UN gives Somalia a vote of confidence for human rights progress

The UN’s Independent Human Rights Expert on Somalia on Wednesday gave the East African country a vote of confidence on human rights during a meeting with the Prime Minister in Mogadishu.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Shamsul Bari said situation in Somalia has now changed given his previous visits to Somalia when he had been disheartened by the human rights situation.

“My heart is much lighter and full of hope on this visit,” Mr Bari said. “I’m hopeful because the rule of law and justice are taking root. People can relate to the government. There’s a bright future ahead.”

Welcoming Mr Bari to Mogadishu, the Prime Minister reiterated his government’s commitment to upholding human rights, emphasizing a number of steps it was taking.

The PM said his government has established an Independent Task Force on Human Rights with a limited, three-month mandate to investigate the killings of journalists and sexual violence against women in early February this year.

According to the statement, Somalia will soon adopt its own Human Rights Road Map later this summer through a close consultation with UN’s Independent Human Rights Expert on Somalia.

It will also be announcing a new Directorate General for Human and Minority Rights and Rule of Law.

“We have laws protecting human rights and the government’s political agenda will support those laws,” the Prime Minister said. “We know that the world is watching Somalia closely and we are fine with that. We will take the criticism we receive in this area constructively. We are working towards a position where there are no human rights violations in Somalia and we abide with human rights best international practice. We haven’t yet reached that point, but our direction of travel is entirely positive.”

Source: UN News Center

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