Somaliland: UN Release New Human Rights Report
In a report (E/CN.4/2005/117) the Independent Expert on the
situation of human rights in Somalia, Ghanim Alnajjar notes that in 2004 the
Somalis agreed to establish the Transitional Federal Parliament and Transitional
Federal Government, signalling a cautious optimism for peace and reconciliation
for Somalia. The Independent Expert calls on the international community to
consolidate its support to the Transitional Federal Government in this crucial
stage, to extend assistance to civil society, and to give integrated support
to the United Nations country team for Somalia. The autonomous region of "Somaliland"
continued to be relatively secure throughout 2004. Of concern were a slight
increase in police brutality, an alarming trend in juvenile suicides and the
forced return of refugees to "Somaliland". There were also reports
of impunity, threats to human rights defenders and journalists as well as to
freedom of association and opinion. The conflict in the contested border regions
of Sool and Sanaag, continued between "Somaliland" and "Puntland",
causing serious human rights violations, and resulting in prisoners of war on
both sides. A highlight of the Independent Expert's mission to "Somaliland"
was the negotiated release of Zamzam Ahmed Dualeh of "Puntland", a
17-year-old girl who had been sentenced to five years' incarceration for espionage
and for lying about her clan identity. In "Puntland", the human rights
issues mostly concerned economic and social rights, the report states.