HUMAN RIGHTS - OTHER ISSUES
As is inevitable in a country that has been embroiled in conflict for
more than a decade, and continues to be subject to fierce factional
fighting, the general humanitarian is reported to be extremely poor. [1a][2a][3a]
The UN and both international and Somali NGOs are involved in
reconstruction projects within Somalia.
Humanitarian workers are at great risk in Somalia, several
Somali workers were kidnapped or killed during 2002. [6b]
However, improving security conditions in many parts of the country
enabled refugees and IDPs to return to their homes in 2002. [2a]
However, the security situation,
particularly in the south of the country and around Mogadishu and
Baidoa poses serious difficulties for the delivery of humanitarian
assistance. [3b] The
fighting and insecurity, along with a lack of trading activities, have
all contributed to an acute humanitarian situation in parts of the
country. In August 2002
UN Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Somalia issued a press
statement expressing "deep concern" about the deteriorating
humanitarian situation in many parts of Somalia including Baidoa in
Bay region and the capital, Mogadishu.
The UN warned that the effect that the fighting was preventing
the UN, aid agencies and civil society groups from protecting
communities caught in areas of conflict.
UN Agencies report that the Somali people have struggled with chronic
food insecurity, during 2002 this was compounded by disruption to the
delivery of humanitarian assistance to people already suffering from
acute poverty, malnutrition and lack of access to the most basic of
services. [3c][10z] Disease,
drought and severely limited employment and educational opportunities
are also major problems; Somalia's human development index remains one
of the lowest in the world. However, two good rainy seasons in 2002
have helped alleviate the food security situation, cereal production
in March 2003 was a post-war high with an average 80% increase
nationwide. Exceptions to
this are the some areas of the north-west where drought conditions
prevail and some southern regions where security conditions prevent
farmers from harvesting their crops.
Areas in southern Somalia of continuing vulnerability include
the central Mudug and Galgudud regions, Bay, and parts of Gedo, Lower
Juba and Middle Juba. [3c]
In April 2003 the authorities of both Puntland and Somaliland warned
of water shortages, Somaliland also reported food shortages. Reports
suggested almost all parts of Somaliland and some areas of Puntland
were affected. [10ae][10af] Saanag,
an area disputed by both self-proclaimed states is reported to be the
worst affected; the Sool (also disputed) and Bari (Puntland) regions
also continue to suffer from the effects of successive years of
Livestock, the source of most of the populations' livelihoods, has
reportedly begun to die in both Puntland and Somaliland. Both
administrations have issued appeals for international aid. [10ae][10af]
International aid organisation MSF said the flight ban
imposed by the Kenyan authorities between 19 June 2003 and 8 July 2003
severely hampered the provision of humanitarian assistance to Somalia,
most of which is transported by air from Wilson Airport in Nairobi. [10bg]
In 1993 it was estimated that three-quarters of Somalia's population
had been internally displaced by civil conflict. By late 1997 there
were an estimated 250,000 internally displaced Somalis. [1a]
An upsurge in factional conflict and the worst drought in
seven years displaced an estimated 25,000 people from their homes
during the 2001. In its report of 2002 (covering 2001) United States
Refugee Committee (USCR) noted that the continued instability impeded
hopes of widespread reintegration, an estimated 400,000 Somalis
remained internally displaced at the end of 2001. At this time more
than 200,000 displaced persons continued to live in some 200
Mogadishu-area camps and squatter settlements. 
As of 2002 the US Department of State reported there were
approximately 300,000 IDPs in the country, representing approximately
4% of the population; in June 2003 the UN Security Council report
referred to there being up to 370,000 IDPs. [2a][3c]
However, given that many Somalis are largely nomadic it is
difficult to assess patterns of displacement.
 The majority of IDPs in the country reportedly lived in old
schools and former government buildings.
The UN Independent Expert on Human Rights visited several IDP
camps in Somaliland and found them "among the worst in the world".
He reported that the camps were overcrowded, had poor
sanitation, and there was little or no access to employment and
education. No local,
regional, or UN authorities have taken responsibility for the camps. [2a].
In July 2003 fire
twice broke out at the Buulo Elay IDP camp in Bossaso, Puntland.
The first fire resulted in the death of 5 people and
displacement of 1,200 families; the second resulted in the
displacement of over 150 families.
