militants, but the first since Jan. 19, the day before President Biden’s inauguration.

The strike came as the Biden administration was considering whether to reverse the U.S. military withdrawal from Somalia that took place under Mr. Trump.

An interagency review, underway for several months, has not yet been completed, a U.S. official said. But under one option being considered, a smaller number of American troops would be redeployed to military bases in southern Somalia, near the border with Kenya, where Al Shabab’s influence is strongest.

The option of continuing American military operations from bases in northern Kenya — informally known as “over the horizon” — has grown less attractive in recent months since a diplomatic spat between Somalia and Kenya severed air links between the two countries for several weeks.

Comment

USA is involved in a war on alleged terrorists in many mainly Muslim countries which includes Somalia. US AFRICOM carries out drone strikes in side Somalia and as confirmed there is no drone strike in Somalia without civilian causalities. The US command has confessed that some of its drone strikes killed civilians but yet to compensate the victims by the time of this report publication. US trained militias known as Bangaraaf stationed in Balidoogle military air base in lower shabelle is accused of perpetrating enforced disappearances, rape, extra – judicial and summary killings (in the period of January – October, 2021) in Wanlaweyn, Leego, and Biriweyne areas according to interviewed survivors and family members of the victims (August – Dec, 2021)

Arrested & Murdered Journalists

On 23 February, two Goobjoog journalists: news reporter Abdirahman Mohamed Abdi and cameraman Abdirisak Abdullah Fagas, were stopped by NISA officers at Daljirka Dahson in Mogadishu where they were filming shortly after the Presidential Opposition Candidates announced to hold a protest scheduled for 26 February.  The NISA officers confiscated the camera and deleted their footage. However, the two journalists were not arrested and were allowed to go after the footage was deleted.

On March 1st, 2021, independent Somali journalist Jamal Farah Adan, who was shot dead by gunmen. Subsequently, the extremist group Al-Shabaab later claimed responsibility of the assassination of the slain journalist.    

The Slain Journalist (Jamal Farah Adan)

On 4 March, Somali police detained the Nation FM radio journalist, Mohamed Yahye Jiinow in Mogadishu’s Hamar Jajab district after the district police chief ordered his detention. Jinow was arrested a day after interviewing a man who complained that his son was eaten by an alleged cannibal in Mogadishu. The journalist was held at Hamar Jajab police station for four hours before he was released later that day without charges.

On the night of June 23, 2021-   four unidentified men attacked Hanad, chief editor of the privately owned broadcaster Goobjoog Television, according to a report by Goobjoog, a statement by the Somali Journalists Syndicate, a local press rights group, and Hanad, who spoke to CSHRDs senior admin Asad D. in its HQ in Mogadishu. Hanad Ali is an active member of the Coalition of Somali Human Rights Defenders CSHRDs.

20 November 2021 – Somali journalist Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled killed in suicide attack; A prominent Somali journalist who was a critic of the Islamist militant group al-Shabab has been killed in a suicide bomb attack in the capital, Mogadishu.

Abdiaziz Africa (photo: Facebook)
Abdiaziz’s car after the explosion

Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled, also known as Abdiaziz Afrika, was targeted as he was leaving a restaurant in the city shortly after midday.

Two other people nearby were injured in the blast and taken to hospital.

Al-Shabab said it was behind the attack and had targeted the journalist, who worked for Radio Mogadishu.

The bomber detonated a device in front of a car near the restaurant where Guled was accompanied by the director of Somali National Television and a driver, according to a report published on the official Radio Mogadishu website, citing police sources.    https://hanahr.net/mogadishu-breaking-news-the-renown-journalist-abdiaziz-africa-is-assassinated-by-suicide-bomber/

CHILD SOLDIERS IN SOMALIA

Among Somalia’s numerous human rights crises is the recruitment of child soldiers. Not only is Somalia one of the countries with the most child soldiers, but its living standards are not improving. This article discusses five facts about Somalia’s child soldiers, along with hopeful measures which could improve the situation in the foreseeable future.

5 Facts About Child Soldiers in Somalia

  1. Somalia possesses the largest number of children who have died during war in the world. Somalia’s ongoing civil war led to drastic measures, including child recruitment into armed forces. In 2017, Somalia recorded 931 children killed at war, along with 2,127 children used in conflict. Additionally, Somalia verified the recruitment of 6,163 children between 2010 and 2016.
  2. There are many different ways to recruit child soldiers. Children’s rights in Somalia rank a 3.6/10 on the Children’s Rights Index. This ranking places Somalia in the Black Level for children’s rights, within the worst conditions in the world. This is due to several prominent factors, including the lack of education, forced displacement, sexual abuse and lack of food. All of these things happen to the majority of child soldiers in Somalia. Children as young as 9 years old suffer enlistment into Somali armed forces, both willingly and forcefully. According to reports, a majority of these children actually recruit themselves voluntarily. Often, militant groups trick child soldiers into believing that they are helping their country by doing so. Additionally, in many cases, militant groups kidnap these children and forced them into armed services. The abduction of children occurs strategically. The children targeted usually congregate in places where they are vulnerable and in large numbers, including churches, schools and orphanages. Others choose them based on their height and physical conditions.
  3. Militant terrorist organizations recruit most child soldiers. Many believe that Somalia’s government willingly allows the military to recruit children. However, this is not true. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the military that recruits these children, but, instead, terrorist groups fighting against the Somali government. The most prominent of these groups, Al-Shabaab, defines itself as an independent militant group that broke away from the Union of Islamic Courts. Al-Shabaab often demands teachers, elders and rural communities to provide them with children 8 years old and older to help them fight. Al-Shabaab has taken the most extreme measures, such as beating, raping, torturing and killing people who refused to give away their children. Over the past 10 years, Al-Shabaab recruited thousands of children to be child soldiers. In total, Al-Shabaab recruited 70% of all child soldiers in Somalia.
  4. Militant groups choose child soldiers for various strategic reasons. One might question why groups like Al-Shabaab target children since children are physically weaker than adults and lack fighting skills. However, targeting children as recruits supports Al-Shabaab’s goal to oust Somalia’s government. Firstly, children are likely to be more vulnerable than adults. Others can easily persuade them to fight for their country, thus making them believe that their contribution is voluntary and will benefit Somalia. The children who become child soldiers do not only serve as frontline fighters. Militant groups use many children as looters, spies, messengers or informants. Additionally, the physical weakness of children makes them prone to sexual assault from their terrorist leaders, who entrap some children as sexual slaves. Lastly, children present better targets than adults since they require less food and water to live. Groups like Al-Shabaab feed child soldiers just enough to survive and function in the war while remaining weak enough for physical manipulation.
  5. Organizations working against child soldiers in Somalia are not making any progress.  Since child soldiers have a high risk of re-recruitment unless properly reintegrated into society, lack of serious initiatives to take on such a difficult issue demonstrates hopelessness. The AMISOM Civil Affairs Officer, Christopher Ogwang, speaking about recent developments, stated, “Our responsibility is to do reconstruction where necessary. We are also extending our services to rehabilitate social facilities like schools, hospitals and police stations.”

Source: www.hanahr.net

AL-SHABAB TERROR ATTACKS

Death Toll Rises in Fighting Between Somali Army and Former Ally

Fighting in Somalia’s Galmudug state between the Somali army and its former ally, the Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a militia, has killed 120 people over the past three days—raising concerns around Somalia’s military capacity to defeat the al-Shabab insurgency (Reuters).

