Somalia

 Weak leadership and internal divisions have prevented Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) from exploiting splits among its Islamist insurgent enemies, say analysts. Al-Shabab and Hisbul-Islam insurgents have, in the past two months, intensified attacks against government forces and allied African Union (AU) troops. Clashes in Mogadishu between 1 and 3 October, for example, left at least 50 people dead and 174 wounded, according to local human rights organizations. 

Ahmed Mohamoud* seems like a typical eight-year old boy. He is dressed in jeans and sneakers and wears a hat of the New Orleans Saints, the team that won the US Super Bowl this year. Mohamed fled from the Hawiye area of Banadir region, not far from Mogadishu, with his parents. IRIN met Ahmed in Kakuma, northwestern Kenya, where his mother Fatuma agreed to tell IRIN their story.

The Muslim parents of a 17-year-old Somali girl who converted to Christianity severely beat her for leaving Islam and have regularly shackled her to a tree at their home for more than a month, Christian sources said. Nurta Mohamed Farah of Bardher, Gedo Region in southern Somalia, has been confined to her home since May 10, when her family found out that she had embraced Christianity, said a Christian leader who visited the area. “When the woman’s family found out that she converted to Christianity, she was beaten badly but insisted on her new-found religion,” said the source on condition of anonymity.

UN Special Rapporteur Rahisda Manjoo has published a thirty four page report on violence again women its causes and consequences. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur requested invitations to visit Somalia, the United States of America, and Zimbabwe. Earlier requests for country visits had also been made to the Governments of Jordan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Special Rapporteurs typically send a letter to the Government requesting to visit the country, and, if the Government agrees, an invitation to visit is extended. Some countries have issued "standing invitations", which means that they are, in principle, prepared to receive a visit from any special procedures mandate holder. 

On a side street off Mogadishu's Wadnaha Road frontline a young officer is explaining the unwritten rules of the city's intractable civil war as his men exchange fire with an unseen enemy. The fighters shooting at him are from the Hizb al-Islam, he explains. He knows this because they fight longer than al-Shabab, the other main Islamist group besieging Somalia's tiny government-held enclave, but also because they told him. "We have friends there. They tell us before they leave their base that they are going to attack. When they want to fire mortars they tells us so we can take cover." If the conflict that has turned Mogadishu into a virtual no-go zone for 19 years occasionally resembles a grim farce, there is nothing farcical about the scene around us.

Africa Rising is a powerful documentary portraying the indomitable grassroots movement to end female genital mutilation. Traveling through remote villages in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali, Somalia and Tanzania, Africa Rising celebrates the resilience and determination of the human spirit to change destiny against all odds. 

قالت هيومن رايتس ووتش في تقرير أصدرته اليوم إن الحركة الإسلامية المسلحة المعروفة باسم حركة الشباب تُعرّض سكان جنوب الصومال للقتل والعقوبات القاسية والرقابة الاجتماعية المشددة. وتستمر قوات الحكومة الانتقالية الاتحادية والاتحاد الأفريقي في العاصمة مقديشيو التي مزقتها الحرب، تستمر في شن الهجمات العشوائية، وقتل وإصابة العديد من المدنيين.

Le groupe armé islamiste Al-Chabaab fait subir aux habitants du sud de la Somalie des meurtres, des châtiments cruels ainsi qu'un contrôle répressif de leur vie sociale, a indiqué Human Rights Watch dans un rapport publié aujourd'hui. Dans la capitale déchirée par la guerre, Mogadiscio, les forces d'Al-Chabaab, du Gouvernement fédéral de transition (GFT) et de l'Union africaine (UA) continuent à mener des attaques aveugles, tuant et blessant de nombreux civils.

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.

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