Somalia: Puntland warns NGOs against filling false rape cases

By Staff Reporter , Garowe Online

GAROWE, Puntland - The Vice President of Somalia's northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland Abdihakim Abdullahi Hajji Omar Amey has warned NGOs against filling up bogus rape cases, Garowe Online reports.

The VP, speaking at a 16-day event discussing gender-based violence held in Garowe blamed the foreign organizations operating in Somalia for using their fake rape-related reports as a tool to earn money.

Amey said any group found of documenting such a false rape will be dealt with in accordance with the law. He, however, has offered a condolence to everyone affected by a sexual harassment.

Puntland left no stone unturned to solve the problem by opening Forensic Lab dedicated to Rape Investigation in the state capital in September, becoming the first Forensic Center in the Horn of Africa.

The lab was designed to provide critical scientific evidence to the police and officials investigating and prosecuting crimes under the Sexual Offenses Act enacted in Puntland last year.

A two-week campaign to end the violence against women and girls has been launched across Somalia last month amid efforts by the government to tackle the menace.

"I don't say hide the rape cases you come across, but tell the truth. We see nowadays many NGOs in Somalia advising women file false rape in return for money or take to abroad," said Amey, urging people to be fearful of Allah.

Continuing, Puntland VP added: "Yes it happened numerous times women reported rape against young girls aged between 7 to 10 and after we investigated we knew it was a false."

He has called on the public to be cautious of spreading fabricated false rape issues and not hurt the reputation of their government. The VP's remarks came as human rights activists are on working visit in Puntland