There was no suggestion of any suspicious circumstances
surrounding either blaze. During
his visit to the camp in 2002 the UN Independent expert for human
rights had described the conditions at the Buulo Elay camp as
Following his visit
to Somalia in August 2003 the UN independent expert for human rights
spoke of the appalling conditions in IDP camps within Somalia and
asserted that these should be tackled urgently.
He referred to there being absolutely no basic facilities such
as water, health facilities or schools and reported that people have
to pay rent for the land where they are settled and pay for use of
very basic toilet facilities. Camps
were visited in the northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland as
well as Kismayo in the south; Mogadishu was not visited during the
11-day mission. [10bu]
The relative security
prevailing in the Somaliland and Puntland regions has led to the
spontaneous return of hundreds of thousands of refugees from
neighbouring countries with no recorded back-flows into exile.
Authorities in these two regions have assumed the protection of
the returnees and ensure they are integrated into society, the UNHCR
recognise both regions as safe and promote voluntary returns from
neighbouring countries. Refugees
have also returned to other areas of Somalia, including Mogadishu.
However, these other areas continue to produce new refugees who mainly
flee to Northern Kenya or Yemen; indications are some of those fleeing
were former returnees. [30b]
In late 2000 it was estimated that there were nearly half a million
Somali refugees outside Somalia, nearly two thirds of whom were in
Kenya and Ethiopia. [1a] Some
40,000 Somali refugees were repatriated during 2001, primarily from
Ethiopia and Kenya. Of these, and estimated 25,000 were voluntarily
repatriated from Ethiopia. Although
the UNHCR officially reported that nearly 55,000 refugees returned
home from Ethiopia, according to the USCR the actual number of
returnees was likely to be less than half that number because of
massive fraud in Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia that led to inflated
refugee and repatriation lists. Relatively few Somali refugees
repatriated from Djibouti because of political tensions between
Djibouti and Somaliland and the border's closure for part of 2001.
Most refugees repatriated during 2001 to the Somaliland cities of
Hargeisa, Borama, and Burao returned in UNHCR-organised convoys. Some
14,000 Somali refugees who fled to Mandera, Kenya in March voluntarily
repatriated to southern Somalia in June 2001, some 4,000 of them
returned with assistance from UNHCR. Some 120 Somali refugees were
repatriated from Yemen to Mogadishu on an UNHCR-chartered plane in
April 2001. Many returnees on the plane claimed that they were forced
to repatriate involuntarily, although UNHCR called these allegations
"baseless". A further 350 refugees were repatriated from
Yemen to Mogadishu during the remainder of 2001. 
Most returnees during 2001 received plastic sheeting, kitchen
items, blankets, and a small cash transportation allowance to reach
their homes from border transit centres. They also received
reintegration grants from UNHCR and a nine-month food supply or cash
equivalent from the World Food Program (WFP). 
During 2002 a total of 50,216 Somali refugees were returned to the
country from Ethiopia under the auspices of the UNHCR.
Despite sporadic harassment, including the theft of
humanitarian provisions and convoys by militiamen, repatriation
generally took place without incident.
Somaliland authorities expect infrastructural and rehabilitation
assistance in return for facilitating returns.
 In their 2002 report (covering 2001) USCR comment that
the Somali refugees who have gradually repatriated to Somaliland in
recent years continued to struggle to rebuild their lives amid bleak
economic prospects and inadequate social services. 
The UN estimate 34,000 refugees, mostly from Djibouti and Ethiopia
will be repatriated, primarily to the Somaliland and Puntland regions,
during 2003. [3c][30b] These
form part of the 50,000 repatriations UNHCR expected to take place
between January 2002 and December 2003. Of these 35,000 were expected
from Ethiopia and 5,000 from each of Djibouti, Kenya and Yemen.
Most of these repatriations were expected to be UNHCR
facilitated and result in returns to Somaliland or Puntland.
In their Country
Operations Plan covering 2003, UNHCR indicated that during 2002 it had
not been able to perform its refugee protection function in southern
Somalia and did not anticipate that the situation would change during
improvements in delivery of the protection function in Puntland,
albeit with some constraints, was reported. [30b]
In May 2003 UNHCR commenced a programme to return 2,880 refugees
originating from Puntland and located in camps in northern Kenya who
had, in 2001, signed up for voluntary return to their places of origin.
Under this scheme refugees receive a nine-month food ration
from the World Food Programme and support to integrate back into their
According to the US State Department report covering events in 2002
security conditions improved in many parts of the country. [2a]
However, in its review of 2002 the UN Integrated Regional
Information Network reported that Somalia saw an escalation of
fighting and violence. [10z]
In April 2003 the UN Resident
Representative and Humanitarian Co-ordinator commented in an interview
that "probably much more than 50 percent of the country is
actually at peace and people get on with their lives."
Though there are areas of relative peace there are also many areas
where violence continues to occur, particularly in the south of
Somalia. [2a][3b][3c] It
is reported that numerous civilians have been killed in
factional fighting. Since the beginning of 2002 regions where fighting
has occurred include Gedo, Bay, Bakool, Middle Shabelle, Middle Juba,
Lower Juba, and in Mogadishu and Bossaso (Puntland); in the first 8
months of 2002 a total of 488 people were killed in factional fighting.
During 2002 clashes were reported between the following groupings: RRA
and TNG; the TNG and the militia of warlord Musa Sude in Mogadishu;
warlord Hussein Aideed's militia and the TNG; Abdullahi Yusuf's forces
and those of Jama Ali Jama in Puntland; and the SRRC and JVA in
According to the most recent report of the UN Security Council
published on 10 June 2003 inter-clan fighting has continued to break
out in a number of places. [3c]
This is in spite of the signing of the Eldoret declaration in October
2002 that had provided for a cessation of hostilities. [3b]
By June 2003 repeated violations had reportedly occurred in
Mogadishu, Baidoa and Las Anod. Violations
in Bari, Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle and Middle
Juba regions were also reported. [10at]
In February 2003 a panel of
experts issued their report on arms in Somalia.
The panel had been appointed by the UN in 2002 to give force to
the arms embargo that had been introduced back in 1992 but generally
neglected since. The
panel found that Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen
had all violated the embargo over the previous ten years and supplied
arms, militia training and financial support to Somali factions.
The panel found that it was easy to obtain an assortment of
military ammunition and a range of weapons within Somalia arms markets.
The panel did not find that international terrorist groups used
Somalia as a haven. The
experts recommended further investigation and targeted secondary
During 2002 violence continued unabated.
Incidents of abductions, car-jackings, armed robberies and
general banditry all reportedly increased. [10z]
Reports attributed to Mogadishu residents suggest that the
situation has worsened still further during the first half of 2003
with rapes, robberies and abductions all increasing, these crimes are
mostly blamed upon freelance bandits.
The inability of various factions to take responsibility for
what goes on in areas under their control has been publicly criticised.
Following a visit to assess the humanitarian and security
situation in April 2003 the UN Resident Representative and
Humanitarian Co-ordinator noted that the current situation in
Mogadishu was problematic and severely affected the ability of the
international community to do anything very meaningful.
Regarding the security situation in the city, the report stated
it was "good in some areas and not so good in others." [10ah]
However, the UN Security Council report published on 10 June 2003
described the situation in Mogadishu as unpredictable and dangerous
with crime a very significant problem; reports of kidnappings,
robberies, hijackings and other violent acts were common. [3c]
In spite of the signing of the Eldoret
Declaration and subsequent agreements in December 2002 the seaport and
airport remain closed as of June 2003. [3b][3c][10ah]
Clan related violence is a serious and on going problem, in February
2002 twelve people were reportedly killed and an unknown number
injured during fighting in Medina district.
was between militias loyal to Mogadishu faction leader Musa Sude and
supporters of Omar 'Finish', his former deputy.
Omar 'Finish' had joined forces with factions who had signed a
peace agreement with the TNG. 
Reportedly the worst violence occurred in May 2002, between 24 and
28 May 2002 alone more than 60 persons were killed and hundreds
injured in clashes between militia loyal to Musa Sude and TNG forces. [2a][10z]Hospital
sources said most of the casualties were civilian non-combatants,
including women and children, injured by indiscriminate fire. [2a]
Clashes between Musa Sude and Omar 'Finish'
again flared up in July 2002 ahead of the peace talks in Kenya, this
time 30 people were killed and 50 wounded. [3b]
In December 2002 Mogadishu fighting between members of the Abgal
sub-clans in the Bermuda area of South Mogadishu resulted in the death
of 10 militiamen and injury to a further 20.
Fighting spread to both the K-4 area and Medina district of the
city where an unspecified number of civilian casualties were reported.
Although Elders were successful in establishing a temporary ceasefire
more that 20 people were killed in a minibus attack on 24 December
On 27 February 2003 a further violation of the ceasefire agreement
signed in Eldoret occurred when fighting again erupted in Medina
district between the rival militia of Musa Sude and Omar 'Finish'; 7
people were reported to have been killed and hundreds fled their homes.