October 26, 2021

Al-Shabab Suicide Car Bomber Kills Eight Somalis

A suicide car bomber killed at least eight and wounded seven people— mostly civilians—near the presidential palace in the Somali capital (Al Jazeera).

September 27, 2021

Somali Terrorist Group Al-Shabab Kills Eleven People

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed eleven people in Mogadishu yesterday (Voice of America).

September 15, 2021

U.S. Launches Another Air Strike Against al-Shabab in Somalia

The United States carried out an air strike against al-Shabab militants yesterday, its third in less than two weeks. The strike targeted the same area as previous air strikes in late July (Voice of America). 

August 2, 2021

U.S. Launches Second Somalia Air Strike in Week

The United States carried out an air strike against al-Shabab militants in Somalia on Friday, its second such action in a week (New York Times).

July 26, 2021

U.S. Conducts First Air Strike in Somalia Under Biden

The United States carried out a drone strike against al-Shabab militants in Somalia, its first such strike in the country under the Biden administration, which in January announced new limits on drone strikes outside active war zones (New York Times).

July 21, 2021

Al-Shabab Bomb Targeting Somali Police Kills Nine

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack in Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu that killed at least nine people and injured eight others. The explosive also targeted and hit the vehicle of the Mogadishu police commissioner (Associated Press).

July 12, 2021

Al-Shabab Fighters Executed in Somalia’s Puntland Region

Twenty-one members of al-Shabab were sentenced by a military court and executed in Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland (BBC).

June 28, 2021

Attack at Mogadishu Military Camp Kills at Least Fifteen

A witness said that at least fifteen army recruits died in a suicide bombing at a military training camp in the Somali capital claimed by al-Shabab (Reuters).

June 15, 2021

Somalia Reaches Agreement on Elections

The government and some regional leaders agreed to hold parliamentary elections within sixty days, followed by a presidential vote. The deal ended a months-long impasse (Washington Post).

May 28, 2021

Al-Shabab Suicide Bombing Kills Six in Somalia

An al-Shabab attack killed six police officers and injured six others in front of a Mogadishu police station. Among those killed was the commander of the district police (Reuters).

May 11, 2021

Al-Shabab Kills Seven in Suicide Bombing in Somalia

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least seven people and wounded eleven others. The vehicle exploded outside of a police headquarters in Somalia’s capital (Associated Press). Separately, Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo announced that he will not extend his term and called for immediate elections (Al Jazeera).

April 28, 2021

Somalia’s Political Struggle Turns Violent

Talks between Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo and his opponents devolved into violence yesterday as pro-government and opposition forces clashed in the capital, Mogadishu. Farmaajo failed to hold elections in February and recently signed legislation extending his term, a move that drew condemnation from the United States and other countries (New York Times).

April 26, 2021

Al-Shabab Claims Attacks on Bases in Somalia

The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for attacks on two military bases on Saturday, in which at least fifteen people were killed (Associated Press).

April 5, 2021

Al-Shabaab Storms Jail, Kills Seven

Seven soldiers were killed after al-Shabaab militants stormed a jail in Puntland today. Al-Shabaab claimed that four hundred prisoners were released in the attack, including some militants who were in jail for over ten years (Reuters).

March 5, 2021

Violence Erupts in Mogadishu

Government forces and protesters supporting opposition groups fought today in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, with reports of gunfire and rocket explosions. The protesters are angered by delayed elections, and the opposition says President Mohamed Farmaajo is ruling illegitimately (Reuters). 

February 19, 2021

Al-Shabaab Kills Thirteen in Somalia

Al-Shabaab killed thirteen members of Somalia’s security force in a bombing near Dhusamareeb, where country leaders met and failed to resolve an impasse on holding elections, leaving President Mohamed Farmaajo without a successor (Deutsche WelleAgence France-Presse) Opposition leaders and the state of Puntland said they will not recognize Farmaajo once his mandate expires today (Garowe Online). 

February 8, 2021

Talks Begin in Last-Ditch Effort to Break Somali Election Impasse

Somali leaders kick off talks today to prevent a constitutional crisis when President Mohamed Farmaajo’s mandate expires on February 8 (Garowe Online). Disputes between Somalia’s central government and its states have twice postponed elections to choose new lawmakers, who select the president, leaving Farmaajo without a successor (Deutsche Welle).

February 3, 2021

Attack on Somali Hotel Kills Nine

Nine people were killed and ten injured in an attack on a hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu (Reuters). The Islamist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, which began with a car bombing and evolved into a firefight between militants and security forces (BBC). February 1, 2021

On 30 Dec, 2021, The Somali government, AU Peace & Security and Amisom Somalia still in discussion on AU forces’ post-2021 operational structure. Key points? Somali-owned & led security mechanisms; and securing predictable financing for the AU mission.

AMISOM

On Dec 26, 2021 – Commander of Daynile district’s security forces Abdisamad Ugas Hashi and 3 of his bodyguards killed in an explosion targeting his vehicle. He was rushing with reinforcements for troops ambushed by insurgents on the outskirts of #Mogadishu – local media.

On 27 Dec, 2021 – PM, Robel, blames President Farmajo of launching an ‘armed attack on his office and trying to overthrow the govt”. Roble orders security officials to take orders from him, not from Farmajo who he described as a presidential candidate, just like other candidates.

On 27 dec, 2021 – In a new statement, #Somalia President, Farmajo, says duty & powers of PM, Roble, who’s being investigated over allegations of corruption & abuse of public land, remains suspended, says PM is involved in encroachment of public land owned by the Somali army.

Senior authorities of the nation exchanged accusations and their political rifts become visible publicly due to the complications and consequences of the ongoing indirect elections and lack of constitutional court in Somalia that rule on constitutional disputes.

Forced Marriage in Somalia

Women and girls in Somalia have severely limited rights when entering into or attempting to dissolve a marriage. Local custom law govern marriage and divorce in Somalia.4 Individuals in Somalia can marry once they have reached the “age of maturity,5 but there is no specific definition of this term and no explicit laws against child marriage.6 UNICEF estimates that 45.3% of girls in Somalia are married before turning 18 years old.7 Divorce, while available to both men and women, is much harder for a woman to obtain, and must be done through the local court system.8 A woman pursuing a divorce may have to give up custody of her children, property, and financial settlements from the marriage, among other hardships.9

Under Somali customs, parents are able to choose their daughter’s husband and to decide if their daughter will to undergo female genital mutilation, which is highly prevalent in Somalia.10 Forced marriages are not uncommon, and young girls are often given away as brides without their consent. Women and girls may also be exchanged for marriage between warring tribes as part of a peace negotiations, or subjected to “inherited” marriage, including practices where a man is entitled to “inherit” the widow of his deceased brother or close relative, and to marry the sister of his deceased wife.11

Women and girls who have been raped are often forced to marry their rapists to uphold family honor, and rapists can avoid punishment if they marry their victim. A woman who refuses such a marriage may face severe consequences from her own family and clan. Women in nomadic communities who resist forced marriages may be outcast from the community,12 and women who refuse inherited marriages may also be denied certain other rights, including child custody and the management of the deceased husband’s property.13

Potential Risks and Protections in Country

It may be very difficult for individuals facing or fleeing forced marriages to access protection in Somalia. Violence against women and girls continues to be widespread, and the ongoing conflict in country hampers efforts by the government to address the problem. Women and girls are often targeted for rape, particularly in displaced persons’ camps.14 Perpetrators of violence may include government security forces, law enforcement and peacekeepers. Perpetrators of violence against women are rarely punished, and law enforcement is widely considered to be unreliable at best, or at worst, hostile towards women.15 While there is an NGO presence in country, it can be difficult to access services.

