OCHA briefs the informal Security Council Expert Group on the Protection of Civilians in Somalia
On Wednesday 20 February 2013, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) briefed the informal Security Council Expert Group on the Protection of Civilians on the issues pertaining to the protection of civilians in Somalia.
On the basis of information received from humanitarian and human rights actors in the field and at the headquarters, OCHA raised the following key protection concerns:
- The conduct of hostilities and its impact on civilians (asymmetrical warfare techniques conducted by armed groups and military operations conducted by both AMISOM and Security Forces);
- Human rights violations and efforts to end impunity (including summary executions, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and ill-treatment, attacks against journalists);
- Conflict-related displacement, and challenges to sustainable returns and other durable solutions;
- The specific impact of violence on children (child recruitment and other grave violations committed by parties to the conflict, including killing and maiming, sexual violence-related, abductions, attacks against schools and hospitals);
- Sexual and gender based violence (including forced marriage and rape);
- Constraints on humanitarian access (including denial of access and attacks against humanitarians)
- The role of AMISOM and Somali Forces in the Protection of Civilians (including adherence to international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law; and the establishment of mechanisms to minimize civilian harm);
- The future of the UN presence in Somalia and that a premature structural integration could jeopardize humanitarian operations.
The Security Council's Expert Group on the Protection of Civilians is an informal forum chaired by the United Kingdom that was established at the beginning of 2009, in which OCHA - on behalf of the humanitarian community - brings to the attention of the Security Council current key protection concerns in a particular context on its agenda.