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[16days_discussion] AMISOM Troops Commit Brutal Gang Rape in Mogadishu, Somalia

16 Days Campaign 16days at
Wed Aug 21 11:03:12 EDT 2013

 From Siha Network, Uganda:

*15^th August 2013*

/Public Statement/

On the 8^th August 2013, a 20 year old Somali woman was kidnapped close 
to her village in Yaqshid district, Mogadishu, and brutally raped by 
AMISOM forces. The woman in question was initially approached by a group 
of five armed personnel, four men and one woman, in Somali government 
uniforms who claimed that she was being arrested for suspected 
involvement in terrorist activities. She was informed she was being 
taken to the police station for investigation; instead she was taken 
directly to Maslah Military Camp which houses AMISOM troops in Hurwaa 
District. She was drugged and then raped by a number of men, understood 
to be members of the AMISOM forces.It is believed that the Somali’s who 
initially arrested her did not participate in the rape itself, but 
served as intermediaries to bring her to the AMISOM troops. She was 
finally released on the 10^th August after having been kept inside the 
barracks for nearly 2 days.

The Somali Women’s Development Centre, based in Mogadishu, provided 
emergency response services to the woman with medical and psychosocial 
support and has instigated legal action. A medical report has also 
confirmed that the injuries sustained by the woman in question is 
consistent with being raped multiple times. The woman however is now 
with a secondary organisation for further support.

It is understood that the Somali Military Court arrested two of the five 
persons connected with the initial kidnap of the woman, a Somali man and 
woman. The actual perpetrators of the gang rape are still to be 
arrested. It is understood that the case is to be transferred to the 
Somali Police Force and that investigations are ongoing.

As yet, it is unknown what action is being taken against the 
perpetrators of the gang rape.

Additional information currently coming to light indicates that there 
may be further Somali women held inside the Maslah military camp who are 
being used for sexual purposes.

A spokesperson from the Somali Women’s Development Centre stated that, 
/"The recent gang rape of this young woman is one of the many brutal 
incidents of sexual violence women and girls in Somalia are facing on a 
daily basis. Irrespective of the wealth, status or nationality of the 
perpetrator, justice must be served and the Somali government should see 
to it that no perpetrator walks free.”/

Hala Alkarib, Regional Director of the Strategic Initiative for Women in 
the Horn of Africa stated that:

/“The United Nations and the African Union must address the repeated 
incidents of vulnerable Somali women being raped by AMISOM troops. 
Sexual Violence and impunity have been known within international 
military deployments for many years- this abuse should be stopped 
immediately and be addressed at the highest levels, both within the AU 
and the UN. There is no justification for military forces committing 
rape under any circumstances. Rape and enslavement are brutal crimes 
against which the international community must take concrete steps to 

Sexual violence in Somali has reached unprecedented levels in recent 
years with perpetrators coming from a cross-section of backgrounds, 
however with a large proportion being identified as wearing government 
uniforms or deriving from local militias. In late 2012, a UN report 
noted that around 20 incidents of sexual violence were reported every 
day with approximately 30% of survivors being under the age of 18[1] 
<#14081add2cf423c6__ftn1>.Lack of awareness on how to access help, the 
prospect of stigma and fear of reprisals mean that the actual numbers of 
rape victims is likely to be substantially higher.

Despite commitments made by the Somali President, Hassan Sheikh 
Mohammud, that perpetrators of sexual violence would be dealt with 
robustly and even having demanded the application of the death sentence, 
there has been limited judicial redress for survivors. In a highly 
political incident in February 2013, a women who spoke out about having 
been gang raped by Somali government soldiers and a journalist who had 
been interviewing her were arrested and convicted for defaming a 
government institution. Although the conviction was overturned following 
huge international outcry, the case highlighted the inadequacies of the 
Somali judicial system whereby survivors are challenged rather than 
perpetrators pursued.

Although the Somali government has since committed not to arrest those 
who spoke out against sexual violence, in a follow up investigations by 
SIHA, additional instances of family members who had reported rape on 
behalf of a female relative had been detained by police and another 
threatened. Human rights workers who collect data on sexual violence 
have reported experiencing harassment in the course of their work and 
identified a climate of fear surrounding sexual violence survivors 
coming forward in case they too are arrested. Ostensibly, this has 
impacted the capacity for survivors to receive the necessary medical and 
psychosocial treatment that they require.

For more information, please contact Joanne Crouch at SIHA Network on 
+256 779 386 476 or joanne at <mailto:joanne at>


[1] <#14081add2cf423c6__ftnref1>A/HRC/21/36 United Nations support to 
end human rights abuses and combat impunity in Somalia. 21^st September 
2012 Human Rights Council twenty first session Annual Report of the HCRH 
p6 para 24

The 16 Days Team
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
Center for Women's Global Leadership
School of Arts and Sciences
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
160 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555
Tel: 1-848-932-8782
Fax: 1-732-932-1180
Skype: cwgl_16days
Email: 16days at

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