SOMALIA COUNTRY REPORT 2003

 

 

5. STATE STRUCTURES

 

The Constitution

 

5.1 The constitution promulgated in 1979 and amended in 1990 was revoked following the overthrow of President Barre in January 1991. [1a] In the absence of a central government since that time there has been no functioning national constitution since 1991. [1a][2a]

 

TNG Charter

 

5.2 In July 2000 delegates at the Arta conference overwhelmingly approved a national Charter providing for the establishment of the TNG for a three-year term. [1a][2a] The Charter, which was adopted in 2000 but still had not been implemented by the end of 2002 is divided into six parts and guaranteed Somali citizens the freedoms of expression, association and human rights; it was intended to serve as Somalia's constitution for an interim period of three years. [1a][2a][37] The administrations of Puntland and Somaliland do not recognise the results of the Arta conference, nor do several Mogadishu-based faction leaders. [1a][2a] The TNG charter was due to come to an end on 13 August 2003 . [10bo]

 

5.3 A peace conference that commenced in Kenya in October 2002 with the aim of establishing a federal and all inclusive transitional government intended to replace the TNG. [10w][11c][11f] As of January 2003, delegates had reportedly neared completion of drafting a new Federal Charter. [11f]

 

" Puntland State of Somalia " Charter

 

5.4 The autonomous " Puntland State of Somalia " also has a Charter; this was released on 22 September 1998 following the ratification of the document by the region's parliament. [2a][7][23b] The charter released in September 1998 advocates Puntland remaining part of a federal Somali state based on regional governments. [1b][23b] The charter provides for freedom of expression and prohibits torture except where this is imposed by Shari'a courts. [2a] The Charter was intended to be effective for an interim period of three years during which a constitution was to be drafted and put to the population in a referendum. [7] A constitutional crisis emerged in Puntland in mid-2001 leading to the suspension of the Charter in April 2002; it remained suspended at the end of 2002. [1a][7][2a]

 

" Republic of Somaliland " Constitution

 

5.5 In 2000 the self declared " Republic of Somaliland " adopted a new Constitution based on democratic principles but continued to use the pre-1991 Penal Code. [2a] The constitution provides for the right to freedom of expression and association, it also contains a clause referring to the states self-declared independence. [1a][2a] The population endorsed this in a referendum that took place in late May 2001. [1a][6a] The TNG and Puntland regional authority opposed the referendum. [6a] The Somaliland authorities stated that they would view any claims or declarations of sovereignty over the region by a future Somali government as a hostile intent. [10bj]

 

Political System

 

General

 

5.6 Since the fall of Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has remained without a central, functioning or internationally recognised government. [1a][2a][7] Clan-based factions, traditional leaders and militia in different areas of the country have established various local administrations, some unrealistically claiming national authority. [36] No single group controls more than a fraction of the country's territory. [2a] In some areas, notably Puntland and Somaliland , local administrations function effectively in lieu of a central government. In these areas the existence of local administrations, as well as more traditional forms of conflict resolution such as councils of clan Elders, helps to prevent disputes degenerating rapidly into armed conflict. [2a][7][36]

 

5.7 However, this process of rebuilding state-like institutions or local administrations in various parts of Somalia has been slow and heterogeneous, and according to the UNDP Somalia 2001 report the political decentralisation and the political entities in Somalia are still fragile and evolving. The report states that “the development of governmental forms of political authority in regional administrations and the growth of urban centres such as Hargeisa, Garowe, Bossaso, and Baidoa, point to a process of consolidation”. [7]

 

5.8 In August 2000 the Somali National Peace Conference in Arta , Djibouti decided to form a “Transitional National Government” (TNG) based in Mogadishu . [1a][7] A Transitional National Assembly (TNA) comprising 245 members was established. [1a][37] Four major clans, the Dir (including the Isaaq), Hawiye, Darod and Digil-Mirifle (Rahanweyn) each received 44 seats in the TNA. [1a][8][37] An alliance of minority clans and tribes was allocated 24 seats and 25 seats were reserved for women with 5 going to those from each of the major clans and 5 to the alliance.  A remaining 20 seats were distributed amongst influential Somalis. [1a][37] The TNG claims to be a legitimate national transitional government for Somalia though in practice it controls very little territory; during the course of the 2002 the TNG lost areas it had previously held. [2a][7][10z] The authorities of Somaliland and Puntland as well as a number of faction leaders and warlords are either strongly opposed or keep their distance form the TNG. [2a][7] 

