Skip to main content

Somalia investigates alleged rape by AMISOM soldiers

By Nima Elbagir and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 7:54 AM EDT, Thu August 15, 2013
Fartuun Adan is a champion for women's rights and the co-founder of Sister Somalia, the East African country's first rape and crisis center. Fartuun Adan is a champion for women's rights and the co-founder of Sister Somalia, the East African country's first rape and crisis center.
HIDE CAPTION
Confronting Somalia's rape crisis
Confronting Somalia's rape crisis
Confronting Somalia's rape crisis
<<
<
1
2
3
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Somalia's prime minister orders an investigation into the alleged rape of a Somali woman
  • She was allegedly attacked by AMISOM soldiers at a military base in Mogadishu
  • "The Somali government will not tolerate violation of human rights," prime minister says
  • AMISOM says it is investigating and appropriate action will be taken

(CNN) -- Somali authorities said Thursday they are investigating the alleged rape of Somali woman by soldiers belonging to an African Union peacekeeping force.

The woman was allegedly attacked at Maslah Military Camp in the capital, Mogadishu, a week ago, a statement from the prime minister's office said.

"The Somali government will not tolerate violation of human rights, in particular sexual violence towards the most vulnerable members of our society and perpetrators will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law," Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon is quoted as saying at a meeting with his senior Cabinet members.

The prime minister has ordered an investigation into the allegation.

Doctors Without Borders leaves Somalia
A shelter for Somalia's rape victims
Tackling sexual violence in Somalia

The African Union Mission to Somalia, AMISOM, said it had formed a joint team with the Somali National Army to look into the claims.

"Appropriate action will be taken once the facts of the case have been established," it said.

"The AU mission strongly condemns any incidents of alleged sexual abuse or exploitation and takes the issue extremely seriously as it reiterates the mission commitment to enhancing the safety of women and indeed protecting all Somali citizens."

Every AMISOM soldier is given training on Somali culture and "good conduct and discipline, particularly regarding sexual behavior" before deployment to the country, the statement said.

READ MORE: Women help each other at Somali rape crisis center

Somalia's government has pledged to do more to tackle the ongoing problem of sexual violence against women, as it rebuilds the country after more than two decades of conflict.

At least 1,700 women were raped in camps for internally displaced people last year in Mogadishu, according to United Nations figures.

The United Nations says 70% of the rapes perpetrated in Somalia are carried out by men in military uniforms.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 2:18 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 10:38 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT