Somalia

TFG Introduces Strict Measures to Prevent the Recruitment of Child Soldiers

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News and Press Release
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(Mogadishu 07th January, 2012) The Somali Transitional Federal Government reaffirms its position that Somalia’s long-term security is dependent on the effective development of Somali Security Forces in line with the national security strategy which reflects respect for the rule of law and the protection of human rights. Furthermore, the Government is convinced that the protection of children should be an integral part of a comprehensive Security Sector Reform and to this end the TFG reiterates its primary role in providing protection and relief to all children in Somalia, in particularly those affected by armed conflict.

To this end, the Government is committed to developing and signing an Action Plan with the United Nations ensuring the release, demobilization and reintegration of any child associated with Somali Armed Forces and allied militia groups if found. This step reflects a concrete commitment undertaken by the TFG during the recent visit of Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children in Armed Conflict, to Mogadishu on 23 November 2011. This is also a demonstration of the TFG’s adherence to the UN Security Council Resolutions 1539 (2004), 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009) and 1998 (2011) on children in armed conflict.

Subsequent to the SRSG’s visit and in follow up to these agreed commitments, the TFG has taken immediate steps to advance the process by appointing a high-level focal point officers to work with the United Nations towards the development of an Action Plan to address the recruitment and use of children. The TFG also reiterate the strict enforcement of the Military Order N.1, which instructs all military and public officials to prohibit child recruitment and use by the Somali Armed Forces and allied Militia.

The TFG calls on the international community to support programs for all the children affected by the armed conflict, including the creation of opportunities for their education and livelihood and support for their mental health and well-being. These initiatives are considered as a vital part of the national security strategy in the overall stabilization plan for Somalia.