18 August 2013

Somalia: UN Envoy Voices Concern Over Rape Allegations At African Union Facility

Photo: Stuart Price/UN Photo
Soldiers at sunrise.

The top United Nations envoy in Somalia today expressed grave concern over allegations of rape at a facility of the African Union Mission in the country (AMISOM), and welcomed the Government's investigation into the incident.

"It is important that any investigation is rigorous and prompt. I am encouraged by the President of Somalia's commitment to a zero-tolerance policy" said the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay.

"If there is a case to answer, any perpetrator should be prosecuted and held fully accountable while basic rights are protected."

According to media reports, a Somali woman was raped by AMISOM soldiers earlier this month in one of the mission's military camps in the capital, Mogadishu.

Sexual violence in Somalia is one of the most serious human rights challenges facing the country. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), during the first half of the year, there were some 800 cases of sexual and gender-based violence reported in Mogadishu alone.

In a statement, Mr. Kay said the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia will continue its mandated activities to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, especially in the area of sexual violence.

UNSOM also promotes access to justice, monitoring and reporting of human rights violations in Somalia. This includes providing support to AMISOM troops' pre-deployment training with induction courses on human rights, international humanitarian law and refugee law.

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InFocus

Somali Woman Alleges Rape by AU Soldiers

Soldiers at sunrise.

A Somali woman has said that she was abducted, drugged and raped at a military camp by the AU mission and Somali soldiers. Read more »