The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Bahame Tom Nyanduga, appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) met with AMISOM as part of on-going consultations with human rights stakeholders in Somalia in his 5th Mission to Somalia.
During the meeting, AMISOM and the Independent Expert discussed a wide range of issues including action taken by AMISOM to strengthen its international humanitarian law and human rights compliance and accountability mechanisms in AMISOM’s conduct of military operations in Somalia.
AMISOM noted that it continues to be confronted with a number of challenges including the need for more Human Rights officers, lack of funding for ex-gratia payments to innocent civilian victims of its operations, and the discontinuance of UN support for its pre-deployment training.
The Independent Expert commended AMISOM for strengthening its Human Right component following the recruitment of a number of protection officers, in particular for women and children protection and an officer specifically dedicated to work on BOI matters, all of whom are crucial for ensuring AMISOM complies with international humanitarian law and international humanitarian law during its operations.
He emphasised AMISOM’s critical role for peace and reconciliation in Somalia, since human rights in Somalia depend on the existence of a stable State and the strengthening of law and order. He promised to continue advocating with the international community for the need to ensure that any drawdown of AMISOM forces should be based on realistic timelines and security conditions.