Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The United Nations said it was concerned by allegations a Somali
woman was raped by members of an African Union peacekeeping force in the
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said
sexual violence is one of the worst challenges facing the fledgling
Somali government. OHCHA documents approximately 800 cases of sexual
violence in Mogadishu during the first six months of 2013.
U.N. special envoy for Somalia Nicholas Kay said he was concerned by
reports members of the African Union Mission in Somalia raped a woman
near its military campus in Mogadishu in early August.
"It is important that any investigation is rigorous and prompt," he
said in a statement Sunday. "If there is a case to answer, any
perpetrator should be prosecuted and held fully accountable while basic
rights are protected."
The U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia is tasked with providing
support to African Union troops as they train for deployment. Kay said
the U.N. mission would continue working on addressing sexual violence as
it works to support its mandate for Somalia.
Somalia last year formed a central government for the first time
since the 1990s. It's struggled to exert its influence beyond Mogadishu
because of terrorist control and separatist ambitions.