Somalia + 11 more

Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – February 2021

News and Press Release
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Recommendations to the Security Council


The Somali Federal Defence and Police Forces (formerly listed as ‘Somali National Army’ and now including the Somali Police Force) are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) latest annual report (S/2020/525) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for recruitment and use and killing and maiming. Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ) is listed for recruitment and use, and Al Shabaab is listed for all five ‘trigger’ violations. In February, the SG is expected to report on UNSOM and AMISOM, pursuant to Resolutions 2540 (2020) and 2520 (2020), respectively. According to the SG’s periodic report from November (S/2020/1113), the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) documented 945 grave violations affecting 1,254 children (1,017 boys, 237 girls), 11 attacks on schools, one attack on a hospital, and one incident of denial of humanitarian access between August 5 and November 4, 2020. Conflict-related sexual violence impacted 66 children (two boys, 64 girls) during the reporting period. In August, 33 boys were apprehended by Government Forces during a security operation and were subsequently released and reunited with their families. The Security Council should:

  • Express grave concern over reports of increased killing, maiming, rape, and other forms of sexual violence against children, as well as continuing high levels of recruitment and use and abduction; and urge all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL);

  • Call on the Federal Government of Somalia to strengthen accountability for all grave violations committed against children, to enact the Child Rights Bill, to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), and to ensure comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response and protection services for children impacted by armed conflict, including child survivors of sexual violence;

  • Urge the Federal Government to fully implement its 2012 action plans and 2019 roadmap on recruitment and use and killing and maiming, including by the Somali Police Force; and to consistently comply with its 2014 Standard Operating Procedures for the reception and handover of children associated with armed groups, including the 72-hour limit to hand children over to child protection actors; and to uphold the Paris Principles and Commitments;

  • Call on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the recommendations of the SCWG-CAAC elaborated in its fifth conclusions on the situation of children and armed conflict in Somalia.