Refer to:

4 Somali Provisional Constitution, Art. IV, § 1.
5 Somali Provisional Constitution, Art. XXVIII, § 5.
6 Nicola Gladitz, Somalia: A Tradition of Law, at 10, available at http://smartsheep.org/somalia-a-tradition-of-law-a-research-paper-by-nicola-gladitz.
7 Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Somalia: Prevalence of forced or arranged marriages in Somalia; consequences for a young woman who refuses to participate in a forced or arranged marriage (September 20, 2007), available at http://www.refworld.org/docid/47ce6d7a2b.html; UNICEF, Somalia: Statistics, available at http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/somalia_statistics.html.
8 Dahir Jibril, Somalis Recall Forced Marriages with al-Shabaab Fighters (June 21, 2013), available at http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/features/2013/06/21/feature-01 (last accessed March 27, 2014).
9 Emory Law, Somalia, available at http://www.law.emory.edu/ifl/legal/Somalia.htm (last visited February 4, 2014).
10 World Health Organization, Female Genital Mutilation and Other Harmful Practices, available at http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/fgm/prevalence/en/ (last accessed March 24, 2014).
11 Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Somalia: Prevalence of forced or arranged marriages in Somalia; consequences for a young woman who refuses to participate in a forced or arranged marriage (September 20, 2007), available at http://www.refworld.org/docid/47ce6d7a2b.html (accessed February 7, 2014).
12 Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative For The Advancement Of Women, Somalia, available at http://www.eassi.org/somalia (last visited March 27, 2014).
13 Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Somalia: Prevalence of forced or arranged marriages in Somalia; consequences for a young woman who refuses to participate in a forced or arranged marriage (September 20, 2007), available at http://www.refworld.org/docid/47ce6d7a2b.html (accessed February 7, 2014).
14 United Nations Security Council, Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia (2013), available at http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2013/521 (accessed February 4, 2014).
15 Amnesty International, Somalia: Rape and sexual violence a constant threat for displaced women (August 30, 2013), available at http://www.refworld.org/docid/522596a84.html (accessed February 7, 2014)

On 31 Dec, 2021 – First (TB2 Bayraktar??) drone flight over #Somalia in #Merka #Mubaarak aera Call sign #00T61 Hex 001113 17000ft 80/100kts

Source: CSHRD hotline number:

  1. 0627423831 Banadir Region – The Central – (CSHRDS HQ)

AMISOM PEAEKEEPERS KILLED CIVILIANS

Court Martial finds AMISOM soldiers guilty of killing civilians in Goloweyn.

FormatNews and Press ReleaseSource

Posted14 Nov 2021Originally published13 Nov 2021

**After meeting on 2-12th November 2021 and reviewing all the facts including witness statements, the Court Martial on 12th November 2021, found the soldiers guilty of killing the civilians. Two of the soldiers were sentenced to death while the other three were each sentenced to 39 years in prison.

For more information contact
Snr. Communications Officer or Force Spokesperson
Ms. Gifty Bingley or Lt. Col. Daniel Mugoro Muiruri,
Email: au-amisomhom@africa-union.org
Cell phone: (Somalia) +252 617 682 175/+252 613 665 356; (Nairobi) +254 722 788 975

HRDs / WHRDs at Risk Increased in 2021

The number of human rights defenders at risk in Somalia has dramatically increased in 2021 due to the multiple threats they face because of the nature of their human rights advocacy work and the complicated political and security situation in Somalia; a context that forced many HRDs / WHRDs seek temporary shelter and protection according to the south west human rights defenders network  SWHRDN and horn afrik news agency for human rights HANAHR https://swhrdn.net/somalia-number-of-hrds-at-risk-continue-to-increase/

Jubaland

Arrest and Detention
On 11 October 2021,Security forces arrested a candidate for a Lower House seat without a warrant and detained him
for five hours in Kismaayo.
On 21 October 2021 MP’s of the Jubaland administration are selecting four of the eight members nominated by the president of Jubaland, but there are allegations that members who wanted to run for the upper house did not appear on the list of candidates, including the 2nd deputy chairman on the upper house of the somali parliament in the past four years. It is a constitutional right for citizens to run for office and demand to be part of the candidates according of the international law and human rights law. 

On 26 October 2021  in Jubaland, two female candidates campaigning for Federal Parliament and another who was campaigning for the Lower House reported that they were harassed and intimidated, and consequently withdrew their candidacy.

On 25 Dec, 2021 – @ShabelleMedia: Al Shabab claims to have killed a senior security officer named as Ahmed Gurey in an explosion in Kismayo. Gurey has died on Saturday when an explosive device fitted into his car exploded shortly after leaving from a mosque in Kismayo town. Al-Shabaab alleged that its fighters have killed Jubaland official in charge of Tabto town in the Lower Juba region & 2 other officials during overnight raids on several homes near a base housing #Kenya’s troops. Regional authorities have not immediately commented on the claims. #Somalia

On 28 December, 2021- a group of journalists covering the election of Lower House seats in Kismayo’s Daawad hall were threatened with arrest and beating and their camera equipment taken to prevent the journalists’ independent coverage that day. “It’s sad that journalists in Kismayo are unable to independently cover the election of the Lower House including to being able to investigate and report complaints and disputes regarding the electoral process as well as allegations of malpractices during the voting of the Lower House seats. Journalists told us that they are fearing for their safety if they tend to investigate these allegations.

Total Cases of SGBV & Child Soldier Recruitment in Juba Land State of Somalia  in 2021.
Table 1:Total cases and their age group reported

#GBV Types &   Child Soldier Recruitment  LocationLocationLocationGirls<18 yearsWoman>18 yearsBoys <18 yearsMen>18 yearsTotal
1RapeKismayoAbdala BirooleHoosingow8070  150
2Sexual assaultKismayoBeerxaanoBuulagaduud1735  52
 Attempted rapeYoontowKismayoGoobweyn377    80
3Physical assault / TortureKismayoAbdalabirooleBuulagaduud3112  115
4Forced marriage/early marriageGoobweynKismayoBeerxaano2150  215
5FGMKismayoHoosingowAbdalabiroole401   401
6Denial of resourceKismayoHoosingowAbdalabiroole 18  18
7Sexual AbuseKismayoHoosingowAbdalabiroole10138  139
8  Intimate partner violence.  KismayoHoosingowAbdalabiroole357  60
9.Child RecruitmentKismayoHoosingowAbdalabiroole30001,200 1,503
          
   Total   1,1234071,200 2.727

Source: Interviews with family members and survivors (Jan – April 2021) hanahr.net

Source: CSHRDs Hotline number –

  1. 0627423835 Juba land

Galmudug

On April 9, 201 – police in Adado, a city in Galmudug state, arrested Haashim Omar Hassan, a reporter with the privately owned broadcaster Radio Adado and contributor to the Nairobi-based Five Somali TV, he told his family via messaging app. While in custody, police questioned Haashim about two posts on his personal Facebook page—one, on April 6, alleging that security personnel had failed to pay their bills at a local restaurant, and another, on April 9, alleging that a police officer had shot and killed a young man, he said. Haashim frequently posts political news updates and samples of his reporting on his personal Facebook page, where he has about 11,000 followers. Authorities held Haashim overnight and subsequently released him unconditionally the next day, according to the journalist and Fu’ad Haji Abdiwali, Five Somali TV’s chief executive.

