The UN reports an increase in kidnappings and rapes against women and girls in Somalia

A mother with her child in Somalia. (UN / Reuters)
A mother with her child in Somalia. (UN / Reuters)

The UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Margot Wallstrom, has warned Friday of rising kidnappings and rapes of women and girls in Somalia when they flee to refugee camps across the border in Kenya. This worrying figure is in addition to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, causing one in four Somali children suffering from extreme malnutrition.

In armed conflict, women and girls are particularly vulnerable.

“During the long and dangerous trip to do from Somalia to the camps in Kenya, women and girls are attacked, even raped by armed militants and bandits,” Wallstrom reported in a new report on the situation in the African country.

The UN special representative said that once they cross the border or arriving at Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world, hopes to find a “safe place” vanish as they must meet new “dangers and hardships” including the “risk of being raped.”

Wallstrom said his office also has received alarming reports of violations by forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and allied militias in central and south, and militants of the Islamic organization Al Shabaab kidnap girls for forced marry his fighters.

“I call on all warring parties to cease immediately these flagrant violations of human rights,” said UN special representative, who called for more help for victims of sexual violence and pledged to continue to monitor developments events in the area.

Humanitarian Crisis

Wallstrom praised the efforts of the Kenyan authorities to respond to the arrival of tens of thousands of Somali refugees and urged the donor community to increase support for the Nairobi government, UN agencies and NGOs to respond to humanitarian crisis.

Last week, the UN expanded the warning of famine in Somalia in five zones.

According to humanitarian organizations, and has killed tens of thousands of people by famine in the Horn of Africa, especially the tragedy that threatens 3.7 million Somalis, almost half the population of Somalia.

The UN last week extended to five areas of Somalia which has declared a state of famine, while estimated that 2,400 million dollars required to attend more than 12 million people threatened by famine throughout the Horn of Africa..

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