 

5.9 As reflected in the July 2002 British/Danish fact-finding mission report, the Islamist group Al-Itihaad insinuates itself into weak and divided bureaucracies by buying influence with parliamentarians. The group reportedly has a degree on influence in a number of regions.  It is also reported that many administrations in Somalia are "infiltrated" by the business community. [7]

 

Mogadishu (Benadir Region)

 

5.10 The TNG have control over some areas of Mogadishu where its official ministries are located and also has some authority outside the capital including the coastal area to the south of the capital. Other areas of the capital continue to be controlled by leaders of factions opposed to the TNG. [1a][7] The TNG leaders are all highly dependent on the pro-TNG business cartel in Mogadishu comprising Habr Gedir and Abgal businessmen.  The TNG have reportedly paid some warlords to ensure the continued support of their militias. [7]

 

5.11 In late March 2003 it was reported that agreement had been reached between the TNG, faction leaders, the JVA and the RRA over the creation of a new administration for the Benadir region. [10ac][48b] Further talks between all parties involved in the initiative, scheduled for 27 April 2003 , did not proceed as the representatives of both Musa Sude and Aideed failed to attend; previous attempts to establish an administration for Benadir have all failed. [48a][48b] However, after a closed-door meeting the following day, warlords Musa Sude and Ali Atto pledged their commitment to establish a new administration. [48a] Musa Sude has publicly stated that the ongoing talks between the TNG and factions aimed at forming an administration should be clan based. [48b] In May 2003 the Italian envoy responsible for Somalia affairs visited Mogadishu and met with Musa Sude, to discuss the formation of a new administration for Benadir. [48c]  

 

Other areas in central and southern Somalia

 

5.12 The political situation in many areas of central and southern Somalia remains unresolved. Large parts of central and southern Somalia are much less homogeneous in clan terms than Puntland and Somaliland , which is reflected in the large number of clan-based militia, some of which control only a small area. There are several regional clan-based administrations, some of which co-operate with neighbouring authorities that permit free movement of people and trade across regional boundaries. Many authorities are comprised of councils of Elders, often heavily influenced by a dominant local militia.  Rival Hawiye faction's control much of central and southern Somalia . [30a][33] Given the fluidity of the situation in much of the region control of many of these areas is liable to sudden change. [7]

 

Lower and Middle Juba (including Kismayo)

 

5.13 A new administration for Kismayo was established in June 2001 by the JVA, consisting of an 11-member council drawn from the region's clan groups. The new administration allied itself with the Transitional National Government (TNG) established in Mogadishu in late 2000. [7][10h] The JVA reportedly aim is to establish a regional administration for Lower Juba . [7] The JVA is funded by taxes on trade through Kismayo's sea and air ports, though the Somali Ruunkinet web site reported allegations in August 2003 that the revenue was not used to benefit local people. [7][47b] The JVA controls the lucrative charcoal trade from Somalia to Oman and other Arab states. [7] In September 2003 an official of the JVA announced that for the first time since capturing the town in 1999, taxes had also begun to be collected from the inhabitants.  These are intended to provide security and other services. [10bs] As of mid June 2002 radical Islamists were reported to be controlling the districts of Doble, Ras Chaimboni, and Kulbiyow in the Lower Juba region. [2b]

Middle Shabelle

 

5.14 The Abgal (Hawiye) clan dominates the Middle Shabelle region north of Mogadishu where Mohamed Dhereh has controlled an administration since the early 1990s. Originally under the interim administration of Ali Mahdi, Dhereh subsequently defected to Aideed before becoming a member of the TNA with who he quickly fell out. [7] He then set up his own administration in Jowhar and was, as of June 2002, reported to be  allied to the SRRC. [7][9c] Information contained in the British/Danish fact finding mission report of July 2002 suggests that as of May 2002 Dhereh, as Governor, maintained a strong local Abgal based administration in the northern districts of Middle Shabelle.  However, there is also a large Bantu population in the region, they are reportedly excluded from participation.  The administration receives revenue from taxation of regional trade passing through Jowhar and Mahaday.  Dhereh reportedly enjoys a moderate level of support from the local population and Abgal Elders, who wish to maintain the strength of the clan in the region.  [7]