On Tuesday 28 September 2021 Galmudug Police arrested Mohamed Abdiwali Tooxow, the freelance journalist who is in detention for more than three days at the Dhuusamareeb Police station. It is unconstitutional to keep a citizen in jail for more than forty-eight hours without due court process.


On 5 October 2021, members of NISA shot and killed a civilian man in front Addado election hall.
The victim was reportedly one of the voters of a seat allocated to a Mursade sub-clan but later was replaced with another person. The victim quarreled with the security forces and insisted that he was on the list.
That dispute led security forces to shoot and kill him.

Source: CSHRDs hotline number –

  • 0627423836 Galmudug

 Hirshabelle


On 8 October 2021 in Jawhar, the bodyguards of the Minister of Youth of the Federal Government of Somalia opened fire inside the parliamentary election hall and injured a young man on 18 November, as it reportedly seemed that the Minister was going to lose the election.

The FIEIT issued a statement regarding the incident and halted the electoral process in Jawhar temporarily.  The election was rescheduled and the Minister won the seat. The bodyguards were not prosecuted.

On 20 October 2021, security forces arrested a candidate for the Lower House of the Somali
Federal Parliament in Beledweyne and detained him for several hours before he was released.
The candidate was arrested for holding a political meeting with his sub-clan elders to support
his candidacy.

The security forces reportedly threatened him and warned him to stop such
activities, and the candidate consequently withdrew his candidacy.

On 30 December, 2021, Al-Shabab militants have attacked the town of Bal’ad, 30kms north of Mogadishu. At least six people were killed including two civilians. Army commanders said nine militants were also killed in the attack. The militants briefly entered the town before security forces repulsed them

On 30 Dec, 2021, Somali Forces repulsed Al-Shabaab after the militants entered parts of Bal’ad town around 6am local time. 3 militants, 2 soldiers were killed, source. Militants intended to destroy road construction machinery stored at a site in the town but were surrounded before reaching them.

On 30 Dec, 2021, Bal’ad town fully in Govt hands after attack by Al-Shabaab militants early on Thursday. Security forces say they have removed unexploded devices from town’s district HQs. Update on casualty figures to come.

On October 21, 2021 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) condemns in the strongest terms possible the arrest of its Secretary General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin and Its Secretary of training Hanad Ali Guled by Hirshabelle police on Thursday morning, the latest in a string of violence against the union officials and its members.

SJS union officials Ahmed Mumin and Hanad Ali Guled arrested in Jowhar, Hirshabelle.

Uniformed Police raided and arrested both officials at a hotel in Jowhar on Thrusday morning around 10:00am, where they were conducting training on enhancing media freedom and safety of journalists with the generous support from Canadian government through Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives.

Both Mumin and Guled are currently held in an unknown location.

Around 11:37 Thursday morning, armed police again arrested Mohamed Ibrahim Bulbul, Information and Human Rights Secretary while busy conducting the training for 25 journalists in the town of Jowhar. SJS condemns the arrest and calls for their immediate release.

Source: SJS https://wardheernews.com/hirshabelle-state-arrested-somali-journalists-syndicate-officials-and-taken-to-unknown-location/

Total Cases of SGBV & Child Soldier Recruitment in Hirsheballe State of Somalia  in 2021.
Table 2:Total cases and their age group reported

#GBV Types &   Child Soldier Recruitment  LocationLocationLocationGirls<18 yearsWoman>18 yearsBoys <18 yearsMen>18 yearsTotal
1RapeBeledweyneJowharMiddle shabelle8025  105
2Sexual assaultGumarayJowharMiddle shabelle 71  71
 Attempted rapeJowharJowharshabelle 51    51
3Physical assault / TortureJowharJowharMiddle shabelle 101  101
4Forced marriage/early marriageBeledweyneJowharMiddle shabelle17515  190
5FGMJowharBeledweyneMiddle shabelle350   350
6Denial of resourceJowharJowharHiiraan 14  14
7Sexual AbuseJowharJowharHiiraan2137  58
8  Intimate partner violence.  JowharJowharHiiraan 21  21
9.Child RecruitmentBuq Aqable DistrictJimbiley DistrictEl Ali District2000300 500
          
   Total   826335300 1,461
  1. Source: Interviews with family members and survivors (April – July 2021) – hanahr.net & CSHRDs
    1. 0627423834 Hirshabelle


Puntland

Somalia (Puntland region): Journalist Kilwe Adan Farah detained, accused of murder.

Mogadishu, January 20, 2021 – Authorities in Somali state of Puntland should immediately and unconditionally release journalist Kilwe Adan Farah, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On December 27, 2020, intelligence personnel in Garowe, the capital of Puntland, detained Kilwe, who runs the Facebook-based news outlet Kilwe Media Inc, according to posts by his outlet …

Source: HANAHR

On 22 February, Puntland police in Bosaso arrested freelance journalist Ahmed Botan Arab who reports on social media. His arrest followed after he posted video interviews on his Facebook page showing some residents of Bosaso commenting on a speech by the Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni had made the previous day. The speech touched on political developments in the region and the ongoing stalemate on the implementation of an electoral agreement between Somalia’s regional and federal leaders.

On 25 February, Puntland police in Garowe detained news editor of Somali Television Network, Abdifatah Abdullahi Farah (known as Jiib). The Criminal Investigation Department officers visited the TV office in Garowe and detained him in connection with his coverage of a news story that contained some residents of Garowe town commenting on a speech by the Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni had made the previous day. He was detained and interrogated for several hours at Garowe central police station and later released on the same day without charge only after he had agreed not to publish reports critical of the Puntland government and its leaders.

On 28 October 2021 Opposition groups have formed a coalition to take control of the three districts in the recent by-elections. The two opposition parties, Mideeye and Sincad, have vowed to overthrow the conservative Kaah party, which won the most votes in the three district elections. the union of the two organizations means that they have a majority of votes to help them win the district commissioners of Qardho and Ufayn, while Eyl is likely to have Kaah with a close majority, to win the mayor of Eyl. The Puntland Electoral Commission is expected to announce the election schedule for the three district commissioners, although the Supreme Court is expected to approve the election. Puntland, for the first time, has held such elections, having failed in a similar attempt in 2013, during Abdirahman Farole’s administration. 


On 24 October 2021 Tens of thousands of voters are electing their local leaders in Somalia’s Puntland in the first direct election in the region in more than half a century. Residents in Qardho, Eyl and Ufeyn districts are voting for local councillors competed by 8 political parties. 
This is a historical sight full event below are some of the images taken from QARDHO, EYL and UFEYN districts during the election. 

On 31 October 2021 The Puntland government cancelled a public forum Monday evening moments before the Federal Elections Committee chairman Mohamed Irro was due to address.
The event organizer, Madasha Daljir Media, said the minister of the Interior, Mohamed Dhabanad ordered the cancellation of the meeting when all participants were already in the hall.
There was no immediate reason for the move, but it came as Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni sacked police boss Hasan Abdi Yare who had met with Irro earlier in the day. Irro also met with Deni earlier in the week following the conclusion of the district council elections.Deni is reportedly planning to join the Presidential race in the upcoming elections.

On Dec 21 – Fighting between elements of Somali pro-government forces killed at least seven people and injured 50 in the region of Puntland, Somalia, on Tuesday, a doctor at a hospital that treated wounded people, reported casualties. It was the first reported deadly clash between forces loyal to Puntland’s president and the U.S.-trained Puntland Security Forces (PSF), which both support Somali central government forces against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents.

