Human Rights Watch Releases Report on Somalia
Friday, December 12, 2008 9:30 AM

On 8 December 2008, Human Rights Watch released a report on the human rights violations being committed in the ongoing conflict in Somalia. The report is called So Much to Fear: War Crimes and the Devastation of Somalia (PDF, 107 pages). It studies the conflict since late 2006, when the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) came to the aid to Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to overthrow the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). The report categorizes human rights violations by parties on all sides, including the TFG, ENDF, and insurgents. The insurgents are comprised of many different factions. Some groups operate under the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia, which itself formed largely around Al-Shabaab, a religious leader. Many other factions, such as local militias, are completely independent.

Among other human rights abuses, girls and women have been raped by TFG and ENDF at their homes during raids and investigations, or after being kidnapped by soldiers. Others have been raped, attacked, looted, tortured or killed by the TGF, ENDF, insurgents or militiamen while trying to flee the capital city, Mogadishu, to other Somali cities. Still more have faced similar human rights violations while attempting to cross the Somali border to Kenya or Yemen. The report also includes several recommendations to the parties, as well as the African and European Unions, and the United Nations.

For background to this report and links to each chapter (HTML format), please click here.

For the full text of this report, please click here (PDF, 107 pages).

For a New York Times slideshow of photographs by Jehad Nga from Somalia, please click here.

Compiled from:

Human Rights Watch, Reports: So Much to Fear: War Crimes and the Devastation of Somalia (8 December 2008) (PDF, 107 pages).

The New York Times, World: Somalia on the Brink (slideshow of photographs by Jehad Nga) (No date, last accessed 11 December 2008).