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AMISOM’s toll on Somali Women and Girls

amisom_rapeWhen a Somali interpreter from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) approached Idil in July 2013 asking her to “befriend” a Ugandan soldier in exchange for money, she was struggling to survive.


Idil (not her real name) had fled to the capital, Mogadishu, during the 2011 famine and was stuck in a camp for displaced people with little food. The interpreter took her to the main AMISOM base. “He told me that I should do as the soldier said,” she told us. “At first I was scared. He was old enough to be my father. After having sex, he paid me $20.” Idil had sex for money with the soldier for a month before he returned to Uganda.


UN cuts compensation for Kenyan troops in Somalia THE EASTAFRICAN

kenya_armyThe United Nations cut compensation for Kenyan troops fighting Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia by a fifth to Sh4.69 billion.
Treasury documents show that the reimbursement for the year to June was lower than the Sh5.82 billion that it received from the UN the previous year. The refund is linked to money spent by its troops in Somalia under the African Union Mission (Amisom). The Treasury is targeting Sh6.1 billion in the next fiscal year starting July.
The repayment also signals faster disbursement from the UN after delays last year prompted Kenya to issue a protest to the Security Council, saying failure to reimburse Kenya the money was not only “unacceptable”, but also “unsustainable.”
“Security is necessary for encouraging investment, accelerating growth and creating more jobs for our youth. To this end, the following allocation has been provided; Sh6.1 billion for Amisom,” read a document submitted by the National Treasury secretary to Parliament.

Peacekeepers in Somalia use aid to rape women and buy sex for $5 :ROUTERS

au_somaligirlsAfrican Union (AU) peacekeepers in Somalia rape women seeking medicine on their bases and routinely pay teenage girls for sex, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.
HRW documented 10 incidents of rape and sexual assault, including gang rape and the rape of a 12-year-old girl, by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops in 2013 and 2014. Most of the incidents took place on AMISOM bases in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, where women come for medical care and to beg for food.
“Where this case is particularly shocking is the direct use of humanitarian assistance to lure these women in,” Laetitia Bader, one of the authors of the report, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“These were displaced women coming in (to the military base) to get medical assistance and it’s when they are in the outpatient clinics that they get approached by a Somali intermediary who says: ‘Why don’t you come back to the base? We’ll give you medication.”

Somalia: Sexual Abuse by African Union Soldiers :Human Rights Watch PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
AmisomabuseSomalia: Sexual Abuse by African Union Soldiers
Troop-Contributing Countries, Donors Should Promote Justice for Victims  
(Nairobi, September 8, 2014) – Soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have sexually abused and exploited vulnerable Somali women and girls on their bases in Mogadishu, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Troop-contributing countries, the African Union (AU), and donors to AMISOM should urgently address these abuses and strengthen procedures inside Somalia to seek justice.
The 71-page report, “‘The Power These Men Have Over Us’: Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by African Union Forces in Somalia,” documents the sexual exploitation and abuse of Somali women and girls on two AMISOM bases in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, since 2013. The AU soldiers, relying on Somali intermediaries, have used a range of tactics, including humanitarian aid, to coerce vulnerable women and girls into sexual activity. They have also raped or otherwise sexually assaulted women who were seeking medical assistance or water at AMISOM bases. Human Rights Watch interviewed 21 women and girls who described being raped or sexually exploited by Ugandan or Burundian military personnel serving with the AU forces. 

Somalia's al-Shabab names new leader: ALJAZEERA

godane01Al-Shabab, the Somali armed group, has named Sheikh Ahmad Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah, as successor to Ahmed Abdi Godane who was killed in US airstrikes last Tuesday.
The armed group on Saturday pledged to take revenge for the death of one its founding leaders.

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