AU assures of AMISOM’s strict adherence to Human Rights Law

The African Union has assured that its troops in Somalia will observe and comply with its obligations under International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Human Rights Law and the United Nations Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP).

In a statement, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Francisco Madeira said that AMISOM continues to conduct its operations in full compliance with international laws to protect human rights.

Mr. Madeira was speaking in Mogadishu after a meeting he held with the Independent Expert in his office at the AMISOM Mission Headquarters.

He informed Independent Expert on the Human Rights Situation in Somalia Mr. Bahame Tom Mukirya Nyanduga that AMISOM has strengthened its internal oversight and accountability mechanisms such as Boards of Inquiry (BOI) to ensure enhanced compliance and accountability on issues relating to IHL and human rights law.

“All credible allegations of violation of IHL and human rights are thoroughly investigated and commensurate action is taken when such allegations are substantiated,” ” said Ambassador Madeira.

According to the statement, there has been a reduction in the number of allegations reported by the UN and NGOs in 2018 compared to 2017, from about 94 cases related to civilian casualties to 21 respectively.

He observed that this declining trend in the number of allegations of violations of human rights and IHL attributed to AMISOM is expected to continue in 2019 as AMISOM continues to strengthen its prevention and accountability mechanisms.

“Since your last visit, AMISOM trained more than 600 SNA soldiers and officers in IHL and Human Rights Law and offered its expertise to senior government officials in this regard,” he said.

Madeira who is also head of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said the mission has provided training to more than 500 Somali security forces personnel on human rights, gender issues, child protection and prevention of sexual violence in armed conflict.