10th December, Human rights day in Somalia

After many years of indiscriminate mortar shelling and endless human rights abuses, the poor people of Somalia are left with little hope or expectations of peace and stability. The destruction that has been inflicted on the Somali people is unprecedented in the recent history of Africa as the perpetrators are rarely called to account for their crimes.

At the beginning of 2009 with Ethiopian troops leaving the country, many residents of Mogadishu had high hopes for a better future and the country as a whole expected at least some changes for the better.

Unfortunately however, these hopes were soon dashed as groups of Islamic insurgents refused to accept the new Transitional Federal Government and fighting broke out between them, the TFG and AMISOM troops.

The people of Mogadishu and the country as a whole were left with little or no defenses as human right abuses reached obscene levels. After again having their hopes dashed, the Somali people were again left to hope for an unknown savior to douse the flames of the fire that has blazed throughout the country for nearly two decades.

With both sides being considered guilty of failing to protect the vulnerable people of the country, 2009 is now considered the worst year ever for Somalia. The poor and underprivileged are left to pay the price for war while the guilty go free.

One example of this is the all too frequent occurrence of rebels firing mortars from a residential area, fleeing and then leaving the local people to face the return fire from the TFG.

Not a month would pass without attacks and always they would result in civilian deaths. Human right activists have little chance of doing their jobs in these situations and none is listening to their pleas for the warring sides to think of the people.

However, there are still some brave people and organizations trying to work in the chaos. On 10th December 2009, some of these organizations, led by Community Concern Organization (COCO), and the Coalition for Grassroots of Women Organizations (COGWO), held a peace forum reminding the nation and the world of the dramatic increase in human rights abuses and encouraged themselves and others to continue their work.

It was underlined that the peace that is needed will only be achieved through hard work and sacrifices from all sides and sections of society.

SOCDA shares these opinions with its partners and will work together in order to restore the security and stability of the country while it is in this critical position. This day has a great value for all peace lovers but the road to peace is long and its course unstable.


SOCDA - Somali Organisation for Community Development Activities-, Social Watch Somalia