MOGADISHU (HAN) November 18, 2015. Public Diplomacy & regional Security. The UN’s Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, who ended a five day visit to Mogadishu on Tuesday (November 18) told reporters in Mogadishu that there had been significant improvement in several sectors but warned that the country’s progress was “at risk” without increased support from international partners to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights.
He said he had observed meaningful progress in the implementation of the Human Rights Road Map, in reforming the justice and security sectors, in the State-building process and the consultations for an electoral model for 2016. He welcomed the steps taken towards adoption of legislation for a National Human Rights Commission and urged the Parliament to ensure the Commission’s independence and its compliance with the Paris Principles.
Mr. Šimonović, however, stressed that Somalia continued to face a “series of human rights challenges,” including the recent allegations of serious human rights violations committed during military operations. He called on the Government and all security forces to take measures to prevent and address violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Visiting a centre for former Al-Shabaab fighters in Baidoa, Mr. Šimonović stressed that terrorism cannot be overcome by military operations alone and stressed the urgent need to address the root causes of terrorism, including poverty, corruption and lack of good governance, unemployment, social exclusion and marginalization.
It was, he said, important to strengthen democratic space with a free and strong civil society, gender equality and the promotion and protection of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and association, as well as inclusivity in the ongoing national consultative process and sustained mainstreaming of human rights in the State-building process.” MFA