Somalia: UN urges steps to ensure future elections not ‘marred’ by rights abuses seen in recent polls

UN Photo / Sabir Olad
Electoral officials count votes during the electoral process to choose members of the Lower House of the Federal Parliament in Baidoa, Somalia in November 2016.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

In a report released on Monday, the United Nations urged Somalia to take steps to ensure future elections are not marred by the human rights violations and abuses committed during the 2016-2017 electoral process.

“Insecurity, weak justice institutions, and an insufficient human rights protection system contributed to the lack of accountability for human rights violations throughout Somalia,” the report says, looking back at the 2016 polls and calling for prompt action to bolster human rights protections ahead of the 2020-2021 electoral process.

The report – from the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the UN human rights office (OHCHR) – details violations and abuses by State security forces, including the police and intelligence agencies, and non-State groups, including Al Shabaab, before, during and after parliamentary and presidential elections held in late 2016 and early 2017.

While it documents the killing of 44 clan leaders and electoral delegates during that period, it reveals that only two of these reported killings were investigated and prosecuted.

As such, the joint report calls for “prompt, independent and impartial investigations into human rights violations and abuses committed in the context of the electoral process.”

In addition, the report highlights repeated attacks, intimidation and other forms of harassment against reporters, human rights defenders and political leaders, noting that this violence “impeded the free flow of information” and undermined “the ability of citizens to benefit from and contribute to democratic processes” in an informed manner.

“As Somalia continues the arduous task of building institutions and constructing peace, respect for human rights must be at the core of this enterprise,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“This includes guaranteeing all public freedoms, such as the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and of peaceful assembly and association,” he stressed, adding that “it is essential that victims’ rights to remedy and reparation are respected”.

Because conditions for universal suffrage were not in place in 2016, a system of indirect suffrage was used with 275 electoral colleges of 51 delegates each. The colleges elected the 275 members of the House of the People, who then elected the new President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, on 8 February 2017.

While this system allowed for a more diverse parliament, with half its members newly elected and women’s representation at 24 per cent (compared to 14 per cent in 2012), “more needs to be done” for the next elections, said the report.

“Women, persons with disabilities, minority clans and civil society groups had limited or no access to the electoral process as it was a political process based on clan distribution,” said Michael Keating, the head of UNSOM. “Looking ahead to elections due in 2020-2021, we are urging the Government to establish a system of representation that is inclusive of all citizens, based on the one person, one vote principle.”

In addition, given that in 2016 the list of candidates included former warlords and a military commander accused of war crimes, the report recommends that candidates be vetted regarding their respect for human rights.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

The Schengen area is at a crossroads

These countries have some of the highest voter turnout in the world

Brexit: European Commission publishes Communication on preparing for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

Towards a tobacco free India

Youth2030: UN chief launches bold new strategy for young people ‘to lead’

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

What is hydroponics – and is it the future of farming?

First peaceful transfer of power in DR Congo ‘an extraordinary opportunity’ for advancing rights

UN forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’

World Health Organisation and medical students: is there any room for improvement?

“France will be there, it will always be there!”, French President Hollande says in a rather disorganised speech; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Is there a cure for corruption in Greece?

Fashion’s hot new trend: clothes you don’t need to wash (very often)

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

Congolese expelled from Angola returning to ‘desperate situation’: UN refugee agency

What do the economic woes of Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia have in common?

Parliament wants to suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey

Why Indian students are going abroad to become Doctors?

Office workers in these economies clock up the most extra hours

The Franco-German axis considers that all EU needs now is more armaments

Cancer is a growing global threat and prevention is key, UN study shows

How Hawaii plans to be the first US state to run entirely on clean energy

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

We need a fresh approach to climate change migration. This is why

‘Warp speed’ technology must be ‘force for good’ UN chief tells web leaders

Gaza probe finds ‘reasonable grounds’ Israeli forces committed international human rights violations

Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade

EU job-search aid worth €9.9m for 1,858 former Air France workers

FROM THE FIELD: Survival in Yemen against all odds

Four million Syrian children have only known war since birth: UNICEF

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

Paris, Washington, IMF against Berlin and ECB on money and interest

Future fit: 3 ways fashion can be more sustainable

FROM THE FIELD: Faces and Voices of Conflict

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

Why capital markets have no more reservetions about Eurozone

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

Innovation can transform the way we solve the world’s water challenges

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

The Brexit factor in the US-China trade war and other conflicts

‘Continuing absence’ of political solution to Israel-Palestine conflict ‘undermines and compounds’ UN efforts to end wholesale crisis

GSMA Announces Speakers for Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS 2018

The Brits are not an exception and that’s why they voted to leave

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

European Semester 2018 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to achieve sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth

In Rome you can swap plastic bottles for metro tickets

EU Budget: A Reform Support Programme and an Investment Stabilisation Function to strengthen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union

Fairness in the food supply chain: Commission proposes to increase price transparency

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

Eurozone slowly but surely builds its Banking Union

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

Another doomed EU attempt to interfere in Libya?

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica: MEPs pursue personal data breaches probe

Inclusion, equality a must for ‘long-lasting peace and sustainable development’, UN official tells high-level event in Baku

Satellites and data are going to help us phase out fossil fuels. Here’s how

These are 2018’s stats of the year

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s