UN envoys call for action after rise in sexual violence in Somalia

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United Nations, Aug 6 (Prensa Latina) The UN secretary-general’s special representative for children and armed conflict, Virginia Gamba, and the special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, said Thursday that they were appalled by the alarming increase in the scale and severity of sexual violence in Somalia.
In 2020, 400 civilians, primarily girls, were victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated by all parties to the conflict in Somalia. This represents a staggering increase of nearly 80% compared with 2019, said the two UN envoys in a joint press release.

Sexual violence was closely linked with the prevailing insecurity in Somalia, marked by political tensions in the run-up to national elections, intercommunal clashes related to land-based disputes, and a surge in Al-Shabaab’s activities, which intensified during the climate of uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, they said.

Gamba and Patten urged the federal government of Somalia to take concrete measures to end and prevent the recurrence of sexual violence against women and children, while expediting the implementation of protection commitments, including at the federal member state level.

pgh/Pll/ga / ifb

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