A new action plan was signed between the United Nations and Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) on ending the killing and maiming children in Somalia.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Hussein Arab Isse, on behalf of the TFG, and the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, on behalf of the United Nations, signed the action plan last Monday.
Reports say plan calls for the commitment of the Somali National Armed Forces to halt the killing and maiming of children in contravention of international law.
“We are calling on donors to support the Somali Government and its armed forces towards bringing about and enforcing the changes that will put these terrible practices to an end.” – Mr. de Clercq
The plan is the second one signed between the TFG and United Nations that offers measures to halt and prevent the violation of children rights in the Horn of Africa country.
UNPOS notes that full compliance with the latest action plan will result in the Government of Somalia being removed from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s list of parties who recruit, use, kill and maim children.
Reports say the children of Somalia continue to be the victims and survivors of this decades-old conflict and have grown up in war.
Somali armed groups specifically target children, recruiting them as child soldiers, and denying them access to education.
The step up in military operations against al-Shabab has led the armed group to intensify their child recruitment drive. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and militia affiliated with them have also been accused of having child soldiers in their ranks.
In July this year, plan to end the recruitment and use of children by the Somali National Armed Forces, was signed by the TFG at the meeting of the International Contact Group in Rome.
In the Action Plan, the Government of Somalia committed:
1) To halt immediately the killing and maiming of children, in contravention of international law, committed by members of the Somali National Armed Forces, allied militia/ military groups under its control.
2) To issue and disseminate political executive directives and military orders to all military commanders, officers and all military and non-military personnel prohibiting the killing and maiming of children; to detail the sanctions for any breaches; and to ensure the execution of such orders and directives.
3) To promptly investigate allegations of killing and/or maiming of children in contravention of international law and to ensure the accountability of perpetrators.
4) To implement an agreed preventive strategy, in partnership with the UN, to address the killing and maiming of children by the Somali National Armed Forces, including, by training and advocacy with all commanders and military personnel on child rights and child protection.