Saturday, 31 October 2015

Somali Refugees
Nearly 5,000 Somali refugees from Kenya's Dadaab camps have returned home since December last year, the UN refugee agency has said. About 4,500 more have signed up to go back in the coming months, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said.
"They also receive a cash grant, food and basic domestic items such as sleeping mats, mosquito nets, solar lanterns, hygiene supplies and kitchen utensils to help them start a new life," UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told a press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on Saturday.
The agency said in an update, security and socio-economic conditions in many parts of Somalia are not right for large-scale returns of refugees. However, some are eager to leave life in exile behind and help rebuild their country, it said.

"To end one of the world's most complex refugee situations it is vital to make sure that the small number of returns can be successful and contribute to a more peaceful and stable Somalia," Edwards said. He added that more support and investment in the country's social and economic infrastructure is urgently needed. (Source:

Friday, 23 October 2015

Somali President Says His Govt Committed to Peaceful Democratic Transition in 2016

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has said his government is ready to pave way for peaceful democratic transition in 2016. Speaking during two day Somali leaders' consultation forum in the capital Mogadishu on Tuesday (October 20, 2015), Sheikh Mohamud said unity is vital in achieving historic democratic transitions.
"Three years ago, when my government was appointed, we created a vision for 2016 and we committed to a peaceful transition of political power in 2016, Three years later we are turning this vision into reality" he said.
President Mohamud however doubted the realization of one man one vote given the security situation, short period and the shortcomings from the incomplete constitution for electoral commission but showed confidence in the near future.
"We have not lost sight of our ultimate goal: that of one person, one vote. Direct elections are of course the most representative mechanism of democracy, and we will strive to make that achievable in 2020 but don't let people persuade you that we have somehow sold out for 2016," he said.
He added that the role of the ordinary Somali citizen is always significant in state building process in the recuperating state and neither him nor the PM have say without the go ahead from the people of Somalia and thus should take the responsibility.
"No one else can create a state but its people. Neither I, nor the Prime Minister, nor the international community can wish a state into being nor as Somalis do I believe this process falls on our shoulders." (Source: Dalsan Radio, Mogadishu, October 20, 2015)

Monday, 12 October 2015

Rape, Impunity and Human Rights Violations in Somalia

Sexual violence continues to increase in Somalia following the recent impeachment against the president, which caused political instability and a crackdown on IDPs around the capital city.
The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network) is strongly condemning the recent ruling of a Somali Court against a 15-year old rape victim which encourages a culture of impunity, especially in cases where government officials are involved.
The official, a presidential guard and a regular customer of the tea seller, lured the young girl to his house where he raped her. The young girl courageously reported the incident to her family who became subject to continuous threats by the perpetrator. Legal proceedings leading to the incarceration and investigation of the official by the Criminal Investigation Department were initiated. However, when the case went for trial, the court ruled in favor of the perpetrator. The official was acquitted based on fabricated witnesses who stated that the victim is his wife and they had so far kept their relationship from public.

SIHA (Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa) is deeply concerned about security threats against civil society organizations in Somalia, especially those defending the rights of vulnerable groups especially women and girls who were victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). Sexual violence continues to increase in Somalia following the recent impeachment against the president, which caused political instability and a crackdown on IDPs around the capital city. The situation for civil society organizations has to date not been without challenges, however latest trends have shown that carrying out work as civil society actors is becoming increasingly difficult regarding the culture of impunity within the justice system of Somalia. Sources indicate that violations committed by government officials have been on the rise in recent months, but given their influence and political power, it is impossible to hold them accountable for the crimes committed. (Source: