At the same time, militias may be the best hedge against even more direct intervention by outside actors. The government has yet to endorse the list of nominees for the country’s first independent National Human Rights Commission. Somalia is not graded in the 2020 Index because of the continuing unavailability of relevant comparable statistics on all facets of the economy. The US military increasingly conducted airstrikes in Somalia and joint military operations against Al-Shabab. Ongoing armed conflict, insecurity, lack of state protection, and recurring humanitarian crises exposed Somali civilians to serious abuse. The study also builds on the author’s previous fieldwork in Somalia in March 2015 and December 2017.5 To protect the safety of interlocutors and to encourage them to speak honestly and openly, all interviews during this and previous fieldwork trips are reported without the use of names. This trend continued in 2019 as Al-Shabab pursued an aggressive child recruitment campaign with retaliation against communities refusing to hand over children. The newspaper was accused of spreading misinformation after it reported on the building of a new presidential palace in Hargeisa. In addition, the regions of Somaliland and Puntland have unilaterally declared autonomy. Instead, policies should be adopted to reduce at least some of the most pernicious effects of militias and to mitigate their worst tendencies, even while working through and with them. The situation in Somalia is putting growing pressures on both the Somali Government and the international community to scale up the use of such militias. According to multiple media reports, Aisha was raped, mutilated, and strangled to death. It also describes the pro-militia arguments made by Somali politicians, government officials, clan elders and international actors. The second part of the study analyses the structural and political drivers of militia formation and persistence in Somalia. UN SC; Published 30 Aug 2018. Politics | December 11th 2020 Covid-19 exacerbates risk of civil unrest in Africa in 2021 The adverse effects of Covid-19 will linger in 2021, and another wave of civil unrest could regain momentum. Last modified on Thu 15 Oct 2020 09.21 EDT More than 2 million people could face starvation by the end of the summer, unless there are urgent efforts to respond to the drought in Somalia . In addition to reviewing the relevant existing literature, this study is principally based on fieldwork conducted in Mogadishu and Baidoa, Somalia, in January 2020. Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all cases. The government appointed individuals implicated in serious human rights abuses to high-level positions. Attention to ensuring accountability for abuses remained minimal. Communities create or join such groups as a primary response to conditions of insecurity, vulnerability and contestation. The Centre provides training for young displaced Somali men and women in construction, engineering and plumbing. Risk is present throughout the country, including urban areas, risk present at all altitudes. The cases of two girls who were gang raped by civilians and died received significant public attention. Guidance for the Brookings community and the public on our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) », Learn more from Brookings scholars about the global response to coronavirus (COVID-19) ». It reviews current and potential policies for reducing the scale and negative effects of the militias, identifying the feasibility and likely effectiveness of each. Sixty-seven percent of this figure is due to indiscriminate and targeted attacks, the majority improvised explosive devices (IEDs) attacks, by the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab. At the beginning of 2020, militias are once again at the forefront of a major policy debate about the strategy for State-building and security in Somalia. Avoiding or minimizing the creation of new militia groups; Appropriate vetting of militias prior to integration into the Somali official forces; Steps to end impunity for human rights violations; Provision of human rights and civics training; Establishment of a salary system for militia members integrated into the Somali national forces; Creation of an international payroll for some militias (for example, darwish) conditioned on a serious vetting process for human rights abuses; Developing a strategy for al- Shabaab that prioritizes support to local conflict resolution within communities and across clans. This study first provides an overview of the evolution and current state of the political, economic and battlefield power of al-Shabaab, alongside the capacities and deficiencies of both the various Somali national security services and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Al-Shabab continues to prohibit many nongovernmental organizations and all UN agencies from working in areas under its control, blockading some government-controlled towns. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The competition between UAE and Qatar over political and economic dominance in Somalia continued to exacerbate intra-Somalia tensions, both between Mogadishu and federal states, and with Somaliland. This strategy based on auxiliary forces competes with ongoing efforts to bolster the State-building effort, including training of the official Somalinational forces (which include the national military, police and intelligence agencies), expanding a defectors’ programme for al- Shabaab and efforts to integrate at least some of demobilized militias into the official security sector. A poorly concluded defeat of al-Shabaab could actually plunge the country back into open fighting as the remaining militias compete for power. December 7, 2020 • Press Release US must not abandon civilian victims of its air strikes in Somalia after troop withdrawal. Ethiopia and Somalia have not faced an infestation on this scale for 25 years, while Kenya has not seen a locust threat this size for 70 years, the FAO said earlier this week. It declared that  2.1 million Somalis face acute food insecurity, as of late September, many of them children and internally displaced. Relations between the federal government and the federal member states deteriorated, diverting attention from needed reforms and on occasion resulting in abuses. Even countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany (which have been at the forefront of multilateral efforts in Somalia) are increasingly motivated to support at least one set of militia groups — the State-supported paramilitary darwish (also known as “special police forces”) — through financial and possibly other non- lethal support.2 These countries’ rationale is that, although reliance on