09 August 2012, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization (APO), MOGADISHU, Somalia – An Action Plan on ending the killing and maiming children has been signed in Mogadishu by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) during the 14th Joint Security Committee (JSC) meeting. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Hussein Arab Isse signed on behalf of the TFG, while Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Peter de Clercq signed on behalf of the United Nations.
“The children of Somalia continue to be the victims and survivors of this decades-old conflict and have grown up in war. The Government is firmly committed to put in place measures that protect children from the effects of the conflict in compliance with international law. The Government further commits to the implementation of the Action Plan. These are our children and the future of Somalia, their protection is our priority and duty” said Minister Isse.
The Action Plan commits the Somali National Armed Forces, allied militia and military groups under its control to ending the killing and maiming of children in contravention of international law.
“We are calling on donors to support the Somali Government and its armed forces towards bringing about and enforcing the changes that will put these terrible practices to an end” DSRSG de Clercq stated.
This is the second Action Plan signed between the TFG and UN that introduced the measure to halt and prevent the grave violation of children rights. The First Action
Plan to end the recruitment and use of children by the Somali National Armed Forces, was signed by the TFG at the meeting of the International Contact Group in Rome on
3 July 2012. Full compliance with the Action Plan will result in the Government of
Somalia being removed from the UN Secretary-General’s list of parties who recruit, use, kill and maim children. United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS)
In the Action Plan, the Government of Somalia committed:
1) To halt immediately the killing and maiming of children, in contravention of international law, committed by members of the Somali National Armed Forces, allied militia/ military groups under its control.
2) To issue and disseminate political executive directives and military orders to all military commanders, officers and all military and non-military personnel prohibiting the killing and maiming of children; to detail the sanctions for any breaches; and to ensure the execution of such orders and directives.
3) To promptly investigate allegations of killing and/or maiming of children in contravention of international law and to ensure the accountability of perpetrators.
4) To implement an agreed preventive strategy, in partnership with the UN, to address the killing and maiming of children by the Somali National Armed Forces, including, by training and advocacy with all commanders and military personnel on child rights and child protection.
Since 2010, the Transitional Federal Government has been listed on the United Nations Secretary-General’s list of parties to conflict who kill and maim children. The
Action Plan responds to the UN Security Council’s call in resolution 1612 (2005), for concrete and time-bound action to halt the killing and maiming of children by parties listed in the Secretary-General’s annual reports on Children and Armed Conflict.