Somalia’s Parliament welcomes UN Letter which called for clarity on US position
We, the undersigned members of the National Salvation Caucus, welcome the letter written by the United Nations’ Special Representative to Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, reminding the Somali government of its domestic and international responsibility to safeguard human rights, exercise its authority in conformance with the law and provide explanation about the atrocities committed in Baidoa and the illegal detention of Mukhtar Robow. We similarly welcome the UK, Germany and EU delegation’s concern about the conduct of the security forces in the South West Region of Somalia.
We, however, note with regret the silence of the United States about the recent disturbing political developments in Somalia particularly the federal government’s breach of domestic and international laws governing human rights. Bearing in mind the US’s long-standing tradition of promoting good governance and democracy, it is inconceivable that it kept quiet about the blatant human rights abuses including but not excluded to the unjustifiable use of brutal force in Baidoa resulting in the death of 13 people, among them a local legislator, injuries of scores, shrinkage of political space, and curtailment of constitutionally enshrined freedom of expression, association, assembly, and movement.
We acknowledge the importance of the US relationship with our country given the fact that the US welcomed and received hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees (some of whom latter occupied senior public offices in the US and Somalia respectively) and that the US remained a leading donor for both humanitarian and development projects in Somalia at a time of need. But it is worth-mentioning that the mutually beneficial positive outcome that could be harvested from the above-mentioned good-will can be dented by the absence of defence and promotion of democratic norms that could shape the basis for a value based long-lasting people to people friendship between our two countries.
We, therefore, urge the US to live up to its values by making its stand clear on the government’s repeated violations against the human, civic and political rights in our country. We believe that this will show the Somali public that the US friendship and resumption of diplomatic presence in Somalia goes beyond individuals in power and is meant to further mutually advantageous sustainable relationship between our two countries and people.
We also call on the troop contributing countries in AMISOM to avoid acting unliterally outside the legal framework provided for in the UNSCR 1725 Resolution, Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA), Interim Somali Federal Constitution, and other laws of the country. In so doing, AMISOM will avoid being instrumentalised for committing extra-legal activities for which they can be rightly blamed and held responsible in the eyes of the international legal system.
We, equally, ask the international partners to consider the importance of bringing perpetrators of human rights violations to book within and beyond the borders of Somalia as that would likely reduce the impunity with which such abuses are committed time and again by individuals who could be held accountable for their actions.