Today from Hiiraan Online:
Somali government concerned over rape of woman by AU troops
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The Somali government has expressed deep concern over the alleged rape of a Somali woman by a number of African Union (AU) soldiers in a camp in Mogadishu, Press TV reports.
The incident occurred in Maslah Military camp in the capital on August 8.
The victim, Amran Hussein, is a mother of four and in her early 20’s.
Amran Hussein said that she was attacked and abducted by men dressed in Somali military uniforms before being gang raped by several AU soldiers.
Following the attack, Maryam Kassim, the country’s minister of Social Development said, “It is totally unacceptable. The government cannot tolerate such incidents. No one can violate the rights of Somali women. We have launched immediate investigations into this matter.”
“We are committed to protecting the Somali civilians. As a government that’s our main objective. No one is above the law and the case will be dealt with accordingly,” she added.
On Monday, Nicholas Kay, the Special representative of the UN secretary-general in Somalia expressed concern over the attack saying, “It is important that any investigation is rigorous and prompt. I am encouraged by the President of Somalia's commitment to a zero-tolerance policy.”
“If there is a case to answer, any perpetrator should be prosecuted and held fully accountable while basic rights are protected,” he added.
According to the United Nation, at least 1,700 women were raped, mostly by men in military fatigues, in camps housing the country’s displaced people in Mogadishu, in 2012.
Sexual violence has been on the rise in Somalia over the past years, and has turned into a major issue for the federal government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces have been deployed to the war-torn Horn of Africa nation since 2007 to battle al-Shabab fighters.
The al-Shabab group has vowed to topple the country's president, who took office in September 2012 after being chosen by the country's parliament.
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