United Nations Representative Expresses Concern over Reports of Sexual Violence against Women Fleeing Famine in Somalia
Monday, August 22, 2011 11:00 AM

The United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström, voiced her concern regarding reports of sexual violence targeted at women and girls who try to escape the worsening famine crisis in Somalia. Many women attempting to reach refugee camps in Kenya in order to flee Somalia’s famine instead find themselves in danger of rape or abduction and forced marriage by outlaws and militants.

There have also been reports of alleged rapes committed by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces of Somalia as well as forced marriages perpetrated by militants seeking to overthrow the TFG. Wallström strongly condemned these violations of human rights and called upon the donor community to support those attempting to alleviate the crisis, including the Kenyan Government.

Somalis make up nearly half of the approximately 3.7 million of the people immediately at risk of famine. Tens of thousands have already died and the UN expects the famine-causing drought in the Eastern Horn of Africa to last until the beginning of 2012.

Compiled from: Somalia: UN Voices Concern About Sexual Violence Against Fleeing Somali Women, PeaceWomen, BNO News, AWID (17 August 2011).