Ban voices deep concern over grave abuse of child rights in Somalia

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed deep concern over the continuing grave violations of children’s rights in Somalia and urged all armed groups in the Horn of Africa country to immediately cease recruiting children and release those in their ranks.

“I am deeply concerned about the killing and maiming of children and other civilians in the course of military operations [and] I remind all parties to the conflict of their obligations to ensure respect for international law,” the Secretary-General writes in his latest report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict in Somalia.

He calls on the armed groups – al-Shabaab, Hizbul Islam, clan militias and Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a – to “make all efforts to protect children through strict adherence to the principles of distinction and proportionality in the conduct of hostilities.”

The Secretary-General also strongly encourages Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and other authorities in the country to redress the prevailing culture of impunity, investigate all incidents of grave violations of children’s rights, and ensure that all individuals responsible are held accountable.

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MUMA-8BD6HE?OpenDocument

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