“At least seven people including (forces) from both sides and civilians died in the fighting,” said Mohamed Ahmed, a doctor at the main hospital in the regional capital Bosaso. Both combatants and civilians were among the injured, Ahmed said. A Puntland forces commander who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media confirmed the deaths, saying four were from his side, two were PSF fighters and the other a civilian.

Clashes between the two groups broke out early on Tuesday with each accusing the other of initiating the violence. Fighting had stopped by late on Tuesday with the streets of Bosaso empty and businesses shuttered. Tensions between the two have run high since last month when Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni fired PSF commander Mohamoud Osman Diyano. Deni won elections in January 2019, defeating Asad Osman Diyano, the brother of the PSF commander.

The PSF chief refused to vacate his post and ordered his forces from some frontline positions against al Shabaab. “We are defending ourselves. We have fought for our country and we do not want to use our weapons against the misled forces,” Diyano said of the clashes with the Puntland militia. Fighting earlier this year between government troops and a formerly allied militia in the neighbouring state of Galmudug appeared to undermine the campaign against al Shabaab, analysts have said. Last week, al Shabaab captured towns there for the first time in a decade.

  1. Source: CSHRDs hotline number: Hotline: 0627423833



South West

Human Rights Occurrences of 2021

On 23 Nov, 2021 – Mass displacement of several districts by al-shabab militias according to witnesses & survivors of alshabab’s merciless terrorists’ rampant attack on the following districts of Leego, Yaaqbiri Wayne, Goobaanle, & Beledul Amiin. The survivors narrated harrowing accounts of people being killed, women being raped, children being kidnapped, houses, stores & cars being burnt down to ashes, camels and other livestock being robbed and drink wells being buried by the merciless Alshabab terrorists in a reprisal carnage against civilian residents in above mentioned districts in shabele regions in Somalia in between February 18 to February 23, 2021, the carnage comes after the residents failed to hand over militia, alshabab alleges to be fighting against them.

In Lower Shabelle, Alshabab set ablaze on civilian properties in 2021. Courtesy @Mohamud
In Lower Shabelle, Alshabab set ablaze on civilian properties in 2021. Courtesy @Mohamud

On 28 August The South West Police Force went on a raid in the middle of the night around 2:30 Am in Saydhelow district outskirt of Baidoa from 20 km where they abused the civilian residents by breaking and looting into shops in the market and also took a Bajaj motorcycle. One of the locals says this is not the first time the police have acted in a way that has caused a lot of problems for the residents while they arrested almost 6 persons and took them into Baidoa district prison.

On 3 October, a huge bomb blast targeted small restaurant beside Subis Hotel @ 2:41 pm in Baidoa injured iniskoy.org staff Mr. Hassan Mohamed Sirat (Human Rights Case Manager) severely injured. He is reportedly in critical condition after sustaining life threatening injuries and rushed to Baidoa regional Hospital for treatment.


On 7 of September The police chief of the South West Mr. Amin Mat daruur has called for a meeting between the security services and all the publishing companies and told them that they cannot publish anything related to the election, such as candidate Bil Boards, posters and anything related to the election. The commander imposed an order on the companies and said that if they don’t comply with the order given, they would be prosecuted. The directives come at a time when parliamentary elections are about to begin although this has been strongly opposed by publishing companies, no publisher has yet been published since this order has issued.

On 10 October 2021 around 1:00pm An attack was carried out on the premises of the officials of the Ministry of Interior in SWS and key agencies who were engaged in the administration of building in the district council of Barawe, this led to the death of one person and injuries of two civilians. 

On 23 October 2021, SNA members arrested or detained a sub-clan chief who was
travelling to Mogadishu to participate in consultations on elections in Barawe town of Lower
Shabelle.
Sources reported that his arrest was politically motivated and initiated by a member of the Federal Parliament, who was also a FGS Deputy Minister.

On 27 October 2021 a delegation led by the former President of the Sws Administration Mr. Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan was prevented from landing in Baidoa after lengthy negotiations with traditional elders and other key figures of the two SWS Parliament’s he was allowed to arrive safely in Baidoa but could not campaign. 

On 28 October 2021 around 11:45 am More than 7 journalists were arrested in Baidoa. After Former Sws president and Presidential Candidate Mr. Shariif Hassan Sheikh Adan arrived in Baidoa, this prompted the arrest of journalists by the police as they confiscated phones and materials from the journalists. This is coming at a time when lower house elections are expected to begin soon. 

On 29 October 2021 around 2:30 pm a delegation from Electoral Commission in Federal level arrived Baidoa led by Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Ciro the chairman of SEIT, while this delegation had welcomed the Chairman of South West State Electoral Committee in Baidoa while the President of the South West State of Somalia, HE Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed Laftgareen, received in his office the Federal and South West State Election Implementation Committee in Baidoa.

President Abdiaziz Laftagareen held an hour-long meeting with the Committee to hear a briefing on the proceedings and plans for the Lower House of the Federal Parliament of Somalia. 

On 30 October 2021 The police forces in Baidoa were trying to arrest Mr’s. Zahra Shariif but the Society’s and her clan leaders prevent her from that attempted arbitrary detention. The main purpose was to prevent her from holding a political meeting with her sub-clan elders to support her candidacy. The security forces reportedly threatened her and warned her to stop such activities, and the candidate consequently withdrew her candidacy. Although is yet to be confirmed. 

On 4 of December – Al Shabaab militants set fire to 9 donkey carts carrying vegetables and other food items in Wajid District Bakool region,It was set on fire in Iri-Weer village, about 37km from Wajid district This proves the level of hostility that the terrorists have reached to the point where they are burning animals; given that, it is the only way of transportation that the community of the region were using due to the blockade.
This is the second incident in two months by Al Shabaab perpetrated on the roads leading to Wajid town.

Total Cases of SGBV in South West State of Somalia  in 2021.
Table 3:Total cases and their age group reported

#GBV TypesLocationLocationLocationGirls<18 yearsWoman>18 yearsBoys <18 yearsMen>18 yearsTotal
1RapeBayBakoolLower shabelle613  19
2Sexual assaultBayBakoolLower shabelle 30  30
 Attempted rapeBayBakoolshabelle 29    29
3Physical assault / TortureBayBakoolLower shabelle 108  108
4Forced marriage/early marriageBayBakoolLower shabelle4516  61
5FGMBayBakoolLower shabelle70   70
6Denial of resourceBayBakooolLower shabelle 42  42
7Exual AbuseBayBakoolLower shabelle198  27
8  Intimate partner violence.  BayBakoolShabelle 36  36
9.Child RecruitmentBayBakoolLower Shabelle0023 23
          
   Total   140282  445

Source: Interviews with family members and survivors (July – October 2021) – iniskoy.org & CSHRDs hotline number: 0627423832 South west state (4)

Women and girl’s vulnerability to GBV continues to increase given the incidents of natural disasters, community clashes over scarce resources, armed conflict and COVID19 restrictions. It is important that humanitarian actors must prioritize and act on the following:

• broaden service provision; ensure prepositions of supplies and equipment for GBV service provision, sustain capacity and mobilization of CMR and PSS actors to deliver services;

 • integrate and expand cash and voucher assistance for vulnerable women and girls and ensure that women and girls have access to material items such as dignity kits, reusable sanitary pads, solar lanterns for the protection of dignity.

