MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia’s prime minister on Sunday said the authorities will do more to protect rape victims after foreign donors and human rights groups criticised the arrests of a woman allegedly gang-raped by soldiers and a journalist who interviewed her.

The trial of an unidentified 27-year-old woman, her husband, and the freelance journalist has sparked international concerns over sexual violence and press freedom in the country.

The trio face prison terms of several years on charges including insulting a government body, making false accusations, and seeking to profit from the allegations.

Human rights groups say the trial is politically motivated, designed to cover up rampant sexual abuse of women by Somali security forces, while the U.N. and the United States have voiced concerns about the treatment of rape victims.

Recently-appointed Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid promised to reform Somali armed forces and the judiciary once the trial has concluded, acknowledging “deep-seated problems” with both institutions.

“We recognize the concerns of our international partners and we are only too aware of the enormous challenges our nation faces,” Saaid said in a statement.

For two decades the Horn of Africa state has been plagued by civil war, anarchy and Islamist insurgencies. However, September’s peaceful elections, the first since military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown by warlords in 1991, have been heralded as the dawn of a new era for Somalia.

The U.N.’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, on Saturday called for the Somali government to deal with the country’s rape problems, saying the U.N. had evidence around 1,700 women were raped between January and November last year in camps for internally displaced people around Mogadishu.

Saaid, a former businessman who is married to an influential Somali peace activist, said the government has launched public campaigns designed to bring down instances of rape. However, he concedes more can be done.

“I have since urged the government in the strongest terms to be much more responsive on this question, to take proactive measures, prosecute any such crimes and provide all appropriate care to the victims,” he said.

Journalism organizations and human rights groups say arresting a journalist and putting him on trial for interviewing a rape victim is an attack on media freedoms and free speech.

Somalia is one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists, with killings of reporters reaching an all-time high in 2012 when 18 media workers were killed, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists.

But Saaid stressed the government’s support for press freedom, saying “journalists perform a critical role and we want them to be able to work without fear or favor”.

Saaid said the government will soon form a new and independent task force on human rights which will investigate attacks against women and violence against journalists.

Source: Reuters



  1. The Somali PM statement sounds a theatricals rehearsal. He hasn't provided any solution to this outrighteous problem. Let's face it folks, 1700 displaced women have been victims of a sexual rape over short period of 11 months which comes out ~ 154 women got raped every month last year alone in a city that's roughly about the size of Hargeisa, Somaliland, plus 18 media workers were also gunned down during the same time frame, yet, Mr. Shirdon doesn't see it a huge concern but his latest political rhetoric was an intent to appease and mislead the furious international partners, so, the international aid assistance to Somalia doesn't get disturbed ….a typical short sighted Somali politician, isn't he?

    • So you expect the Somali President to solve all the problems within months? The guy clearly outlined what he wants to achieve, and so far he done amazingly well, compared to the 20+ years of waste peace you had. Pleas before jou judge others, take a good look at yourself what you have achieved.

  2. "154 women got raped every month last year alone in a city that's roughly about the size of Hargeisa, Somaliland"

    KKKKKKKK Mogadishu is about the size as bosaso,hareisa,kismayo and galkacyo put together. i knew you never been to Mogadishu but i thought you knew how to google. the 5 major clans in Somalia roughly, every major clan have/had at-least 10000 houses in the Somali capital. tell us about hargeisa ?
    on another note the time to blacken Somalia is over mr Qaal. the world sees Somalia as success story now. the west is following Somalia model to stabilize countries like Mali. Somalia is back again and no clan out of the 5 major clans can stand in front of the nation. we will simply crush it harder than ever mark my words. we are a sovereign nation. our borders are recognized from the Indian ocean to Djibouti Ethiopia and Kenya and we will not give an inch to a ny renegade tribe period.

    • Gedo,
      With all due respect, 10,000 houses X 5 major clans equates 500,000 houses in Mogadishu.
      Well, that isn't a lot, would't you say so?.. I don't know the precise figures but I would assume there should be 500,000 houses in Hargeisa, before even about to be built vacant lots are not factored in

      So, It was a bit of an exaggeration on my part that Mogadishu is roughly the same size as Hargeisa is.. One should bear in mind, however, Mogadishu had gone through a hell of an unimaginable and difficult time where it's own residents indiscriminately knocked down buildings by using unsupervised military artillery in order to obtain scrap metals in exchange for petty cash just to get by…

        • "atleast" 10000 means minimum not maximum of course ! common sense in needed here of course.

          some major clans like Der may had less houses in the capital than darood for example. hawie could have more houses than darood. the moral of the story is every clan had a huge present in the capital and no other town comes close even my beloved Kismayo.

  3. Mr Shirtdoon Saaqid made his money from the dirty Khad trade which he has been involved in since 1991. This man profiteered from the already starving Nation of Somalia by transporting from Kenya to Somalia not food for the hungry but Drugs for the Warlords and addicts for the last 21years. If you believe he has any intention of correcting any problems in the nations then his past would have been paved with acts of kindness and a record of duty to his people during their years of hardship.