 

5.15 Dhereh controls five of the six districts of Middle Shabelle, Mogadishu warlord, Musa Sude, controls the sixth district, also an Abgal; Dhereh and Musa Sude had an alliance as of May 2002.  [7] However, in May and June 2002 inter clan fighting was reported in the region between Dhereh and TNG Interior Minister Dahir Dayah. [4][9c]

 

Lower Shabelle 

5.16 As of May 2002 a British/Danish fact-finding delegation was advised that the TNG had some control along the coast south of Mogadishu. To illustrate this reference was made to a case in which a Swiss aid worker had recently been murdered in Merka and the TNG sent police to investigate the case. [7] In November 2001 the TNG president visited Afgoi, Wanlewein, Brava and Merka in Lower Shabelle; in February 2002 it was reported that TNG officials had been working with local leaders to help establish a local administration in Merka. [7][51]

Hiran  

5.17 Since the collapse of central government in 1991, traditional Elders have been the main legitimate authority in Belet Weyne and the Hiran region. The civil administration for Hiran set up by UNOSOM II was effective so long as international forces remained in Somalia. When UNOSOM II withdrew, institutions like tax gathering fell apart and the administration was weakened and traditional clan rivalries and clashes resumed. [7] 

5.18 More than 20 clans live in the Hiran region and the clan pattern is complex. [33] Local Elders advised a British/Danish fact-finding delegation that visited Belet Weyne in May 2002 that there are six or seven Ugas', or kings in the region. The Elders explained the civil administration in place is very nominal. The Ugas, or king, of each clan has the backing of the people. Elders stand between the Ugas and the community and resolve conflicts within and between the clans. [7] 

5.19 A representative of the WHO based in Belet Weyne explained to a British/Danish fact-finding delegation in May 2002 that the main structure of that administration remained in place but the current administration was divided along clan lines. [7] The Hawadle clan, the largest clan in the regions, control the eastern side of town and the Galje'el clan the western side. [7][8][33] The Governor of Hiran, Hassan Abdulleh Qalad, the District Commissioner of Belet Weyne, Adan Abdi Isha and the administrative offices are located on the eastern side of Belet Weyne. There is separate administration on the western side of the town. Since August 2000, the two groups have functioned more-or-less separately and occasionally come together.  As of May 2002 both the local officials referred to above maintained a neutral position with regards to the TNG and expressed commitment to participate in initiatives to restore a national government for Somalia. [7] 

5.20 A Shari'a court was established in the eastern side of Belet Weyne in January 2002. The court gathers tax, whereas the civil administration does not. The court levies tax on small businesses and on livestock passing through Belet Weyne en route to Bossaso. Tax is levied on the eastern side of the town only.  Efforts to extend the court's jurisdiction to all parts of the town were on going as of May 2002, the Galje'el, who have a history of rivalry, were reportedly opposed to this. [7]

Galgudud

 

5.21 The Galgudud region, adjoining Hiran, has no formal administrative structure and no regional authority. [7][51] It is inhabited by a number of clans of which, the Habr Gedir Clan dominates numerically. There are reportedly no armed militias and councils of Elders who control the region constitute individual clan's highest authority. [7]

 

Gedo

 

5.22 The Marehan clans dominate Gedo region. The SNF, led by Colonel Abdirazzaq Isaq Bihi, has been the main Marehan faction operating in the region, which has also been strongly influenced in the past by the Islamist Al-Itihaad movement. [7] The El Wak district of Gedo reportedly remained under the control of radical Islamists as of mid 2002. [2b]

5.23 During heavy fighting in mid 2002 Bihi reportedly switched his allegiance form the SRRC to the JVA but was subsequently captured by Ethiopian forces that frequently operate in Gedo.  [7] He was however released in June and subsequently participated in peace talks in Kenya as a representative of the SNF.  [3d][7]

 

" South West State of Somalia " (Bay and Bakool Regions)

 

5.24 The self-declared SWS administration comprises a President, two Vice-Presidents, 19 Cabinet Ministers and 19 Deputy Ministers.  Provision was made for the new administration to also include representatives from the Darod and Dir clans in addition to the Rahanweyn. The decision to establish the new regional administration was taken in March 2002 at a meeting in Baidoa of the RRA's central committee and over 70 Elders from the Digil and Mirifle clans. The meeting elected RRA chairman, Colonel Hasan Muhammad Nur 'Shatigadud', as inaugural President of the new regional state. It was agreed that Shaatigaduud would serve for an initial four-year period and would consult with Elders over the choice of Ministers. [10r][22a]

