Somalia: UN expert hails Human Rights Roadmap, but calls on Government for broader consultation
GENEVA, Switzerland, September 3, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, hailed the adoption of a Human Rights Road Map by the Somali Federal Government, which lays the foundation for improving the protection and promotion of human rights in Somalia. However, he urged the authorities to broaden the consultation process to include Regional Administrations and civil society organisations.
The Roadmap for the period 2013 to 2015 was formally endorsed on 27 August at a special session of the Cabinet of Ministers convened by Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, who also announced the creation of a Ministry for Human Rights. During the session, 27 August was declared Somalia’s National Human Rights Day.
“I welcome the endorsement of the post-transition Human Rights Roadmap as a very positive step for the advancement of human rights in Somalia,” the Independent Expert said at the end of his 11th visit to the country, “but unless there is wide ownership by all concerned, implementation of the Roadmap will be very difficult.”
The Independent Expert strongly advised the Federal Government of Somalia to consult with all the Regional Administrations and civil society organisations throughout Somalia in the finalisation of the Roadmap.
“The Human Rights Roadmap defines Government’s responsibilities and sets goals to be achieved in a short period of time,” Mr. Bari said, noting that the plan enumerates 17 rights each containing its own action plan to be implemented by key Ministries.
“The endorsement of a Human Rights Roadmap no doubt raises high expectation of Federal Government to ensure that perpetrators of human rights abuses are held accountable,” Mr. Bari said. “I urge the Federal Government of Somalia to take utmost care in the investigation of alleged rape cases by uniformed personnel, as the world will be watching with a great deal of expectation.”
During his four-day mission to Somalia, from 26 to 29 August, the human rights expert visited Mogadishu, where he met with the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers of the Federal Government of Somalia, and civil society, including members of the media. Mr. Bari also visited Garowe, Puntland, where he met with met with Ministers, NGO’s representatives and journalists.
The Independent Expert will present his next report to the UN Human Rights Council on 24 September 2013, in Geneva. Mr. Bari will also take part in a high-level meeting to discuss how to guarantee maximum effectiveness of technical and other assistance to Somalia, as well as ensuring implementation of the Human Rights Roadmap at national and subnational levels in the country.