militia groups for counter-terrorism and security is problematic, it is equally unsustainable and problematic to rely on the small and incompetent SNA and the national Somali Police Force (SPF). Al-Shabab conducted targeted and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), suicide bombings, and shelling, as well as assassinations, particularly in Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle, which resulted in over 750 civilian deaths and injuries, according to the UN. If remittances to Somalia do diminish significantly and the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia is cancelled, if food imports remain restricted and prices start to rise, pressure will quickly mount. Somalia is marauded with a number of domestic problems including poverty, lack of basic services, national debt, and security issues to name a few, however of all of these problems, the most pressing is the lack of access to clean water that the nation faces. She is learning how to install solar panels at the UNICEF-supported Youth Empowerment Centre in Dollow, Somalia. Worse still, Somalia’s militia groups, particularly without supervision or assured sustainable income, tend to engage in predatory and, at times, violent behaviour, both on rival communities and even within their own. They compete with each other and, at times, with the federal Government. According to the same assessment, almost 6.2million people across Somalia are projected to be in crisis and emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) acute food insecurity crisis – with IDPs accounting for over 70 per cent of the total. Intensified rivalries between Somalia’s federal Government and the federal member states further hamper the deployment and effectiveness of the SNA. International donors supported the establishment of a new civilian court and prison complex in Mogadishu. Somali government forces responded to a handful of largely peaceful demonstrations with lethal force. Media and NGOs documented several civilian casualties. Three men were sentenced to death under Puntland’s 2016 Sexual Offences Act, which includes death penalty sentences for “aggravated” cases of rape. Somalia removes prime minister in no-confidence vote 170 of 178 MPs back motion against Hassan Ali Khaire for failing to move towards democratic elections Published: 25 Jul 2020 Somali powerbrokers, subfederal authorities, the national Government and external interveners have all turned to armed groups as a primary tool for prosecuting their interests. The federal government, regional authorities, notably in Puntland and Jubaland, and Al-Shabab continued to intimidate, harass and attack journalists. The government failed to put in place juvenile justice measures, notably for children accused of Al-Shabab-related crimes. These forces operate outside of the mandate and framework of the African Union and the United Nations, and harken back to the troubled period of Ethiopia’s intervention in Somalia between 2006 and 2009. World. Militia groups have historically been a defining feature of Somalia’s conflict landscape, especially since the ongoing civil war began three decades ago. 2018-2020 1. There was a significant  number of arbitrary arrests of journalists and temporary closure of media outlets. Ilhan Omar says Trump doing 'what Somali dictators used to do’ ... Somalia embroiled in diplomatic row after expelling UN envoy. Somalia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world and as such presents unique challenges in terms of natural resource management. They give rise to and allow the entrenchment of powerful militant groups such as the Al-Qaida- supporting, jihadist Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, commonly referred to as al-Shabaab. continue to threaten several lives in Somalia today. On January 12, poet Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan (known as "Abdirahman Abees") was arbitrarily arrested and charged with “insulting the police” after he highlighted various due process abuses in Somaliland. But eight years later, many of these efforts have not yet delivered results. Inter-clan and intra-security force violence, often over control of land and revenge killings, led to civilian deaths, injuries, and displacement, as did sporadic military operations, including airstrikes, against Al-Shabab by Somali government forces, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops, and other foreign forces. It details the evolution, effectiveness and effects on stabilization efforts of several militia groups — Macawiisleey, Ahlu SunnaWal Jama’a, South-West Special Police, Mukhtar Robow’s militias, Ahmed Madobe’s militias (the Jubbaland State Forces), the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) and the Puntland Security Force (PSF). COVID-induced khat shortage adds to health problems in Somalia Friday July 24, 2020 A doctor reviews a patient at the Habeeb Mental health hospital where they deal with khat addiction in Waberi district of Mogadishu, Somalia June 23, 2020. In September and October, authorities in Puntland repeatedly harassed journalists at Daljir Radio after the station reported on alleged arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of detainees, including the alleged death in custody of one detainee as a result of mistreatment, by Puntland security forces. The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Somalia on 16 March 2020 when the first case was confirmed in Mogadishu. Federal and regional authorities, particularly in Somaliland, continued to restrict free expression and media freedoms, including by harassing and arbitrarily detaining journalists and perceived critics, and temporarily shutting down media outlets. Analysis - The African Union Peace and Security Council's (PSC) response to emerging crises in 2020 was marginal. Ongoing armed conflict, insecurity, lack of state protection, and recurring humanitarian crises exposed Somali civilians to serious abuse. He was acquitted and released on February 25. International support and attention focused on building Somalia’s security sector, improving relations between federal and state authorities, and regional electoral processes. The full case study can be found here. This material has been funded by UK aid from the UK government; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies. As a United Nations official in Mogadishu put it, “We have tried to get to reduced killing in Somalia without ever resolving Somalia’s conflicts.”3 And in the words of an international military advisor in Baidoa: “Fighting a war through proxies is fraught with proxy problems downstream.”4 There is growing evidence that embracing militias rewards entrepreneurs of violence, reinforces impunity, and perpetuates violence.