 

5.25 Shaatigaduud said the new regional government was based upon the building -block principle, whereby several regional administrations were set up, paving the way for the formation of a federal Somali government. [28] However, Shaatigaduud was ousted from Baidoa in October 2002 by forces loyal to his two deputies in the RRA. [10v]

 

5.26 The SWS administration lay claim to the Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Middle Juba, Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle regions.  However, in practice the administration only has effective control over Bay and Bakool.  Compared to other areas of the country, as of May 2002 the administration in Bay and Bakool was reported to be least influenced by Al-Itihaad and free from infiltration by the business community. [7]

 

In light of subsequent developments in SWS - see above - and paragraphs the situation outlined in this sub section may have been subject to significant change.

 

Puntland

 

5.27 The autonomous " Puntland State of Somalia " was proclaimed on 23 July 1998 under the 'Presidency' of SSDF deputy leader Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed after a Consultation Conference between the SSDF, the USP and the SNDU. A nine-member Cabinet was appointed in August 1998 and a 69-member Parliament was inaugurated in September 1998. A charter released in September 1998 advocates Puntland remaining part of a federal Somali state based on regional governments. A constitutional crisis in Puntland in mid-2001 saw Abdullahi Yusuf removed from office by the Supreme Court Chairman. Traditional Elders elected a new President, Jama Ali Jama, in November 2001 but Abdullahi Yusuf remained in control of Galkayo and Garowe and then took control of Bossaso in May 2002. [1a][2a][23a][23b][24a][24b]

 

5.28 As of mid 2002 Yusuf reportedly was putting his former administration back in place.  Given that the Puntland administration had previously operated for over three years it was expected to survive the period of unease caused by the constitutional crisis.  All major clans are reportedly committed to the continuation of a functioning administration in Puntland. [7] In December 2002 Puntland moved its parliament from Bossaso to Garowe, the headquarters of Yusuf's administration. [11e] In May 2003 Yusuf and his opponents signed a peace deal, this provided the opposition with a number of key positions within the governing administration, including three ministerial posts, two vice ministerial and two mayoral. [10an]

 

Somaliland

 

5.29 The Isaaq-dominated SNM declared the independence of the north-west as the " Republic of Somaliland " in 1991.  Since then Somaliland has had a functioning administration with its own police, courts and taxes, although it has not received international recognition as a separate state. The SNM authorities have worked with traditional structures and clan Elders to establish their administration.  To combat crime the government has built prisons in Hargeisa and other towns, partly funded by shopkeepers.  An increasingly well-organised and partly uniformed police force of some 4,000 men has been recruited from former militia groups.  Scheduled air services link several towns in Somaliland with Djibouti , where they connect with services to many international destinations.  Berbera is a thriving and safe port, handling trade from Ethiopia , and the reduction in clan-based tension within Somaliland has allowed the re-opening of many roads. [7][30a][31][32][33][36]

 

5.30 Since May 1993 Somaliland has had a Cabinet of Ministers and a Parliament with proportional clan representation comprised of two chambers each with 75 members; the House of Representatives and the Council of Elders (the Guurti). [36][19d] The current constitution provides for political parties; civic elections in which six parties participated took place in December 2002 and presidential elections took place in April 2002.  [2a][10y]

 

5.31Clan tensions within Somaliland have diminished. The Somaliland authorities administer the area around the cities of Hargeisa, Berbera and Boroma but its representation is limited in eastern Somaliland . The Darod Warsangeli and Dulbahante clans have established a semi-autonomous region in eastern Somaliland , effectively governed by regional councils of Elders. The SNM has been unable to implement taxation in this region, but there has been no fighting between the Somaliland government and the Darod clans. Opposition Habr Yunis militia handed in weapons in December 1996 as part of an agreement between the Somaliland government and opposition clans for ongoing demobilisation. Clashes in 1997 in the eastern town of Erigavo between the Isaaq Habr Yunis and Habr Jaalo clans were ended after mediation by the Darod clans. In September 1998 over 80 Habr Yunis militiamen joined the official Somaliland security forces. Traditional conflict-solving mechanisms in Somaliland have survived and are used, along with reconciliation conferences, to resolve difficulties. [17][30a][31][32][33][34]

