Somalia

Children and armed conflict in Somalia, Report of the Secretary-General (S/2020/174)

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Summary

The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions, is the fifth report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Somalia and covers the period from 1 August 2016 to 30 September 2019. The report focuses on trends and patterns with respect to the six grave violations committed against children and provides information on the perpetrators, as well as action taken to prevent and respond to the violations. The progress made by parties to the conflict in terms of dialogue, action plans and other child protection commitments is also outlined. The Secretary-General provides a series of recommendations aimed at ending and preventing grave violations against children and strengthening child protection in Somalia.

I. Introduction

  1. The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict, is the fifth report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Somalia and covers the period from 1 August 2016 to 30 September 2019. It describes the trends with respect to grave violations committed against children since the previous report (S/2016/1098) and outlines the progress and challenges since the adoption by the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in July 2017 of its conclusions on children and armed conflict in Somalia (S/AC.51/2017/2). The violations presented in the report have been verified by the United Nations country task force on monitoring and reporting in Somalia, co-chaired by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and, where possible, perpetrators are identified.

  2. The report shows the devastating situation of children affected by the armed conflict in Somalia, with number of children affected by recruitment, use, abduction of children and rape and other forms of sexual violence exceeding the numbers verified in other conflict situations. Most of the grave violations against children were committed by armed groups, with Al-Shabaab as the main perpetrator, and by government security forces, including increasingly by the Somali police and the regional forces of federal member states. The report also documents continued violence involving clan militias, which led to grave violations against children.