The Somali National Army (SNA) is listed for recruitment and use and killing and maiming of children, and Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ) is listed for recruitment and use. Al-Shabaab is listed for all five trigger violations. In 2012, the Government signed action plans to end and prevent grave violations. In May, the Secretary-General will update the Council on the situation in Somalia, pursuant to SCR 2462 (2019), and provide a technical assessment of the arms embargo, per SCR 2444 (2018). The Council is expected to renew AMISOM’s mandate, which expires on May 31. Continued insecurity caused by targeting of civilians by Al-Shabaab and Islamic State (IS) affiliates, as well as the presence of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs), pose significant challenges to the protection of civilians and humanitarian access. US airstrikes raise additional concerns; a recent report from Amnesty International found US strikes in 2017 and 2018 were responsible for civilian casualties, including the killing and maiming of children. Insecurity, paired with the effects of drought and evictions, have driven displacement, with over 137,000 fleeing their homes in the first quarter of 2019 alone.

UN Security Council Members should:

  • Condemn all violations of humanitarian law and human rights, including by Al-Shabaab, affiliates linked to ISIL, Somali national and regional forces, and international forces, and call on all parties to comply with their obligations under international law, to take all precautions to protect children and other civilians, and to minimize civilian deaths and casualties;
  • Call for the timely implementation of the Government’s action plans to end and prevent grave violations against children by national forces;
  • Urge the Government of Somalia to consider as victims those children who have been released or otherwise separated from armed forces or groups; to cease detention of children on national security-related charges where it is in violation of applicable international law; and to fully implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child, further to SCR 2461 (2019);
  • Welcoming AMISOM’s ongoing efforts to assist Somali security forces in addressing human rights, protection, and gender concerns, request an update from the SG on measures taken to address and prevent grave violations against children, including sexual violence, by national forces;
  • Recognizing Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda’s endorsement of the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers, encourage other countries contributing troops and police to AMISOM to endorse the Vancouver Principles.


This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – May 2019.

UN Action

Year listed: 2003
Action Plans signed: Somali National Army – recruitment and use of children (July 2012)
Sanctions Committee: The Sanctions Committee on Somalia
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Somalia: 2016201020082007
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Somalia2017201120082007

Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict

2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Transitional National Government a
Juba Valley Alliance a a
Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council a
Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) a a, b
Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA/SNSC) of Mohamed Ibrahim Habsade a
United Somali Congress/Somali Salvation Alliance (USC/SSA)-faction of Muse Sudi Yalahow) a
Middle Shabelle Administration a, b
Puntland Administration a, b
Somali Patriotic Movement/Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council a, b
United Somali Congress (USC) of Mohamed Kanyare Afrah a, c
United Somali Congress/Somali Salvation Alliance (USC/SSA) of Omar a, c
Lower Shabelle Administration a
Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter Terrorism (ARPCT) a, b, d
Union of the Islamic Courts (ICU) a, b
Remnants of the former Union of the Islamic Courts (UIC) a, b a, b, d
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) a, b, c, d, f a, b, d a, b a, b a, b
Al-Shabaab* a, b, d a, b a, b a, b a, b a,b a,b a,b,e a,b,e
Hizbul Islam a a, b
Somali National Army (SNA) (Formerly listed as Somali National Armed Forces)~* a, b a,b a,b a,b a,b
Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ) a a a,b a

a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children

d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children

~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.