 

Judiciary

 

5.32 Until 1991 the Constitution provided for the independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislative powers. Laws and acts having the force of law were required to conform to the provisions of the Constitution and general Islamic principles. [1a] There has been no national judicial system since the fall of Siad Barre's government in 1991. [1a][2a] Amnesty Internationals (AI) report covering 2002 states that regular courts only function in Somaliland . [6b] The judiciary in most regions relies on some combination of traditional and customary law, Shari'a law, the Penal Code of the pre-1991 Siad Barre Government, or some elements of the three. [2a][6b] Some regions have established local courts that depend on the predominant local clans and associated factions for their authority. Under the system of customary justice, clans often held entire opposing clans or sub clans responsible for alleged violations by individuals. [2a] In Bossaso (Puntland) and Afmadow ( Lower Juba ) during 2002, criminals were reportedly turned over to the families of their victims, who then exacted blood compensation in keeping with local tradition. [2a]

 

5.33 The legal framework throughout the country is inconsistent and weak, however in Somaliland , Puntland and areas controlled by TNG the court system has been regularised to some extent.  [4] In trying to bring about judicial reform, UN agencies focus their ongoing activities on the establishment of new institutions and the development of capacity within existing institutions. [3c] The UN independent expert on the situation of human rights noted in his 2002 report that challenges include under-qualified staff, low salaries, a lack of training and reference materials, gender inequalities and incoherence insofar as secular, customary and Islamic laws are all applied in conflicting and overlapping areas. Consequently, he concluded that this environment lends itself to significant degrees of corruption and inefficiency. [4] It is reported that the Islamic group, Al-Itihaad, has brought influence with judges in some areas of Somalia . [7]

5.34 Information obtained by a Nordic fact-finding delegation to Mogadishu in 1997 suggested that Shari'a court is divided into civil and criminal court.  However, the judicial system is not man made but based on rules handed down by Allah.  Shari'a courts also have a "Court of Appeal" though one appeal court may serve a number of courts, a final appeal may be made to a " Revision Court " whose ruling is final. [35]

Armed forces 

5.45 Since the collapse of central government in 1991 there have been no national armed forces in Somalia. [14b][16][44] There had been an estimated 100,000 solders under the Barre regime; they subsequently joined different factions though many have since been killed or disabled in fighting. [14b] Following his election to the TNG presidency in August 2000, Abdiqassim announced his intention to recruit former militiamen to create a new national force. [1a] In November 2000 the TNG announced that all former solders remaining physically and mentally fit should register in their respective regional capitals. [14b] By December 2000 some 5,000 had reportedly began training under the supervision of Mogadishu's Islamic courts. [1a] However, as of 2002 the US Department of State made no reference to a TNG army, only a police force and militia (see below). [2a] 

5.46 In August 2001 the self-declared 'Republic of Somaliland' armed forces was estimated to number 12,900. [1a] Part of the deal that brought peace to neighbouring Puntland in May 2003 makes provision for opposition militia members to be integrated into the Puntland security forces and the position of commander of either the army or the police to go to the opposition. [10an] 

Police 

5.47 In March 2001 officers of a new TNG police force began patrolling in Mogadishu for the first time. The force began tackling makeshift roadblocks set up by militias. [10d] As of the end of 2002 the TNG had a 3,500-officer police force but reportedly cannot afford to pay them. [2a][7] The forces remain in place but are largely confined to their posts and are unlikely to challenge warlord militias. [7] As noted in the UN Security Council June 2003 report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Somalia, within the context of activities in the area of law enforcement, the establishment of a professional civilian police force able to gain the trust of the community it serves is a priority. [3c]  

5.48 In May 2002 a British/Danish fact finding delegation visiting the self declared state of 'South West Somalia' were informed of an "emerging civil police force" comprising mainly of men transferred form the RRA militias.  In Hiran the delegation were also informed of a functioning police force operated under the auspices of the local administration (including the Shari'a court). [7]  

5.49 In February 1999 the 'Mogadishu Times' newspaper reported that the Puntland administration had announced plans for the recruitment of 6,000 men for a new police force, drawn from militias and members of the former national police and military forces. [25c] During 2002 training in human rights was provided to 44 police officers in Puntland. [3b] 

