As a result, countries such as the United States, Kenya, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates — the former three of which have military forces in Somalia — are losing their appetite for the State-building project in Somalia.1 With the SNA chronically underperforming, these countries are poised to intensify their cultivation of pro- Government militias to fight against al-Shabaab. November 2020. Steps should be taken to hold accountable the most egregiously behaving militias. Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all cases. Somalia. In these ways, they exacerbate localconflicts, increase grievances and enable al- Shabaab’s political entrenchment in parts of the country. Sixty-seven percent of this figure is due to indiscriminate and targeted attacks, the majority improvised explosive devices (IEDs) attacks, by the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab. The UN explicitly linked the humanitarian situation to climate change, among other factors. Somalia is not graded in the 2020 Index because of the continuing unavailability of relevant comparable statistics on all facets of the economy. All Somali parties to the conflict commited serious abuses against children, including killings, maiming, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The study also builds on the author’s previous fieldwork in Somalia in March 2015 and December 2017.5 To protect the safety of interlocutors and to encourage them to speak honestly and openly, all interviews during this and previous fieldwork trips are reported without the use of names. 2018-2020 1. The government has yet to endorse the list of nominees for the country’s first independent National Human Rights Commission. Embracing militias carries many risks: As this study details, the loyalties of militia groups are fluid, as they are susceptible to recruitment by their enemies and may prioritize their own interests — or those of an external patron — over those of the State. Posted at 11:45 5 Dec 2020 11:45 5 Dec 2020 Trump orders US troop withdrawal from Somalia The US has about 700 personnel in the country targeting al-Shabab and Islamic State militants. In December 2018, during the run-up to regional presidential elections in Baidoa, Ethiopian forces  arrested Mukhtar Robow, a former Al-Shabab leader who ran for the regional presidency, sparking protests. Al-Shabab conducted targeted and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), suicide bombings, and shelling, as well as assassinations, particularly in Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle, which resulted in over 750 civilian deaths and injuries, according to the UN. Amnesty International documented the killing of a member of parliament and a child on December 14. These forces operate outside of the mandate and framework of the African Union and the United Nations, and harken back to the troubled period of Ethiopia’s intervention in Somalia between 2006 and 2009. A poorly concluded defeat of al-Shabaab could actually plunge the country back into open fighting as the remaining militias compete for power. The third section of the study describes the lack of a consistent policy towards militia groups in Somalia and the increasing tendency of various international actors to embrace and bolster militias. Ethiopia and Somalia have not faced an infestation on this scale for 25 years, while Kenya has not seen a locust threat this size for 70 years, the FAO said earlier this week. Dozens of government and security officials as well as former electoral delegates and clan elders who had been involved in the 2016 electoral process, were assassinated; Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for some of the killings. In 2018, the UN documented more cases of children recruited and used as soldiers in Somalia than in any other country in the world. The newspaper was accused of spreading misinformation after it reported on the building of a new presidential palace in Hargeisa. Integrating militias into formal security forces; Putting them on payroll and providing them with non-lethal assistance without integrating them into formal forces; Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR); Addressing local conflicts as an indirect approach to eliminating the impetus for militias. This portion of the study explains the international community’s dilemmas in deciding how to deal with these newly strengthened forces. In fact, since 2018, the group has gained momentum and deepened its political entrenchment, prompting some members of the international community to question whether the State-building model is the right approach. Appointment of electoral commissions, in charge of overseeing upcoming indirect elections, sparked major dispute; tensions rose with Kenya; and Al-Shabaab continued deadly attacks. Aisha Ilyas Adan, 12, went missing on February 24, and her body was discovered the next day near her home in North Galkayo, Puntland. As a United Nations official in Mogadishu put it, “We have tried to get to reduced killing in Somalia without ever resolving Somalia’s conflicts.”3 And in the words of an international military advisor in Baidoa: “Fighting a war through proxies is fraught with proxy problems downstream.”4 There is growing evidence that embracing militias rewards entrepreneurs of violence, reinforces impunity, and perpetuates violence. Violence in Somalia first grabbed the attention of Americans in 1993 when 19 U.S. soldiers were killed while supporting a United Nations mission in the Battle of Mogadishu. According to multiple media reports, Aisha was raped, mutilated, and strangled to death. The federal government, regional authorities, notably in Puntland and Jubaland, and Al-Shabab continued to intimidate, harass and attack journalists. At time of writing, the court’s mandate remained unclear, and no juvenile facilities set up. Even countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany (which have been at the forefront of multilateral efforts in Somalia) are increasingly motivated to support