    This man i more likely to look for ways of making money of a problem then fixing the problem at hand. Him, his boss and the entire Damu-Jadiid crew have profiteered from Somalia-Italia's suffering since the Collapse of Siyad's dictatorship. Hassan Mahamoud the Selected president through the road-map process, Shirtdoon Saaqid and the speaker Jawahira are all members of Damu-Jadiid an organised mafioso of people that profiteered from the collapse of Siyaad' barre's government in South and central Somalia. These men were the movers and shakers of society by controlling Food-Aid, education and arms smuggling. It is no surprise to anyone that members of Damu-Jadiid majority of whom have never left the war zone since 1991 have been able to survive against all odds the likes of Ali Mahdi era of Warlords, Islamic courts era, Selected Presidents of 17 international conferences, Ethiopian invasions, Kenyan invasions and lastly Shabab who had 80% control over the territory of the road-map aka Somalia-Italia-territory. The top three men in the Road-Map government have survived every threat since 1991 while they still made their millions untouched???

    Mr Shirtdoon saaqid just like his two other friends Hasan Mahamoud and Jawahira have proved one thing they will survive against all odds to remain the profiteers when their 2-terms in office concludes in the year 2020. Only this time they will have siphoned off $Billions in the Aid-money that has made them rich in the past.

    They have moved up a scale in their profit from collapse business models 🙂

    Let us not expect them to reduce the rape rates as they create a total deterioration of civil trust and the expectation that SELECTED few can ever change a rotten society whose Majority are beyond redemption.

    We are 21 years too late to revive this dead donkey, in a society 60% of the population are under 25. In a society with Majority of the mothers have been molested, in a society where majority of the males over 15 have either killed another or committed rape the decay in the social fabric is beyond repair. The situation is beyond a point where total TRUST can be given to profiteers to even know how to formulate a recovery plan. These men are totally desensitized to other's suffering and they believe they will always be beyond reproach. These same men that continue to take credit for the effort of foreigners like Amisom and the various NGOs who feed the 1.5Million idps in Muuqdishu. Do we honestly believe it is these men who will create a repatriation plan to bring home the population of Somalia-Italia from Yemen, Dadaab, Dollo ado, Djibouti, Somaliland, Uganda and the rest of Africa?

    Damu-Jadiid are a group that have survived by making deals with the devil so to speak and they have a particular skill in turning a blind-eye to the suffering of the poor population and as such please forgive me if i laugh at any comments that slip out from those crocodile cracks Damu-Jadiid members cry on their arse faces.

  4. all of you who commented are man and all of you know I am a onions.but not this issue Somali woman has been treated worst than dog in every conflict dating to back century and any clan that gets the end of the short stick. when they get chance to get back who ever their angry was toward to the first thing they do is to violated woman's of the other group .having said all that the current t time and difficult situation Somali woman who live hamar and the surrounding area is one frightening nightmare and I will explain to you why. My brother went there with some NGO just one month ago. what he saw was horrific and appalling and the average individual Somali wouldn't likely see. it was testimonial and the condition our sister are in heart wrenching and what they have to face everyday and the worst thing is who's doing to them. the people they hired to keep the peace. another word the police and soldiers and all of the have Somali faces. So gedo we got epidemic going on and we need to start tackling the problem head on and not sweep under the rug and the prime minister statement lack the seriousness that it need to be dealt with it. and the respond of our new government is this kind of lackluster and downright insulting god help us all.

  5. Buuxiye

    This same so called prime minister was running a branch of the government of afweyn. He was simple kept incharge in that branch due to his tribal affiliation to afweyn and that’s how he got his first riches.

    This are the same people who stole xoolo umaada somaliyeed in the first place hence what do you think should be expected of him and his linch pins.

    They are there to enrich themselves further on the account of the poor walaanweyns.

    We somalilanders should learn from these and unite against all our enemies starting with the cyber crooks. Long life Somaliland.

      • Ceeb Sahra

        Somali women should unite first and foremost to end injustice. Us men might have our issues but there is no reason why women who have no real clan loyalty should take part in the conflicts. Real Unite of somali people should start at the home with the mothers who are teaching their kids about clan-loyalty.

        The Somali conflict could easily be blamed on the women in society who raise their sons with hate for other clans. the love begins with the sisters and only then will the next generation have the right attitude to think above clanistic warfare.

        It is starts with you Sahra so stop swinging to Saado Calis hate songs and teach the peace and love from today!

        🙂 good luck and don't be a victim of what you teach your child.

        • If had any good intention then you would have included Hodan too. But sadly your intentions were not good as always Buuxiye.

    • Same can be said about Silanyo till he got fired and in return formed the SNM don't pick and choose either tell the whole story or hold your mouth

      matter of facts silayno was even in a better position to benefit from Barre: Minister of Planning and Coordination (1969–1973), the Minister of Commerce (1973–1978 and 1980–1982), and the Chairman of the National Economic Board (1978–1980)

    • What about your former President Riyale (the former head of the NSS north-west Somalia section) who is responsible for torturing your own people? If you had any brain then you would have spoken up against him and the many so called leaders of yours who were part of the regime, who went against for personal reasons rather than the so called interest of your people as they state. Retards like you will never reach somewhere.