20 January 2013

Somalia: Greater Efforts Needed to Protect Civilians in Somalia, UN Representative Says

United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui on Friday (January 18th) expressed concern regarding the deaths of children during a recent African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) operation.

Acting AMISOM Force Commander Major General Salvatore Harushimana has announced an investigation into the deaths of civilians caught in crossfire between AMISOM troops and al-Shabaab militants in Lego on Tuesday. He has not announced the number of adult and child casualties.

Zerrougui praised AMISOM's swift investigation and urged the African Union to increase its efforts to protect children. "I also urge the African Union to further strengthen its efforts to minimise child casualties in their operations and to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law," she said in statement released from her office. "My office stands ready to provide the necessary support in this regard, if requested."

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