 • GBV risk mitigation initiatives both at IDP camps and host communities.

• And sustain updating and implementation of integrated referral pathways to direct vulnerable women and girls including GBV survivors to timely, quality and confidential services.

 • Undertake mobile team delivery of services to meet immediate GBV, protection and Reproductive health needs of vulnerable women and girls.

Somaliland

On 29 October 2021 The Electoral Commission of the Northern Regions of Somaliland hopes to hold an election for the first two seats in Somalia’s incoming parliament.
According to the committee’s schedule, registration for candidates looking to occupy seats HOP239 and HOP237 will begin on Friday and will be completed on Saturday. 
One of the two seats announced, HOP239, was last occupied by Hussein Arab Isse, and among the candidates for the seat is Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Guled Khadar.
The other seat, HOP237, was previously occupied by Bihi Iman Egeh.The election commission did not release a date for the actual election, which will be held in Mogadishu, but it is expected to happen sometime next week. 

On 29 October 2021 The Electoral Commission of the Northern Regions of Somaliland hopes to hold an election for the first two seats in Somalia’s incoming parliament.

According to the committee’s schedule, registration for candidates looking to occupy seats HOP239 and HOP237 will begin on Friday and will be completed on Saturday. 

One of the two seats announced, HOP239, was last occupied by Hussein Arab Isse, and among the candidates for the seat is Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Guled Khadar.

The other seat, HOP237, was previously occupied by Bihi Iman Egeh.

The election commission did not release a date for the actual election, which will be held in Mogadishu, but it is expected to happen sometime next week. 

On 31 October 2021 Two seats in the lower house of the Somali Federal Parliament are expected to be up for grabs in Mogadishu in the coming days. Last week, Speaker of the Upper House Abdi Hashi Abdullahi and Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled unveiled new procedures for electing seats in the northern regions (Somaliland), they said. The process was also discussed by the Electoral Dispute Resolution Committee.

Arbitrary Detention  

Somaliland went to the poll stations on May 31, 2021 to elect local and parliamentary candidates. Prior to election and during the election campaigns, Somaliland government has taken election-related actions against opposition candidates. Human Rights Centre recorded the detention of seven opposition politicians who were declared willing to compete in the elections. Additionally, three more opposition candidates are wanted by the Police at the time according to a statement issued by the Police and other sources. The arrest of the opposition politicians contradicts the Constitution of Somaliland and the Elections Act, which both provide politicians with the right to participate in politics without fear of reprisal and to join the party of their choosing. Article 22(1) of Somaliland constitutions says8, “Every citizen shall have the right to participate in the political, economic social and cultural affairs.”  

The Elections Act stipulates that a candidate has immunity from arrest unless they are caught in the act of committing a crime. In all the cases investigated by Human Rights Centre, the arrests were carried out in contrary to the Elections Law. The government has not officially charged any of the arrested candidates and politicians.  

The National Electoral Commission issued a statement on 26 April 2021 informing government authorities that candidates have immunity and shall not be arrested unless caught in the act of committing a crime. The statement further provided that it is prohibited to arrest a candidate during the election period. The National Human Rights Commission also supported the electoral body’s decision and called on the immediate release of detained candidates. In a press release, the Police defended the detention of the candidates and said they are investigating other candidates for the following counts9: 

  • False certification by a person performing a service of public necessity (art. 371 of the Penal Code); 
  • False certification of a public document by a private individual (art. 373 of the Penal Code); 

Somaliland Constitution  

  • Falsification of private deeds (art. 375 of the Penal Code). 

The press release has not detailed the facts concerning the articles allegedly violated. Additionally, the Police have not stated which candidate is accused of which count. According to court records, no candidate or detained opposition politicians has been charged by the Office of the Attorney General. 

On August, 28 2021 the UCID Deputy Secretary of Information in Awdal region Saleeban Awale Good was detained for 28 days, he was arrested on the premise of criticizing the job performance of the Governor of Awdal region, following his critique in the media. He has a right to express his concerns and challenge any official in their job capacity. His arrest challenges and contradicts article 25(1) and article 32(1). Article 25(1) states that “No one shall be deprived of his liberty except in accordance with the law.” Article 32(1) states “Every citizen shall have the right to express her or his opinion in writing, orally.” or any other form of media. HRC is also concerned that this case is another issue of abuse of power by an elected official on a citizen. 

On September, 16 2021 the Deputy Governor of Maroodijex, Wali Abdi Jama, from the Wadani Party was arrested after he criticized the President, Muse Bihi Abdi, through a media conference. Wali was sentenced up to 2 years and half in prison on November, 23 2021.  

On October, 5 2021 the chairperson of Berbera city council of UCID party Khalil Hussein Musa was arrested for criticizing the governor and mayor of Berbera City on his personal Facebook account. He is currently still held in detention and awaiting trial in December 2021.  

Mohamoud Mohammed Haji Ibrahim was arrested in Burco on 6/12/2021 for a Facebook post criticizing the Minister of the Ministry of the Interior. He was held for 10 days prior to being sentenced for one year in prison. In other violations of freedom of expression, Idiris Said Mohammed, also known as Sayidka Barakaysan was arrested for the mock portrayal of the president, violating his constitutional right to express his opinion in any medium. He is a Youtuber and comedian. He was arrested on 2/12/2021, currently held in detention without trial. Arbitrary arrests have steadily been increasing in Somaliland in free speech and freedom of expression and Human Rights Center is concerned that this rapid increase is deteriorating. His case is still pending without trial at the time of this publication.

 Detention and prosecution cases of journalists have been part of the human rights occurrences since the beginning of the year 2021. The incidents of detentions, media house suspensions and intimidation from government is real concern when it comes to freedom of media even though the constitution of Somaliland guarantees the freedom of media as stated in article 32, coupled with 2004 press law which also guarantees the protection of journalists. However, the penal code of Somalia which was ratified back in the 1960 is still used for media cases, which in contrast contradicts the Somaliland Constitution and criminalizes media issues such as defamation, most of which cannot be applicable to the journalists in the current time13. Misinterpretation and plurality of the legal system utilized in Somaliland leads to confusion in the ways that people are arrested and charged, in effect the Penal Code. In this reporting period Human Rights Centre documented the detention of 13 journalists for work-related activities.  

Case Studies: #02 – #11

On 5 January 2021, Abdihakim Mohamed Ali, a freelancer journalist, was arrested in Erigavo for a Facebook post. He was released on 18 January 2021 without charges.  

Hoodo Mohamed Nuur Garays, a journalist of Horyal TV, and her mother, Suleekha Abdilahi Abdi, were arrested and tortured on 20 February 2021, by the police. They spent 23 hours in Iftin police station seven people attacked them including Police women. They released them a next day by negotiations.

On 16 January 2021, Hussein Ateeye Gaafane, a reporter of Universal TV, Abdilaahi Dahir Ways of Saab TV, Ahmed Dirie Iltire, a reporter of SBC TV and Shuaib Mohamed Kahin of Bulsho TV, was arrested in Borama on the order of the mayor of Borama. They were released on 20 January 2021 without any charge. 

On 16 March 2021, Mustafe Abdirahman Mohamed Araale, a reporter from Eryal TV was arrested in Borama after he videotaped a garbage dumpster in the middle of the city, his arrest was ordered by governor of Borama and he was released on the same date.  

