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 November, elements of the 751 Somalia sanctions regime and mandate of the Panel of Experts on Somalia will expire, pursuant to SCR 2498 (2019). The SG’s periodic reports on UNSOM and AMISOM are also expected in November, pursuant to SCR 2527 (2020) and 2520 (2020), respectively. Briefing the Human Rights Council in September, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern at reports of increased rape and sexual violence against women, girls, and boys, with little investigation. In August, the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (SCWG-CAAC) adopted its fifth conclusions on children and armed conflict in Somalia. The Security Council should:

  • Urge all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL), and request the SG to include dedicated child rights expertise in the Panel of Experts;
  • Call on the Federal Government of Somalia to strengthen accountability for all grave violations committed against children, including by adopting the Sexual Offences Bill and the Child Rights Bill and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC); and to ensure comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response and protection services for child survivors of sexual violence;
  • Urge the Federal 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;
  • Call on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the recommendations of the SCWG-CAAC elaborated in its fifth conclusions on the situation of children and armed conflict in Somalia.

The United Kingdom is the lead country on Somalia.

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