5.50 During 2002 Somaliland allocated more than 60 percent of its budget to maintaining its armed forces and police force composed of former troops. [1a][2a] The police force in Somaliland received 600 uniforms from the international community during 2002.  Training was also provided to 40 female police students; this took place at a newly constructed female training barracks. [3b] 

Clan based militias 

5.51 According to information obtained by a British/Danish fact-finding mission who visited Somalia in May 2002 Musa Sude is the only warlord who has effective control over his militia. Musa Sude achieves this and thus retains the loyalty of his militia by distributing money fairly equitably across his forces.  Osman Ali 'Ato' and Hussein Aideed have militias that will fight for them but they have to provide for themselves on a day-to-day basis. [7] 

5.52 In October 2,000 more than 2,000 gunmen, mainly financed by the local business community, were recruited to provide security for the new TNG administration in Mogadishu. [14b] Though the TNG had initially announced plans to create a new national armed force this did not materialise (see above). [1a][2a] As of 2002 the TNG militia numbered approximately 5,000 persons; the TNG were reported to be unable to pay them. [2a][7] 

Prisons and prison conditions 

5.53 Prisons within Somalia are run by a combination the TNG, the de facto administrations of Puntland, Somaliland and South West Somalia and other regional administrations. Warlords also operate prisons in areas under their control; for example Musa Sude runs a prison for the Abgal clan in north Mogadishu. [2a][4][6a][7]  

5.54 Prison conditions vary from region to region but conditions are generally harsh and life threatening.  Overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions, inadequate health care and the absence of educational and vocational training characterise prisons throughout Somalia.  Tuberculosis is widespread. Abuse of prisoners by guards is reportedly common in many prisons. The detainees' clans generally paid the costs of detention. In many areas, prisoners were able to receive food from family members or from relief agencies. [2a] 

5.55 The Ismail Jumale Centre for Human Rights in Mogadishu visited prisons in the city during 2001. The Somaliland and Puntland administrations permitted prison visits by independent monitors during 2002.  Human rights defenders' in Somaliland referred to poor prison conditions there during 2001. [6a] AI reports that prison conditions in Mogadishu are particularly harsh. [6b] When, in September 2001, the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights visited prisons in Hargeisa and Mogadishu and reported that conditions had not improved in the three years since his previous visit. [2a] In his 2002 report the UN expert identified prison conditions as one of several key human rights issues in the country, he did not visit Mogadishu during his 2002 visit, or during his visit in 2003, when he described the prison in Hargeisa, Somaliland as the worst in the area. [4][10bu]  

5.56 Pre-trial detainees and political prisoners were held separately from convicted prisoners. Men and women were reportedly housed separately in prisons visited by observers.  Convicted juveniles continue to be kept in jail cells with adult criminals. [2a] In addition, the practice of parents having their children incarcerated when they want them disciplined continued during 2002; these children were also reportedly held with adults. [2a][4][6b] Authorities in both "Somaliland" and "Puntland" cite a lack of resources as an obstacle to providing separate facilities for juveniles. [4] Members of minority groups are reported to make up a disproportionately large percentage of the prison population. [2a][6b] 

Military Service 

5.57 A national service programme existed until 1991 under the Siad Barre administration; since the collapse of his government this has ceased to apply.  Conscription had been introduced in Somalia in 1963 but was not implemented until 1986.  All men aged between 18 and 40 years old and women aged between 18 and 30 years old were liable to perform national service for a two-year period. There were reports of forced conscription under Barre's administration, including recruitment of minors; it is not clear whether women were also conscripted. [44] 

Conscientious objectors and deserters 

5.58 There were no provisions for conscientious objection during the time conscription was in force.  However, it is not clear whether the law was enforced systematically. [44] 

Recruitment by clan militias  

5.59 There is no tradition of forced recruitment in the various armed Somali clan militias.  Militias are apparently able to recruit their members on a voluntary basis. Refusal to join a clan militia would reportedly not have any negative consequences. [44] Although minorities have usually been able to avoid involvement in clan disputes they have sometimes come under pressure to participate in fighting in areas of conflict.  [35][36] 