On 13 April 2021, Adan Abdi Idle, a freelancer journalist was arrested for Facebook posts for being critical about the Central Bank governor on corruption issues. Hargeisa Regional Court reasoned the utilization of the Somali Penal Code, which does not have a clear distinction of the media currently used in present times. Remanded him into prison for further investigations. No official charges were currently filed with the court. He was released on 29 April 2021 without charges.  

On 23 April 2021, Abdiqadir Mohamed Abdilahi (Aka Ishqi), a reporter of MM TV was arrested in Borama by the Somaliland police after he interviewed Hassan Dehehe, a sheikh based in Borama who allegedly supported the President of Somalia. 

On 13 September 2021, Mohammed Abdi Omar a reporter from SBCTV was arrested in Gebilay after he filmed a documentary of kalabaydh hospital in Gebilay. 

On 02 October 2021, Mawliid Ismacil Haredigeed a reporter of Halbeeg media was arrested in Lascaanood after he recorded a major humanitarian crisis against Somaliland government for the force eviction taken place in LasAnood, he was released at the same date.  

On 24 October 2021, Abdifatah Mohammed Abdi a reporter who works with Holhol media was arrested in LasAnood for videotaping four traditional elders who were supporting a parliamentarian candidate in Somalia. He was released on 06 November 2021 without charge. 

Police Brutality 

Somaliland is a victim of its infantile system, accountability and transparency within and around institutions in Somaliland leads to chaos, creating a population that is morally desensitized to its problems and participation apart from voting in elections, lack of security in these institutions which are meant to protect the population, decreasing the strength of the democratic identity which Somaliland is striving towards. Various government institutions have limited capacity including the police despite the many activities and task forces to train officers; therefore, mechanisms of  oversight do not exist though the Police law of 2017 created civilian police and established

oversight body and banned use of live bullets against unarmed civilians, however the act was not implemented and an amendment was made within a year. The amendment removed all accountability provisions from the law making it an irrelevant document that does not provide a protection for civilians. Most of the cases involving police brutality acts have been a lack of oversight and accountability14.  

Human Rights Center documented several cases of police brutality; Most of the cases have been cases where due diligence, due process and a respect of law and order is ignored, as well as appropriate use of force and correct enforcement of statutes. Actions taken by the police included indiscriminately targeting citizens, armed shooting and illegal processing procedures.  

Of the cases reported, investigated and documented by independent HRDs, each case showed a lack of decorum, responsibility and accountability on behalf of the police force. The most egregious case of excessive force and police brutality involves a 19-year-old Abdiassis Abdillahi, resulting in gunshots aimed at both of his legs seven times by the officer involved.  The facts of his case will be outlined in the graph below.  

Gender based sexual violence GBSV

Somaliland constitution stipulates in article 36 that “the government shall encourage and legislate for women to be free of practices which are contrary and injurious to their person and dignity”, however that is mostly obstructed both by representatives and those in decision making positions. Mostly, the lack of legislation is linked to the mixed interpretations of the laws and the plural law system applied in the country15. In 2018, the Somaliland president signed the Rape and Sexual Offences Act, which also faced backlash from the religious leaders including the minister of religious affairs at that time because of its language and interpretations. The bill was agreed to be amended for better language, that fulfilled sharia interpretation and the Somaliland constitution, but the progress of the amendment has been stalled for unknown reasons. It has been three years and the Act is still sitting in the Guurti house. Although, the importance of this law is known by every citizen in this country and the need of it is growing every single day. Criminalization of rape can lead to prevention, of which organizations have requested.  

The lack of women in decision making roles is making easier to subjugate women in Somaliland as the decision-making roles does not involve any woman or any advocates for gender issues in the parliament. Somaliland government held a parliamentary election in May 2021 and unfortunately none of the elected candidates were women, thus making it difficult when there is no single woman in parliament that can raise issues and advocate for the issues related women  

15 https://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session11/SO/SOMRAF_SomaliMinorityRightsAidForum eng.pdf

including SGBV. On 03 November 2021, the Somaliland police forces published a report that includes the number of rape cases that have been recorded in this year and they stated that 232 16 rape cases have been recorded and that those are the reported cases, however the cruel reality is rape is one of the least underreported crimes in the country for a plethora of reasons, one of them being there is no mechanism in place. There is no database for these reports nor does Somaliland have a forensics department that can handle these cases.  

Case Study #01 Hinda Cumar Abdi: 30-year-old woman located in Hargeisa. The rape and death of Hinda Abdi took place on July 9th 2021.  Hinda Cumar Abdi was visiting her family in the Mohammed Mooge area when she got on a bus to take her back to her place of residence. The rape and consequent murder happened approximately a few kilometer away from the place of her family. Eyewitness heard a scream and a body being thrown on the street, no one could identity her as she was horribly disfigured due to struggle and the subsequent rape and murder afterwards. Her families were informed by doctors overseeing her case that the trauma suffered by Hinda was related to the Rape and blunt trauma by the bus drivers. Her case is still currently being investigated in ongoing trial. 

16 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewSBBIkP6OE 

Internally Displaced People 

Human Rights Center traveled to Burco on September 16-17 2021 and Istanbul IDP in Hargeisa on September 22-23 2021. The first IDP the staff and monitors visited was named May 18th, specifically the data gathered and formulated came from the Kuurlibaah and Alaa Amin section of May 18th camp. The population according to the families is around 2800-3000, though there is no viable way for us to verify that information, as they were all displaced from the area of Burco University. It should be noted that those that gave us access to interview them were predominately women, thus all the quotes in this report for this section will be from the women residing in May 18 camp from Burco, as well as omitting their names for privacy and security.  Of the interviewees questioned, water, sanitation issues as well as the distance from the camp to the central burco is a problem. The distanced traveled from the city center of Burco or anything of relevance to daily activity is hindered by the lack of access, whether that is transportation services and money. According to the interviewees, taxi cost back and forth to the camp costs them 10k Somaliland shilling, which presents a problem as they do not have the money or access to get money. Their livelihood has been stagnated due to the fact that they live so far out from the rest of the population, that even paying rent seems impossible at most times, in doing so leading to a lack of accessibility to other necessities such as a pharmacy, clinics or supermarkets.  June 12 camp lists many humanitarian issues, of all the basic necessities granted to all humans.  Of the two camps in June 12, Kuurlibaah and Alaa Amiin, the most grievous of issues for the residents were clean water and restrooms. Interviewees reported that six families share one area of the toilet. The toilets aren’t sustainable in the way they were constructed, as they are open toilets. Another concerning factor mentioned by the residents, they don’t use the toilet after 6 pm for security purposes, including animal warfare. Other difficulties counted by the residents regards land ownership. Because they don’t own the land they currently reside in, they are not allowed to dig or construct a proper bathroom17, further adding to the challenges and difficulties they face.  

Without the drought crisis and food insecurity plaguing residents in IDPs, the issue of water is a consistent humanitarian crisis. Droughts and water crisis is a continuous challenging humanitarian issue that the Somaliland National Drought Committee18 was reactivated by the Government in early March 2021 and reported that dry rains have severely deteriorated the problems in Somaliland, in addition to the already troubling environmental and conflict issues in the country, and the frequency in which these disasters are happening. When asked how the residents have access to water, the overwhelming response was from water tank or jar costing 1.000 Somaliland Shilling. In respect to the money, residents mentioned that some cannot afford to buy it, and when they can buy the water from the tanks or jars, the water is salty. While the water being salty is perfect for cooking because salt will not be needed, as mentioned by the residents, drinking salty water is far from ideal. Somaliland’s groundwater source is boreholes, shallow wells and springs for all water usages, thus the salinity of the water acquired is higher than needed for drinking water, therefore households across Somaliland will live around areas of where they can access the water, or relatively close where they can travel miles to get water.  Moreover, the complexity of humanitarian issues in the country paves the way for more insecurity in the region. Consuming salt water is harmful for a myriad of reasons, most importantly dehydration and failure of organs, which violates the fundamental right provided by the Somaliland government over the rights of their citizens.  

