• Somalia’s long-running armed conflict continues to leave civilians dead, wounded, and displaced in large numbers, although the Islamist armed group al-Shabaab lost ground in 2012. Both al-Shabaab and the forces arrayed against it—a combination of Somali government security forces, troops with the African Union Mission in Somalia, Ethiopian government forces, and allied militias—committed abuses, including indiscriminate attacks harming civilians and arbitrary arrests and detentions. In areas under its control, al-Shabaab administered arbitrary justice and imposed harsh restrictions on basic rights. Improving security remains a serious challenge for Somalia’s new government, which came to power in August, at the end of the political transition period.

  • AMISOM troops patrolling the Zona-K camp for displaced people in Mogadishu's Hodan district in June 2012.
    Soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have sexually abused and exploited vulnerable Somali women and girls on their bases in Mogadishu, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Troop-contributing countries, the African Union (AU), and donors to AMISOM should urgently address these abuses and strengthen procedures inside Somalia to seek justice.

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