UN calls for more efforts to halt sexual violence in Somalia

Somalia

The UN on Wednesday urged Somalia parliament to expedite passage of the sexual offenses bill, which will serve as an important safeguard for human rights in the country.

Raisedon Zenenga, officer-in-charge of UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), lauded Somalia for prioritizing measures to eliminate sexual violence in conflict through the implementation of the national action plan to address the vice.

Somalia council of ministers in 2018 approved the landmark sexual offenses bill which is currently awaiting consideration by parliament.

"I pay tribute to the survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and also to those civil society groups who provide the indispensable services needed by those survivors to overcome their traumatic experiences," the UN official said in a statement issued in Mogadishu to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Zenenga said the UNSOM is supporting an event in Mogadishu organized by a coalition of civil society organizations dedicated to human rights and the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence to raise awareness of the need to halt conflict-related sexual violence.

He said the event will address questions about the basic services available to survivors of sexual violence in conflict and ways to improve the delivery of those services to such survivors, with dignity and efficiency.

"We need to hear their voices and help them to heal their wounds, and let us reaffirm our commitment to eliminate the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence in our lifetimes," Zenenga said.