Demobilisation initiatives 

5.60 The Rule of Law and Security Programme, formally known as the Demobilisation Task Force of the Somalia Aid Co-ordination Body operates under the auspices of the UNDP Somalia Civil Protection Programme.  It is involved in the planning and co-ordination for demobilisation and reintegration work.  Meeting regularly in both Somalia and Nairobi (Kenya) this body addresses issues such as rule of law initiatives to strengthen the protection of vulnerable groups, particularly women and children. [3a] 

5.61 The Rule of Law and Security Programme aims to reinforce peace and security and enhance economic and social recovery through the establishment of a secure enabling environment.  Aims of the project include enhancing the rule of law, which focuses on policing, and administration of justice. [3a] It is reported that some progress has been made with projects undertaken under the provisions of this programme in both Puntland and Somaliland. [3b] 

5.62 The October 2002 Security Council report refers to research by UNESCO into the progress of 450 militia demobilised earlier in 2002, this found 63% to be in gainful employment.  UNESCO plans to continue monitoring their progress and may expand their programme to other parts of southern and central Somalia. [3a] The UN Security Council report that during 2002 an unnamed local NGO based in Mogadishu worked in conjunction with UNICEF to support the reintegration of 120 former child solders into the community through a programme of vocational training, conflict revolution and trauma counselling.  Private sector companies in this project provided participants with employment opportunities following their training. [3a][3b] The project was successfully completed in the first half of 2003 and a second phase operating in Mogadishu, Merka and Kismayo has reportedly commenced. This aims of providing rehabilitation opportunities for 420 former child soldiers. [3c] 

5.63 During 2002, demobilisation of former militia into the TNG police force ceased due to lack of funding. [2a] The UNDP were active in demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration programmes in both Somaliland and Puntland.  [3a]

Medical Services 

5.64 A lack of adequate health care is one of the biggest problems facing Somalis today. According to figures reported the International NGO, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in December 2002, 72% of the population has no access to healthcare. [5] MSF estimated in 2002 that the country has less than 15 qualified doctors per million people; World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics dating from 1997 then suggested a ratio of 4 doctors per 100,000 people. [5][16] Most trained health care workers fled the country during the 1990s.  The same organisation describe the public health sector as being in a lamentable state and report that a high proportion of staff providing services are untrained or have 'questionable qualifications'. [5] In 2001 an assessment of the country situation based on information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) referred to the widely held perception that Somalia was without any governmental or institutional infrastructure capable of supporting the development and expansion of family health care. [40]    

5.65 The actual situation does vary within different parts of the country although the few health workers who remain tend to be based in the more secure urban centres. [5][14g][40] In Mogadishu there are two public hospitals with facilities to perform certain surgical procedures; the 127 bed Keysaney hospital, a former prison located 7 KM north of the city and the 65 bed Medina hospital that serves the south of the city. Much surgery is undertaken on the victims of gunshot wounds. [14g] Other hospitals in Mogadishu include the Benadir and Al-Hayat; both have larger capacities and the Forlinini, which treats patients with chronic diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy. [9d][29b][40] Security for medical personnel is a particular problem in Mogadishu; unknown gunmen killed a leading eye specialist in July 2003. Since 1990 a total of 27 doctors and 50 other health professionals have been killed, others have been injured or abducted; many medical staff have reportedly left the country. [10ap][10be]  

5.66 Public hospitals in Galkayo (Mudug) and Baidoa (Bay and Bakool) serve enormous areas.   In 2002, there were reports that these hospitals were beset with insecurity, lack funding, equipment, qualified staff and drugs. [5] The hospital in Bossaso, Puntland is reportedly equipped to deal with minor cases, more serious cases are reportedly sent to Dubai. [4] Puntland and Somaliland have Somalia's only two nurse training facilities; these are located in Bossaso and Hargeisa respectively.  However, even in this part of the country facilities and resources are severely limited; the whole of eastern Sanaag (Somaliland), for instance, had only one doctor in 2001. [5] In June 2003 Somalia's first medical college since 1991 opened in Mogadishu.  The Benadir University Medical College is to be funded by Somali doctors and annual fees of US$1,500 from each of the students.  It is reported that some Somalia doctors in the Diaspora have agreed to come to Mogadishu to teach at the hospital in rotation.  There are 22 students who have been attending classes since 2002; half of these are women.  In future the facility expects to take 50 to 60 students per year. [10aw] 