at least one set of militia groups — the State-supported paramilitary darwish (also known as “special police forces”) — through financial and possibly other non- lethal support.2 These countries’ rationale is that, although reliance on militia groups for counter-terrorism and security is problematic, it is equally unsustainable and problematic to rely on the small and incompetent SNA and the national Somali Police Force (SPF). It also describes the pro-militia arguments made by Somali politicians, government officials, clan elders and international actors. They compete with each other and, at times, with the federal Government. CCCM partners in Somalia play a critical role in administering site­‐level coordination which feeds up to the national level. UNICEF Somalia Amina, 24, is bringing sustainable solar energy to her community and challenging stereotypes. The message from al-Shabab only adds to the government's concerns, especially as it could oppose medical help from international aid agencies just as it … Ongoing armed conflict, insecurity, lack of state protection, and recurring humanitarian crises exposed Somali civilians to serious abuse. The full case study can be found here. Positively, Somalia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and produced its first report for the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Guidance for the Brookings community and the public on our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) », Learn more from Brookings scholars about the global response to coronavirus (COVID-19) ». Outlook for 2020: In late 2020 or early 2021, Somalia hopes to hold its first direct parliamentary and presidential elections since 1969, suggesting the political situation is stabilizing somewhat. Somalia. As such, their increasingly central role in the fight against al-Shabaab is a double-edged sword: short-term military gains must be balanced against the militias’ longer-term, destabilizing impact. They give rise to and allow the entrenchment of powerful militant groups such as the Al-Qaida- supporting, jihadist Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, commonly referred to as al-Shabaab. These dynamics take place in a fraught political context: tensions have risen between the Government and the federal member states, and there is broader geopolitical and regional competition for influence in Somalia. It details the evolution, effectiveness and effects on stabilization efforts of several militia groups — Macawiisleey, Ahlu SunnaWal Jama’a, South-West Special Police, Mukhtar Robow’s militias, Ahmed Madobe’s militias (the Jubbaland State Forces), the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) and the Puntland Security Force (PSF). International donors supported the establishment of a new civilian court and prison complex in Mogadishu. At the same time, militias may be the best hedge against even more direct intervention by outside actors. As a result of more than 25 years of civil unrest, Somalia’s governance structures have fallen apart, and militias control different parts of the country. Although Somalia has a low HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate of 0.7%, about 34,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2009 with about 1600 deaths recorded within the same year. The second section of the study also reviews various types of militia groups in Somalia, including clan-based forces, contract militias, federal member state paramilitary darwish and militias sponsored by external actors. The situation in Somalia is putting growing pressures on both the Somali Government and the international community to scale up the use of such militias. Somalia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world and as such presents unique challenges in terms of natural resource management. A fair chance in life begins with a strong, healthy start. If existing joint efforts fail to weaken al-Shabaab’s military, political and economic power, intensified bilateral interventions such as US air strikes and enlarged deployments of Ethiopian and Kenyan forces grow more likely. The US military increasingly conducted airstrikes in Somalia and joint military operations against Al-Shabab. The ban on Foore was lifted in August. 30 Nov 2020 In response, clan elders and local communities have bolstered their own clan militias as protection — not only against al-Shabaab, but also against the SNA. The states can use the militias as a bargaining tool in their negotiations with Mogadishu over power distribution. Ongoing armed conflict, insecurity, lack of state protection, and recurring humanitarian crises exposed Somali civilians to serious abuse. This strategy based on auxiliary forces competes with ongoing efforts to bolster the State-building effort, including training of the official Somalinational forces (which include the national military, police and intelligence agencies), expanding a defectors’ programme for al- Shabaab and efforts to integrate at least some of demobilized militias into the official security sector. Humanitarian agencies face serious access challenges due to insecurity, targeted attacks on aid workers, generalized violence, and restrictions imposed by parties to the conflict. Deeply entrenched in the political economy of Somalia, militias have strong tendencies to appropriate political authority, strengthen authoritarian forms of rule, monopolize local economies and engage in other mafia-like economic and political activities. Poor rains and extended drought over multiple seasons have had a major impact on rural livelihoods and food security in Somalia, pushing the country to the brink of famine, just five years after the crisis of 2011 that claimed the lives of over a quarter of a million people.. Over half of the country’s population -- 6.7 million people –are now acutely food insecure (IPC 2,3 and 4). Al-Shabaab remains one of Somalia’s most powerful political and military actors. The recommendations focus on the following areas: In addition to reviewing the relevant existing literature, this study is principally based on fieldwork conducted in Mogadishu and Baidoa, Somalia, in January 2020. According to media reports and the UN, between December 31, 2018, and early November, 2019, the government had carried out at least 16 executions, all for alleged terrorism-related offenses. Typhoid fever, dengue fever, malaria, Rift valley fever, Rabies, Schistosomiasis, protozoal and bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, etc. Introduction The UNICEF Somalia Health Programme will focus on foundational programming (health system strengthening) given the fragile context, pre-famine, drought and pockets of continuing insecurity caused by the Al Shabaab group. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) recorded a total of 1,154 civilian casualties by mid-November. In January, when Somalia became a member of the UN Human Rights Council, the federal government expelled the UN head in Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, pointing to a letter in which he had raised human rights concerns around government actions in Baidoa. The SNA is alleged to be unreliable in delivering basic security. Media and NGOs documented several civilian casualties. continue to threaten several lives in Somalia today. In May, security forces killed at least one child as students peacefully protested in Beletweyn, following a government decision to postpone exams. The government appointed individuals implicated in serious human rights abuses to high-level positions. Since 2012, after helping to dramatically weaken a brutal, dangerous al-Shabaab regime that controlled much of the country, the international community has assisted in building State institutions in Somalia, which had been overwhelmingly destroyed in two and half decades of civil war. Internally displaced women and girls remain at particular risk of sexual and gender-based violence by armed men and civilians. Inter-clan and intra-security force violence, often over control of land and revenge killings, led to civilian deaths, injuries, and displacement, as did sporadic military operations, including airstrikes, against Al-Shabab by Somali government forces, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops, and other foreign forces. Avoiding or minimizing the creation of new militia groups; Appropriate vetting of militias prior to integration into the Somali official forces; Steps to end impunity for human rights violations; Provision of human rights and civics training; Establishment of a salary system for militia members integrated into the Somali national forces; Creation of an international payroll for some militias (for example, darwish) conditioned on a serious vetting process for human rights abuses; Developing a strategy for al- Shabaab that prioritizes support to local conflict resolution within communities and across clans. The following introduction is an excerpt from the case study, "The problem with militias in Somalia: Almost everyone wants them despite their dangers," produced by Vanda Felbab-Brown for the United Nations University report, "Hybrid conflict, hybrid peace: How militias and paramilitary groups shape post-conflict transitions," of which Adam Day was the project lead. Interview with the author, Baidoa, January 2020. The US military must not wash its hands of international legal obligations towards civilian victims of US air strikes in Somalia, Amnesty International said, following a Pentagon announcement that troops … He was accused of insulting public officials, disrupting government work, and spreading propaganda. Cale Salih (Tokyo: United Nations University, 2018). According to humanitarian agencies, over 173,255 people had been evicted, most forcibly, by August 2019, primarily in Mogadishu. The cold war conflict between Qatar and Turkey, on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, on the other, intersects with and exacerbates conflicts and tensions between Somalia’s Government and the country’s federal member states, themselves already at a level of tension and suspicion not seen in years. For instance, the federal member states — which carefully guard their autonomy, despite the existence of a formally agreed Somali national security infrastructure framework — see the militias as a crucial security hedge against the power of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. Somalia General Health Risks: Malaria Malaria is transmitted by the night-time - dusk to dawn - biting female Anopheles mosquito. Critically, the Somali Government, the federal member states and the international community should refocus efforts on reducing local conflicts, as part of the broader strategy to combat al-Shabaab and build stronger relations between State and society. Militias also divert manpower and resources from Somalia’s official forces, including by incentivizing defections. Relations between the federal government and the federal member states deteriorated, diverting attention from needed reforms and on occasion resulting in abuses. The epidemiology of COVID-19 and its interaction with other diseases in Somalia, and in Africa, is not yet known, but will be revealed in the coming weeks. On February 10, the regional court in Hargeisa suspended the Foore newspaper for one year and fined the editor, Abdirashid Abdiwahab Ibrahim, 3 million Somaliland shillings (US$300). Somalis fleeing from drought in the Lower and Middle Shabelle regions of the country carry their belongings as they reach a makeshift camp for displaced persons in the Daynile neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu on May 18, 2019. In late May, the police detained for three days Ali Adan Munim, reporter at the private Goobjoog media outlet, citing Facebook posts in which Ali criticized National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) treatment of detainees and had said he had obtained copies of national exams. Pros and cons of relying on militias for security provision and counter-terrorism objectives Somalia. 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