The Somali National Army (SNA) and Al-Shabaab are both listed for recruitment and use and killing and maiming of children. Al-Shabaab is additionally listed for rape and sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals, and abductions. Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ) is listed for recruitment and use. The Federal Government signed action plans on recruitment/use and on killing/maiming, respectively, in 2012. In his latest report to the Council (S/2018/1149), covering August to December 2018, the SG states that the CTFMR documented and verified 1,020 grave violations affecting 995 children, including 581 boys and 214 girls. These include all six grave violations against children. The SG further reports that after the UN’s sustained advocacy, the President of Puntland signed a degree to pardon 34 children who had been sentenced to various prison terms in Garowe since 2016 for their association with Al-Shabaab. These children are now in a rehabilitation center in Mogadishu awaiting family reunification. On November 11, an Al-Shabaab car bomb attack in Mogadishu killed at least 53 civilians and injured over 100, and on January 1, the UN compound in Mogadishu was attacked with mortars. On December 30, the SG’s Special Representative Nicholas Haysom sent a letter to the interior security minister regarding the arrest of Mukhtar Robow, a former Al-Shabaab leader and potential candidate for the regional presidency of Somalia’s South West state, and the subsequent killing by UN-supported Somali security forces of at least 15 civilians and the detention of around 300, mostly children, during protests in Baidoa over the arrest. On January 2, the Government ordered Haysom to leave the country, accusing him of meddling in internal affairs. The Security Council should:

  • Demand that all parties take effective measures to prevent and end all grave violations against children in conflict, including the immediate cessation of child abduction and recruitment and use;
  • Urge Somali authorities to cease the detention of children for alleged association with armed groups, and to that end, urge the Government to comply with its standard operating procedures for the reception and handover of children separated from armed groups, ensuring their handover to child protection actors within 72 hours and prioritization of their rehabilitation and reintegration; furthermore, allow UN human rights and other relevant civilian monitors full access to detention facilities. Additionally, call for the release of all children detained during the December Baidoa protest;
  • Call for the swift implementation of the Government’s action plans to end and prevent grave violations with support of the UN CTFMR;
  • Welcoming the African Union and UN’s continued commitment to assist Somali security forces to address all rights violations, including conflict-related sexual violence, request the SG, in his regular updates on the Somali security forces, to report on measures taken to address and prevent grave violations against children, including sexual violence, by national forces;
  • Call upon all parties to cease attacks on hospitals and schools.

The United Kingdom is the lead country on Somalia, and Belgium chairs the sanctions committee.

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