According to the residents interviewed in the IDP Camps. 

Forced Evictions 

Another factor displacing people in Somaliland is forced evictions. Somaliland unilaterally forcibly evicted people in LasAnood and Erigavo for what the government considered “security issues20”, however the circumstances in which they were evicted do not support that claim from the information gathered by our sources and witnesses. On October 2, 2021, HRC received report of 1000 individuals of the Rahanweyn residing in LasAnood were told to leave and go back to south Somalia, without notice. This was a lapse in humanitarian judgement on the part of the government. The evictees were long-term residents of LasAnood with business and a life spanning a long family history in the area. Reports received by the Center recorded a massive campaign of evicting elderly and pregnant women, thus leading to an outcry from Somaliland citizens and the international community. Forced eviction campaign from LasAnood and Erigavo spanned throughout the month of October. However, due to the outcry from the international community, the government allowed Rahanweyn residents of Erigavo a month’s notice to leave Somaliland. According to our sources, between 1000-3000 families were evicted, although there are more than what is reported, though there’s no record or complete investigation into how many individuals were forcibly evicted from these two regions.  

On 26 December, Somaliland police in Lasanod detained Holhol Media journalist, Abdifatah Mohamed Abdi who also reports for Saab TV after he posted a video clip in which Lasanod residents appealed President Muse Bihi Abdi to fire the Governor of Sool region Abdikarin Adan Haji Diriye citing “mismanagement and sowing division among the community”. According to colleagues and family members, the journalist’s detention was ordered by Governor Diriye.

On Thursday 30 December, the police detained two other journalists: Universal Somali TV reporter, Abdikhadar Farah Abshir and freelacer Hamze Abdirahman Ahmed following the orders of Governor Diriye.  The detention of the two reporters also follows after they reported interviews featuring complaints by Lasanod elders and members of the community criticising Governor of Sool region and demanding his removal.

About the CSHRDS

The Coalition of Somalia Human Rights Defenders (CSHRDs) is a non-governmental, non-partisan and

human rights organization which is registered under the Non-Governmental Act.

CSHRDs is the only independent National human rights coalition in Somalia. (Independent Human Rights CSO)

CSHRDS is composed of members with notable experience in the field of human rights.

CSHRDS comprises of HRDs e.g. women human rights defenders, indigenous people’s rights defenders, environmental defenders and other human rights activists.

The main objective of the CSHRDs-Coalition is to work towards enhancing the Promotion

and protection of Human rights and defending the HRDs/WHRDs in Somalia. It is registered under the Ministry of Interior.

CSHRDs-Coalition is comprised of both individual and organizational memberships, whereby as of

Aug 2020 it had members who are basically human rights defenders e.g. human rights lawyers, journalists, humanitarian workers, and other human rights activists in Somalia.

Mission

  • Promoting human rights advocacy
  • Creating New Strategies to human rights advocacy
  • Protecting and defending human defenders HRDs & women human rights defenders WHRDs as well as indigenous people’s rights defenders, environmental defenders and other human rights activists.

Vision

Fostering Human rights & Human dignity

CSHRDs – Its membership and representation in terms of operation is spread in all over Somalia’s (Federal and regional states).

– CSHRDS has women section, namely; women human rights defenders WHRDs that fight for women rights e.g. women from indigenous and minority groups to get all their social, economic, and political rights etc. in Somalia. WHRDs in Somalia from all member states will work to ensure that women rights are respected and upheld.

The main interest of
this coalition is to, inter alia,
work towards enhanced security and protection of the HRDs in the Federal
Republic of Somalia. It also intends to strengthen regional and international
interventions towards protection and promotion of the rights and responsibilities
of the HRDs. The ultimate result of all these, as this coalition visualizes is
a contribution to creation of safer working environment for the CSHRDs. It has
been and still intends to work closely with different stakeholders including
local, regional, international organizations, individual Human rights
activists; development partners; Federal Government and other relevant
stakeholders

(i) Understanding the Nature of CSHRDs-Coalition.

-Coalition of Somali Human Rights Defenders abbreviated as CSHRDS www.cshrds.org was established by a determined   group of HRDs from different local Human rights groups based in Somalia on 10th September 2019 and their move towards establishing this coalition that comprises more than 50 local human rights organizations comes after having considered the dire need for strong representation of HRDs rights and interests both locally and internationally given the country’s situation where the political and security situation are main challenges to HRDs’ daily activities. Most of HRDs work under low profile mode just to prevent against threats and physical attacks against them and their families. In the very beginning of the establishment of this  Coalition, a handful of HRDs met to discuss issues and challenges facing HRDs and started to engage in serious of serious talks on daily basis in early August 2020, these discussions took place via zoom and WhatsApp group live discussions which led to a unanimous decision to establish a Coalition that represents all HRDs in Somalia inclusively in order to promote, defend and advocate effectively for human rights and represent HRDs interests at all levels and in all platforms and form one amplified strong voice. The HRDs group started to call their colleagues to join them in their efforts to establish a coalition that stands for their rights and the rights of the people of this country. The group made their mission promotion, defense and advocacy of human rights in Somalia. Subsequently and gradually local human rights organizations (small and giant) commenced to join the coalition in order to establish the largest coalition of HRDs in the horn of Africa region. The coalition is growing ever since. (Necessity is the mother of invention) This Basic discussion paper outlines the coalition’s main strategic focus, objectives, out puts and the way forward.

Strategic Objectives

SO1 – Forging Effective network of HRDs collaborating in Somalia.

SO2 – Improved social accountability and governance for better service delivery for all.

SO3 – A transparent and accountable civil society financing framework for reinforcement of governments’ call to action in the fulfillment of governance obligations

SO4 – Human and financial resource capacity enhancement to realize the objectives of the Coalition.

SO5 – To be the leading Human Rights coalition in Somalia, that addresses Human Rights Defenders needs and challenges through protection, capacity building as well as capacity development and advocacy. Over the coming 10-year period, CSHRDs-Coalition will deliver on the following Key Result Areas: – Legal Aid and social protection of human rights defenders, Promotion of the human rights defenders among coalition members, Protection of human rights defenders at risk and human rights defenders focal persons, Civic and legal education, advocacy for law reforms and its organizational development. Specifically, Networking with Global and Regional HRDs, CSHRDs-Coalition seeks to accomplish the following strategic aims:

1. Legal knowledge among legal practitioners improved

2. Legal frameworks for human rights defenders improved

3. Public awareness on human rights defender’s protection and capacities to address the rights of the human rights defenders enhanced (Promotion of the work/ role of CSHRDs in/to the Society, make it recognized hence valued)

4. Human rights defenders’ capacities and civil societies networking improved. CSHRDs-Coalition capacity and sustainability strengthened.

Coalition of Somali Human Rights Defenders CSHDs www.cshrds.org

HQ: Buulaxuubey, km5, Mogadishu, Somalia

For any press inquiries should be directed to: info@cshrds.org   ,    M. +252615981000