The Islamist armed group al-Shabaab is subjecting inhabitants of southern Somalia to killings, cruel punishments, and repressive social control, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Al-Shabaab, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and African Union (AU) forces in the war-torn capital, Mogadishu, continue to conduct indiscriminate attacks, killing and wounding numerous civilians.
A majority of radio stations in southern and central Somalia today stopped playing music and jingles, to comply with a ban by Islamist militants. Hizbul Islam, one of the two main insurgent forces in Somalia, issued the order on 3 April, saying music broadcasts violated Islamic principles. It gave FM radio stations – the main form of news and entertainment in the country – 10 days to comply or be shut down. Islamic groups have previously outlawed music in some areas under their control, along with beards, football, movies, women's beauty salons and bras. The latest ban on all tunes – including those used in commercials – appears to be the most widely applied yet, and indicative of the rebels' ability to instil fear.
Nous représentantes de diverses organisations de la Société Civile Africaine réunies au Forum Mondial pour la Revue de Beijing 15 ans après et représentant les voix des millions de femmes et jeunes filles Africaines, Apres avoir eu des consultations avec différents acteurs avant et pendant le Forum Mondial des ONG sur les progrès enregistrés dans la mise en œuvre de le Déclaration et la Plate Forme d’Action de Beijing en Afrique,
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.