UN: UN expert urges Somali govt, int'l community to strengthen human rights legislation

New York, US (PANA) - UN independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Mr. Bahame Tom Nyanduga, on Saturday said the Somali government and the international community must work together to strengthen the country's rule of law institutions and safeguard its full transition to peace, stability and democracy.

"The Somali Federal Government together with the international community need to allocate adequate resources to strengthen the rule of law institutions and ensure that the interim regional administrations benefit from the New Deal Compact for Somalia," Mr. Nyanduga said in a statement issued at the end of his first official visit to the war-ravaged nation.

The statement, obtained by PANA in New York, quoted the human rights expert as stating: "The government should also ratify key international human rights instruments including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict and the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women [CEDAW]."

He praised the Federal Government for its adoption of a National Action Plan to combat sexual
violence, but expressed concern at the capacity and resource constraints which, he said, were slowing progress in strengthening the country's judicial institutions and were contributing to the "pervasive role of military courts trying civilians".

He also called on the government to uphold its commitment made under the Universal Periodic Review – a UN member state-driven, and UN-backed human rights monitoring process, to placing a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

In addition, Mr. Nyanduga urged the Federal Government to ensure that it incorporates
international human rights standards and principles when adopting legislation and called for
the speedy adoption of a bill establishing a national human rights institution.

"I also call on the authorities to ensure that the media are allowed their right to freedom of
expression as well as to ensure the safety of journalists, and it is imperative for the media to
exercise professionalism and responsible media reporting," the expert noted.

Mr. Nyanduga's eight-day trip took him across Somalia with stops in the capital, Mogadishu,
as well as in Kismayo, Garowe and Hargeisa, where he met with local officials and members
of civil society.

The visit came as Somalia's political establishment reels from the recent parliamentary vote of
"no confidence" resulting in the political ouster of Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed on
6 December.

Mr. Ahmed was reportedly involved in a long-standing political dispute with Somali President
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over political appointments.

At the same time, the country has been plagued by broader political infighting and outbursts
of extremist violence as the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, continues to wage a simmering

Most recently, in the city of Baidoa, a terrorist attack left at least 15 people dead with many
more wounded.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 13Dec2014

13 december 2014 21:48:53

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