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NUSOJ Hails Somalia’s new Human Rights Roadmap

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today hailed the on-going consultations of Somalia’s post transition Human Rights Roadmap by the Federal Government of Somalia, in particular the Office of the Prime Minister in the aftermath of the 10th mission to Somalia of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Dr. Shamsul Bari on March 2013.

The ground-breaking move by the Federal Government to protect, respect and promote human rights which is based on a country-led and country-owned initiative started with consultations with the Human Rights Committee of the Parliament, the Human Rights Task Force ad-interim and the top technical civil servants of the Ministries of the Government, the Director Generals.

Similar consultations are being organised for the Somali civil society, including journalists and trade unions regarding the post transition Human Rights Roadmap given that journalists are the most victimised and brutalised members of human rights defenders community. Somalia’s top national security institutions will also take part separate consultations.

The lead official of the national consultations of the post transition Human Rights Roadmap is His Excellency Mr. Yusuf Mohamed Ismail Bari-Bari, Somalia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other specialized institutions in Switzerland.

“We welcome the post transition Human Rights Roadmap and the on-going consultations as this will set out the plan to promote and protect the human rights of the Somali people, investigate human rights abuses and violations, develop domestic human rights institutions and promote rights-based culture within Somali society” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

NUSOJ urges the Federal Government of Somalia to broaden the on-going consultations to the other regions of Somalia to make inclusive and wide stake holding.

The current insecurity experienced by Somalis, the weak rule of law, the failure to implement laws to protect human rights, failure to provide basic social services, poverty intensified by war, and the low and inadequate level of public awareness about human rights that has prevented citizens from realizing and accessing their rights are daunting tasks to be addressed by the Federal Government of Somalia.

NUSOJ considers the post transition Human Rights Roadmap a milestone achievement since the Somali people have experienced atrocious human rights abuses and violations during the past twenty years. Nearly all categories of human rights abuses and violations occurred including forced disappearance, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial killing, summary execution, torture, mass killing through indiscriminate bombardment of residential areas, forced displacement, looting and destruction of public utilities and personal belongings. Police, Army personnel and Intelligence agents as well as irresponsible commanders and fighters of Islamic extremists committed these abuses and violations.

The lack of the implementations of recommendations of the Universal Period Review (UPR) is a major concern for NUSOJ.

NUSOJ calls on the federal government to implement the UPR recommendations, and urges international partners and friendly countries of Somalia as well as the concerned international organizations to seize this unique opportunity by extending timely and concretely bilateral and multilateral cooperation to the Federal Government of Somalia at national and sub-national levels due to implement the post transition of Human Rights Roadmap for Somalia ahead of the second cycle of Somalia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheduled on 2015.