Monthly update on children and armed conflict – February 2021 – Somalia

Recommendations to the Security Council

SOMALIA

The Somali Federal Defense and Police Force (formerly listed as the ‘Somali National Army’ and now includes the Somali Police Force) are listed in the annexes to the Secretary General’s (SG) latest annual report (S / 2020 / 525) on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) for recruitment and use and murder and dismemberment. Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ) is listed for recruitment and use, and Al Shabaab is listed for the five “trigger” violations. In February, the SG is expected to report on UNSOM and AMISOM, in accordance with resolutions 2540 (2020) and 2520 (2020), respectively. According to the SG November periodic report (S / 2020/1113), the National Monitoring and Reporting Working Group (CTFMR) documented 945 serious violations affecting 1,254 children (1,017 boys, 237 girls) , 11 attacks on schools, an attack on a hospital and an incident of denial of humanitarian access between August 5 and November 4, 2020. Conflict-related sexual violence affected 66 children (two boys, 64 girls) during of the reference period. In August, 33 boys were apprehended by government forces during a security operation and were subsequently released and reunited with their families. The Security Council should:

  • Express your grave concern at reports of an increase in killings, mutilations, rapes and other forms of sexual violence against children, as well as continued high levels of recruitment, use and kidnapping; and urge all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHL);

  • Call on the Federal Government of Somalia to strengthen accountability for all serious violations against children, enact the Child Rights Bill, ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), and to ensure comprehensive, gender-sensitive and age-appropriate intervention and protection services for children affected by armed conflict, including including child survivors of sexual violence;

  • Urge the federal government to fully implement its 2012 action plans and 2019 roadmap on recruitment and use, killings and mutilations, including by the Somali police force; and consistently comply with its 2014 standard operating procedures for the reception and surrender of children associated with armed groups, including the 72 hour limit for surrendering children to child protection actors; and to respect the Paris Principles and Commitments;

  • Call on all parties to promptly and fully implement the recommendations of the SCWG-CAAC set out in its fifth conclusions on the situation of children and armed conflict in Somalia.