UN and AU envoys call for increased measures to combat sexual violence in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, March 3, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Joint statement by the UN and AU envoys to Somalia
Speaking at a high level panel discussion on sexual violence in Somalia the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Nicholas Kay and the Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC), Maman S. Sidikou made a joint call for increased measures to protect Somalia's women and girls and reiterated their commitment to support efforts to combat sexual and gender based violence in Somalia.
The event was organised by an international Non-Governmental Organisation, Legal Action Worldwide in Mogadishu. Other panellists included Somalia's Minister for Women and Human Rights Development, Hon. Minister Zahra Mohamed Ali Samantar, the European Union Special Representative for Somalia, Michele Cervone d'Urso, the Director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, Ms Fartun Aden and the Executive Director of Legal Action Worldwide, Ms Antonia Mulvey.
“Preventing and responding to sexual violence is vital. There should be no impunity for these crimes. The United Nations is committed to working with the Somali people and authorities to increase measures to protect the rights of Somalia's women and girls.” said SRSG Kay.
SRCC Sidikou reinforced AMISOM's commitment and determination for efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse.”There should be no safe haven for perpetrators of such heinous crimes against some of Somalia's most vulnerable women and girls. By working together, sharing our knowledge and our experience, mobilising resources and committing our political will we are determined to end rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict situations. We remain committed to working with the Somali people, the Federal Government, and the United Nations to support all efforts to hold any perpetrators to account and to improve the response and support to victims and their access to Somalia's justice system.” He said.
Panel members also highlighted the importance of providing better, more timely and comprehensive assistance and care to, including health and psychosocial care that addresses the long term consequences of sexual violence in conflict to victims and their families.