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African Union team assess alleged
human rights violations in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- A high-level human rights delegation of the African Union Commission wrapped up a four-day visit to Somalia on Thursday to assess the compliance of the AU Mission with international human rights and humanitarian law as well as conduct and discipline standards.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said the three-member team held a series of meetings with the top leadership of the AU mission, various relevant structures of the mission, and key AMISOM partners.

“The assessment also addressed all aspects of compliance, from preventive measures, monitoring and reporting on human rights situations and violations, to ways that AMISOM and the AU Commission have been responding to allegations of violations,” the mission said in a statement.

It said the discussions focused on best practices and lessons learned in relation to AMISOM’s experience with respect to compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law as well as accepted international norms of conduct and discipline.



Somali women lawmakers root for gender-sensitive laws

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali women lawmakers ended a three-day conference in Mogadishu late Wednesday by resolving to push for laws targeting the protection of the rights of women, children and marginalized groups.

The legislators from both the House of the People and Upper House also vowed to work together in pushing for gender-sensitive laws after the electoral process that increased the number of women lawmakers from 14 percent in the 2012-2016 parliament to 24 percent in the current parliament.

“Somali women have a lot of potential and the key to unlocking that is recognition and support. If they get the right support, they can do a lot for their society, the country and all the rights that we are demanding now,” a member of the House of the People Fawzia Yusuf Adam told the forum.

“It will be easy because if their capacity is built, they can understand that they can join the parliament and they can fight for their rights.”

A statement issued at the end of the meeting by AMISOM said on Thursday that the lawmakers resolved to apply the knowledge gained from the workshop to formulate bills and push for enactment of laws that will improve the lives of women and children.

“We have been undergoing three-day training and the objectives of the training were met, the participants from both houses achieved their goals. The training was useful,” said Shukri Aden Mohamed, the Chairperson of the Women Caucus of the Upper House.

Mohamed said the legislators were also taught how to lobby their fellow parliamentarians to support bills that will benefit their constituents.

Mina Hassan Mohamed, the Chairperson of the Women Caucus of the House of the People, said the training was timely, given the number of new female parliamentarians in the August House.

“The training was extremely important to us because being a parliamentarian is not only in the name but also your ability to learn,” Mohamed observed.

She noted that the knowledge acquired will enable women parliamentarians to discharge their duties effectively and also actively participate in the decision making process in Somalia.

The two chairpersons urged development partners to emulate AMISOM by helping organize similar training workshops in federal states to benefit women MPs in regional assemblies.

AMISOM said that due to the elaborate advocacy programs the mission launched by other development partners, the representation of women in parliament increased to 24 percent in the 2016 electoral process, up from 14 percent in the previous parliament of 2012-2016 period.



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