Clashes between government troops and Islamist insurgents have displaced more than 55,000 people from Mogadishu since the beginning of February, with many of them heading out of Somalia to neighbouring Kenya, according to the UN Refugee Agency. In the border town of Liboi, people told IRIN by phone that 300 to 400 Somali families were waiting there to be registered as refugees. In all, almost 570,000 Somalis are refugees and most of them live in camps in Kenya. "Staying in Mogadishu now is like a death sentence: you are not safe; your neighbour is not safe," Hawo Sheiikh Ali, one of the refugees, told IRIN on 22 March.

Girls Association Advocacy for Rights (GAAR), Report on Gender Development in Somalia. Somalia is a small country with population of ten million and has lacked a powerful functioning government since 1991 when the military regime of Siad Bare was overthrown. For two decades the country has suffered from lawlessness and misery. As the first victims of conflict, women and young girls have born endemic rape and brutality at the hands of armed militia groups.

29 March to 27 April 2010 (Global): The witchcraft epidemic in Africa is fueled by religious extremism. Practitioners of traditional African religions, traditional healers, witch-doctors and Christian missionaries and religious leaders incite witch-hunts on this continent. There are comparisons to be made between Africas current witch-craze, European Inquisitions and American witch-hunts. Perhaps the lessons to be learned in Africa are the same as those that needed to be learned by Europeans and Americans; there is no culture without human rights. All men and women, including Witches, have the right to live without being falsely accused, assaulted, persecuted or murdered.

Questions for Hibaaq Osman, founder and director of Karama: 1. How have efforts to implement the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) in the Arab region evolved since Beijing? Has this been satisfactory? Since the adoption of the BPFA, there has been considerable progress throughout the region in meeting international standards that reinforce gender equality. In particular, the civil society sector has expanded, proliferating local organizations whose mission it is to address key issues that have prevented governments and other authorities from enacting, implementing and enforcing laws that protect women from discrimination and violence. This NGO component had been largely missing and now acts to directly respond to the needs of the local community and communicate these to national and international authorities. In particular, a renewed focus on empowering women and increasing their role in decision-making has been demonstrated.

The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Dr. Shamsul Bari, issued a strong warning on the security, human rights and humanitarian situation in the country, including Somaliland and Puntland. Dr. Bari described as “extremely serious” the situation in South and Central Somalia, where civilians continue to bear the brunt of the fighting between forces of the Transitional Federal Government forces (TFG) and Islamist armed groups.

Thousands of internally displaced in Somalia's central town of Beletweyne are on the move again following 10 days of fighting between rival Islamist militias, amid reports of continuing heavy shelling in parts of the town. According to a humanitarian bulletin covering 8-15 January by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA Somalia), at least 30 people have been killed and 50 injured, mostly civilians, with many artillery shells landing on residential areas. OCHA could not confirm the number of displaced.

A 20-year-old woman divorcee accused of committing adultery in Somalia has been stoned to death by Islamists in front of a crowd of about 200 people. A judge working for the militant group al-Shabab said she had had an affair with an unmarried 29-year-old man.He said she gave birth to a still-born baby and was found guilty of adultery. Her boyfriend was given 100 lashes.  

Islamists in southern Somalia have stoned a man to death for adultery but spared his pregnant girlfriend until she gives birth. Abas Hussein Abdirahman, 33, was killed in front of a crowd of some 300 people in the port town of Merka. An official from the al-Shabab group said the woman would be killed after she has had her baby. Islamist groups run much of southern Somalia, while the UN-backed government only control parts of the capital. This is the third time Islamists have stoned a person to death for adultery in the past year.

اغقت حركة الشباب الاسلامية المتشددة الاثنين ثلاث منظمات نسائية في بلدة هوى التي تسيطر عليها الحركة من اجل منع السيدات من العمل، حسبما ذكرت وكالة رويترز نقلا عن قائد بالحركة. وفي اتصال هاتفي مع الوكالة قال رئيس البلدة معلم داود محمد " لقد قمنا بتلك الخطوة بعد ادراكنا ان النساء يحتاجون الى الاقامة في منازلهم للعناية باطفالهم .... الاسلام لايسمح للنساء بالتوجه الى المكاتب". وتقع بلدة هوى على الحدود الصومالية مع كينيا بالقرب من مدينة ماندرا الكينية.

Three masked members of a militant Islamist group in Somalia last week shot and killed a Somali Christian who declined to wear a veil as prescribed by Muslim custom, according to a Christian source in Somalia. Members of the comparatively “moderate” Suna Waljameca group killed Amina Muse Ali, 45, on Oct. 19 at 9:30 p.m. in her home in Galkayo, in Somalia’s autonomous Puntland region, said the source who requested anonymity for security reasons.

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