from SAAD MUSE in Mogadishu, Somalia
MOGADISHU, (CAJ News) – THE sexual violence in conflict-prone Somalia has taken a gruesome twist following the rape of two young girls south of the country.
Aged three and four, they were initially abducted by unidentified men as they were playing last Tuesday in Afgoye town in the autonomous Lower Shebelle region.
The girls have been hospitalised in critical condition. They needed major surgery.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) expressed solidarity with the girls and their families.
It called for recourse for proper judicial processes to take its course.
The UN agency also reiterated its call for the Sexual Offences Bill to be urgently passed into law.
The bill has been pending for adoption in Somalia’s parliament.
“The law will be vital in preventing and dealing with culprits of sexual offences,” Pilirani Semu-Banda, Communications and Partnerships Specialist at UNFPA Somalia, said.
UNFPA Somalia called for the strengthening of protection systems as women and girls continued facing high risks of experiencing gender-based violence and the threat of harmful practices.
Such practices include female genital mutilation as well as early forced marriages.
The government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo earlier condemned the rape of the two minors.
Children are bearing the violence in the East African country.
Among the risks is the civil war perpetrated by the Islamist Al-Shabaab group.
The violence has seen more than 2 900 children killed or maimed, 958 raped and 4 462 kidnapped since 2016.
Over 6 140 children have been recruited as soldiers.
Government forces have also been blamed for some of the violations.
– CAJ News