Human Rights Council Session 42 – Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Somalia – Item 10

Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on Somalia

Mr. President,

The Netherlands thanks the Independent Expert for his insightful report and reaffirms its full support to his mandate. We welcome the positive developments in the promotion and protection of human rights, taking place in a challenging context.

The devastating suicide attack by Al-Shabaab inside the Office of the Mayor of Mogadishu on 25 July served as a grim reminder that the security situation in Somalia remains concerning. Terrorism and inter clan violence continue to threaten the lives and human rights of the Somali people. We welcome the establishment of peace committees and alternative dispute resolution centers as first steps towards the realization of justice and reconciliation. We call upon the government to continue and intensify their efforts towards security and judicial reform, and thank the Independent Expert, OHCHR, UNSOM and donor countries for their continued support in this endeavor.

The Netherlands is pleased about the increasing number of women participating in public affairs, and we echo the Independent Expert’s call to safeguard the gains made in previous elections. We remain concerned, however, about the persistence of women’s rights violations, including the wide spread occurrence of sexual and gender-based violence. We encourage the Federal Government to swiftly adopt the sexual offenses bill.

The Netherlands is worried about the shrinking space for the media, political opposition parties and the civil society including human rights defenders. We call upon the Federal Government of Somalia to quickly operationalize the National Human Rights Commission and ensure the protection of the constitutional rights of all citizens.

Mr. Nyanduga,

What are the next steps needed to support Somalia in establishing an adequate transitional justice mechanism?