In May 2022, the government stated that its priorities would include
security, justice, reconciliation, and social development. However, more
commitment and action is required to improve and prioritize human
rights, to ensure accountability for violations and abuses, and to
“The election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in May 2022 was an
opportunity for the new administration to address many of the country’s
outstanding human rights challenges, and to draw support from the
international community to ensure sustainable change and progress in the
promotion and protection of human rights in the country,” said Muleya
Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and
The election of President
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in May 2022 was an opportunity for the new
administration to address many of the country’s outstanding human rights
Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.
“However, no concrete measures have been taken to prevent violations
of human rights, to hold suspected perpetrators accountable for their
actions, or to ensure access to justice and effective remedies including
adequate compensation for victims. The government must prioritise the
protection of civilians by ensuring that all Somali security forces
receive appropriate training in human rights and humanitarian law. The
government should also instruct all security forces not to target
civilians and civilian objects during military operations.”
Amnesty International’s 10-point human rights agenda sets out what the Somali government must do:
* Protect civilians in conflict
By ensuring members of the military, police, and other government
officials allegedly responsible for human rights violations are brought
to justice in fair proceedings.
* Reform the judicial system
By creating a credible, fair, impartial and independent civilian
judicial system. Authorities should also end the practice of trying
civilians, including journalists, in military courts.
* Ensure justice and reparation for abuses committed by foreign forces
The government should seek reparations including compensation from
the US government and from AMISOM (now ATMIS) for survivors and families
of victims of unlawful attacks.
* Uphold and respect freedom of expression
By reviewing the problematic provisions of the media law, the penal
code, and all other laws and directives that unduly restrict the right
to freedom of expression and bring these laws in line with Somalia’s
constitution and international human rights obligations. Authorities
must also stop harassing and persecuting veteran journalist and media advocate, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, by dropping
all pending charges against him at the Banadir court, and by lifting
travel restrictions against him.
* Guarantee and adequately resource access to the right to health for everyone
By ensuring proceeds from debt relief process are used to
progressively increase health budget allocations from current 2% to
ultimately meeting the Abuja declaration target of 15%
* Protect Internally Displaced Persons and end forced evictions
By ensuring that both security forces and private actors do not carry
out forced evictions including of displaced people across the country.
*Safeguard children’s rights
By fast tracking the children’s Bill, protecting children from
recruitment by armed groups and finalising the Female Genital Mutilation
* Safeguard women and girls’ human rights and protect them from sexual violence
By prioritising the enactment of laws that prohibit all forms of violence against women and girls.
*Mitigating against climate change and other crises
*Establish and operationalize the National Human Rights Commission
Tackling impunity, a priority
The ongoing conflict between Somali authorities and the armed group
Al- Shabaab, which also involves allied regional and international
forces including AFRICOM and AMISOM (now ATMIS), continues to have a
devastating toll on civilians.
Over the years, Amnesty International has documented indiscriminate
attacks, unlawful killings of civilians, torture, rape and other
violations by all parties to the conflict including Somali security
forces and allied militia in military operations. While successive
governments have committed to security reforms, no meaningful
improvements have been made, and impunity for violations remains
widespread. This new government needs to prioritize accountability and
tackle impunity for human rights violations.
This new government needs to prioritize accountability and tackle impunity for human rights violations.