Sexual abuse by peacekeepers in Somalia

Somali and International activists want decisive action to address reports that African Union (AU) troops sexually abused and exploited women and girls on their bases in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. 

On September 8, Campaign Advisory Committee Member Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report detailing sexual violence crimes committed by groups from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The report, “‘The Power These Men Have Over Us’: Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by African Union Forces in Somalia,” documents sexual violence on two AMISOM bases in Mogadishu going back to 2013. 

HRW interviewed 21 women and girls who described rape and exploitation by Ugandan or Burundian military personnel. 

“The AU soldiers, relying on Somali intermediaries, have used a range of tactics, including humanitarian aid, to coerce vulnerable women and girls into sexual activity. They have also raped or otherwise sexually assaulted women who were seeking medical assistance or water at AMISOM bases,” HRW states. 

On the same day HRW released the report, the African Union rejected the report’s conclusions, stating its “zero tolerance policy on misconduct and abuses in peace support operations.” The Ugandan government also refuted reports of sexual violence by its troops.

Activists continue calls for immediate action to address the abuses outlined in the HRW report: action from countries contributing troops to the AMISOM mission, the AU, and donors to the AMISOM mission, as well as strengthened justice mechanisms within Somalia. 

 Calls for justice and accountability on Twitter: 


Peacekeepers turned abusers? What Amisom must do to restore credibility

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The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict
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