Human rights violations are intensifying armed conflict and famine – a critical view upon the European policy toward Somalia

The radical Islamic militias of Al Shabaab have publicly decapitated several shepherds in Somalia because they refused to hand over the last few of their animals that survived the famine.
According to the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), two shepherds were executed last Saturday in Afgoye – a town located about 30 km south of the Somali capital Mogadishu. Their bodies were driven around the city in off-road vehicles to intimidate the civilians. By using loudspeakers, the militias urged the people to attend the execution of three other shepherds who were also arrested during last Friday’s incident. In April 2011, the militias had already decapitated 4 people who were accused of spying.
« The war and the famine in Somalia are repeatedly being intensified by various human rights violations – committed by all opposing parties », the STP’s expert on questions regarding Africa, Ulrich Delius, reported in Göttingen on Monday. The militias of Al Shabaab show great brutality against civilians who do not obey their orders. Also, they repeatedly interfere with the international emergency relief. The government troops – who are supported by the European Union (EU) – have recruited child soldiers, although the Somali government has repeatedly assured to put an end to this abuse. « The EU-funded African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) is feared, because they had taken residential areas of Mogadishu under fire and are therefore largely responsible for the exodus of more than 100.000 inhabitants. »
« It is not enough to just organize famine relief in order to stop widespread death in Somalia », said Delius. « If the International Community doesn’t show more commitment towards peace in the fought-over country, tens of thousands of Somalis are about to die within the next six months. »
The human rights advocate also criticized the EU for being in favor of a military solution in Somalia – despite the famine. « Europe must finally find a political solution to the conflict, rather than to fuel the war. » Presently, the EU is discussing the option of training more soldiers for the transitional government of Somalia. Often enough, these soldiers defect to the Islamic militias after a short while. Since 2010, more than 2.000 soldiers were trained by EU-instructors.
Relief Web.
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