5.67 The Somali private health sector has grown considerably in the absence of an effective public sector. Of the population who get any care at all, about two thirds of them get it from the private health sector. The growth has thrown up a range of problems.  These include the dispensing of out of date drugs, over-the-counter drug prescriptions and inadequately trained staff can lead to misdiagnosis.  Private health care is characterised by high charges for services - pricing the poor out of health. [5] 

5.68 Aid agencies have attempted to fill the gap in areas where health services and structures have all but collapsed. They struggle to provide health care in remote areas, where reaching the patients is a major problem.  Insecurity is among the main reasons for this; however, the sparse distribution of NGOs means that the sheer distances that patients outside urban areas must travel are also an obstacle to them obtaining health care.  [5] The ICRC was involved in opening both surgical hospitals in Mogadishu.  Keysaney was opened in February 1992 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) together with the Somali Red Crescent Society on the site of what had been a prison; the latter organisation took over its running in the mid 1990s due to security concerns. Responding to the urgent need for access to surgical care by the community in Mogadishu South the ICRC supported the reopening of Medina Hospital in 2000. [14g] 

5.69 The UN have had success in its immunisation strategy for Somalia and, as of mid 2003, had established over 100 fixed sites offering daily tuberculosis, DPT, oral polio and measles vaccinations for children, as well as tetanus toxoid vaccinations for pregnant mothers.  Careful planning and training has also allowed vaccination drives to take place in regional capitals. In the first half of 2003 the programme was extended to several district capitals for the first time. Various nation-wide vaccination campaigns have also taken place. [3c] 

5.70 With less than a quarter of the population having access to clean drinking water and under half having adequate sanitation the risk of acquiring water-borne diseases is high. [5][29b] In the capital, it is the IDPs who live in camps around the city who are reportedly most lacking in proper sanitation. [9d] Diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid fever are common whilst Cholera outbreaks are an annual occurrence and have been an increasing cause for concern among aid agencies. [5][9d][29b] However, abundant rain during 2002 has considerably reduced the incidence of cholera. [3c] The country has one of the highest incidences of Tuberculosis in the world; malaria is also a major cause of mortality. [5] 

HIV/AIDS 

5.71 AIDSOM, a group campaigning for AIDS awareness in Somalia, report that the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Somalia was increasing, particularly in Mogadishu. [10o] AIDSOM, which was formed in June 2001 by a group of young people whose lives had been touched by AIDS, has offices in Mogadishu, Baidoa and Garbaharrey. [10o] [10s] In October 2001 AIDSOM reported that it had registered 350 cases, however doctor's view at the time was that the true figure was probably higher.  Keysaney Hospital in northern Mogadishu reported 102 cases between 1993 and 2001. There is no compulsory screening for HIV/AIDS in Somalia. [10o]  

5.72 In July 2002 AIDSOM held the first ever public awareness demonstration in Somalia focused on HIV/AIDS in the coastal town of Merka. [10s][51] Organisers reported that they experienced no harassment and were largely welcomed by the public but acknowledged that in some areas campaigners were forced to leave.  The head of AIDSOM acknowledged the difficulties faced in a society where there is little awareness of the disease. Ignorance, mixed with denial of the disease are the biggest problems AIDSOM have faced, even those of the population that are educated frequently decline to accept it can happen. The organisation indicates its intention to continue its awareness campaign to other areas of the country.  [10s] UN agencies and their partners also promote HIV/AIDS prevention and control and are engaged in awareness raising activities in Somalia; during the first half of 2003 the World Bank re-engaged in Somalia and has been supporting this work. [3a][3c] 

5.73 In Somaliland during 2002 UNIFEM were reported to be helping the authorities develop a gender-responsive policy on HIV/AIDS.  [3a] During the first half of 2003 two workshops on gender and HIV/AIDS were held for 60 policymakers form the Somaliland and Puntland.  In this period capacity was enhanced for 15 HIV/AIDS counsellors based at the Boroma Tuberculosis Hospital in the Adwal region in Somaliland where additional materials and equipment were provided. [3c] 

People with disabilities 

5.74 In the absence of a functioning central state, the needs of people with disabilities are not addressed. However, there are several NGOs in Somaliland that provide services for people with disabilities. [2a] MSF estimate that there are approximately 1,500 amputees as a result of landmine casualties within Somaliland alone. [5]