[3c][11g] There was
further fighting in Medina between forces of the same two rival
militias in June 2003 with at least 7 more deaths reported. [11k]
The British/Danish fact finding mission report published in mid July
2002 reports that the Governor of Middle Shabelle, Mohammed Dehreh,
maintains an effective monopoly on the means of violence by enforcing
a strict “no guns” policy on the local population. 
However, in May 2002 over a dozen people were reported killed in
inter-clan fighting in the Middle Shabelle region of south-central
Somalia, over the disputed authority of the "governor" of
the region.  Further
fighting was reported to have broken out in mid June 2002 prompting
hundreds of families to flee their villages.
Both militias sustained an unconfirmed number of casualties.
The reason for fighting relates to the political animosity
between Dhereh and Interior Minister Dahir Dayah. [9c]
Further unrest in the region was reported in March and June 2003 when
clashes between Dhere's militia and members of the Abgal sub-clan
Muhammad Muse were reported. The
clashes in June resulted in at least 23 deaths, a high proportion of
whom were civilians. Reports suggested that the fighting stemmed form
an attempt by Dhere, who controls the town of Jowhar, to extend his
area of influence. There
was a suggestion that violence occurred whenever Dhere returned to the
region from the Nairobi peace talks. [10at]
and Juba Regions
Since August 2001 when General Morgan briefly captured Kismayo the JVA
have expanded its area of control significantly, and thus far
successfully, to guard against any repeat of this. 
During the second half of June 2003 reports began to emerge that
forces led by General Morgan were preparing to launch an attack on
Kismayo. There were
estimates that as many as 900 militia under his control had entered
Somalia from Ethiopia in readiness. [48d]
Commenting on the impending threat of an attack, JVA chairman, Col.
Hiirale, confirmed JVA forces were on the highest state of alert.
According to the Mogadishu based Ayaamaha newspaper,
Hiirale claimed that Ethiopia
and Puntland had equipped Morgan's forces, but expressed confidence
that JVA were capable of defending the region. [18e]
Following Hiirale's statement, most Mogadishu faction leaders
declared they would back the JVA and agreed to dispatch a convoy of
vehicles carrying ammunition and guns.
According to the Somali Ruunkinet web site, the decision to
participate in the impending battle was taken after it was reported
that Ethiopian soldiers and forces from Puntland would join Morgan's
forces. [47a] As of late
August 2003 there had been no attack on Kismayo and a group of
Morgan's militia with seven armed vehicles were however reported to
have surrendered to JVA forces on 24 August 2003. [47b]
In January 2003 there was fighting in Kismayo between the Marehan and
Habr-Gedir clans. Casualties were reported on both sides; in addition
there were reports that two civilians were killed on 21 January 2003.
Intervention by clan Elders from both sides helped stop the
fighting. [3b] In May
2003 a dispute between Marehan and Galjeel militias resulted in the
death of the driver of a car hired by UNICEF to provide two
international humanitarian staff with a tour of the city.
However, in spite of this and similar incidents, the UN
Security Council report that local leaders have made efforts to
improve security in Kismayo. This
has prompted humanitarian NGOs to re-establish operations and
compliment the long standing work of UNICEF, Muslim Aid and the Somali
Red Crescent Society. [3c]
In August 2003 the
JVA launched a security operation to clear guns from the town's
streets. The intention of
the exercise is to control the JVA militia and identify and arrest
freelance gunmen who are reportedly a major source of insecurity in
the town. The JVA forces
have reportedly been put in four camps outside of Kismayo, according
to a JVA spokesman anyone carrying a gun outside these camps will be
treated as a criminal. It
is reported that previous operations of this nature have been
undertaken but not sustained. [10bs]
The UN independent expert for human rights was able to visit the
town during his visit in August 2003 and meet JVA officials, he spoke
positively of the initiative. [10bu]
The JVA are also reported to intend expanding its anti-crime operation
to remove militia checkpoints on the road to Mogadishu. [10bs]
the UN Security Council report published on 10 June 2003 it was stated
that fighting had subsided between the Bartire and Aulehan clans for
control of the Buale district in Middle Juba; tensions however remain.
[3c] According to the
UN numerous lives were lost as a result of this conflict, but as of
June 2003 peace talks supported by businessmen, clan elders and
religious groups were in progress. Buale however remained off limits
to UN staff due to insecurity. [3c]