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The AU responds to Human Rights Watch allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by AMISOM personnel

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Following the Press Release issued by the Commission of the African Union (AU), on 8 September 2014, in response to the report of Human Rights Watch (HRW) titled “The Power These Men Have Over Us – Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) by AU Forces in Somalia”, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Somalia and Head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Ambassador Maman S. Sidikou, on 19 October 2014, addressed the attached letter to the Africa Director of HRW, Mr. Daniel Bekele. (Click here for the letter)

In that letter, the AU Special Representative for Somalia addressed a number of issues, notably the investigations and assessment of SEA, the existing mechanisms to address SEA within AMISOM, and the context and impact of HRW's report on AMISOM operations. The letter also highlights the AU's major concerns with respect to the report.

The Special Representative also reiterated the AU's zero tolerance policy towards SEA and any other acts of misconduct, and its commitment and determination to investigate these allegations and to take all necessary steps if they are found to be accurate and ensure justice for victims.