The Somali Federal Defence and Police Forces (formerly listed as ‘Somali National Army’) are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) latest annual report on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for recruitment and use and killing and maiming. Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ) is listed for recruitment and use, and Al Shabaab is listed for all five ‘trigger’ violations. In August, the SG is expected to report on the situation in Somalia, pursuant to SCR 2527 (2020) and SCR 2520 (2020). In the SG’s May periodic report (S/2020/398), the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) documented 826 grave violations impacting 750 children (600 boys and 150 girls), 13 attacks on schools and hospitals, and nine cases of denial of humanitarian access from February 5 to April 4. A total of 1,283 children (699 boys and 314 girls) were separated from armed forces and groups and handed over to UNICEF partners for rehabilitation and reintegration. According to the SG’s annual report on CAAC, Somalia remained among the situations with the highest verified violations in 2019. The Security Council should:

  • Strongly condemn all grave violations committed against children, in particular the alarming numbers of children recruited, used, and abducted; and urge all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL);
  • Call on the Government of Somalia to strengthen accountability for grave violations, including by adopting the Sexual Offences Bill and the Child Rights Bill, criminalizing the six grave violations against children, and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC);
  • Urge the Government to fully implement its 2012 action plans and 2019 roadmap on recruitment and use and killing and maiming; and to consistently comply with its 2014 Standard Operating Procedures for the reception and handover of children associated with armed groups, including the 72-hour limit to hand children over to child protection actors; and to uphold the Paris Principles and Commitments.

The United Kingdom is the lead country on Somalia.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – August 2020.

UN Action

Year listed: 2003
Action Plans signed: Somali National Army – recruitment and use of children (July 2012) and killing and maiming of children (August 2012); Roadmap to expedite the implementation of the two action plans adopted in October 2019
Sanctions Committee: Somalia Sanctions Committee (Current Chair: Belgium)
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Somalia: 2020; 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.