The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/68/878–S/2014/339) issued on 15 May 2014.
The United Nations documented the recruitment and use of 1,293 children, including by Al-Shabaab (908), the Somali National Army and allied militia (209), and Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ) (111). The remaining cases were attributed to the Somaliland Armed Forces (15) and to unknown armed elements (36). Al‑Shabaab continued its campaign for the recruitment of children and youth. For instance, on 24 January, Al-Shabaab recruited six boys, as young as 12, in a Koranic school in south-west Baidoa. In separate incidents, 19 children, as young as 15, were recruited during dedicated campaigns in Bardhere district, Gedo region, and Jilib district, Middle Juba region. Al-Shabaab uses children in various roles, including as combatants and to gather intelligence. Of particular concern are 14 cases of association of children with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in various capacities, including to man checkpoints and as cooks. The United Nations has been regularly engaging with AMISOM leadership with a view to addressing these cases and enhancing the mainstreaming of child protection.
The arbitrary arrest and detention of 1,009 children by the national army, including during operations against Al-Shabaab, remained a grave concern in 2013. In 11 cases, girls who had been arrested were also raped. Upon advocacy by the United Nations, 41 children detained by the national army for alleged association with Al-Shabaab were released in 2013.
At least 237 children were reportedly killed (179 boys and 58 girls) and
494 children were injured (383 boys and 111 girls) in 2013. The national army and allied militias were reportedly responsible for 334 child casualties (98 killed and 236 injured), followed by unknown armed groups (83 killed, 174 injured),
Al-Shabaab (47 killed, 67 injured), AMISOM (7 killed, 14 injured), ASWJ (two killed, one injured), and the Puntland and the Somaliland forces (one child each injured). Child casualties mainly resulted from crossfire during clashes and indiscriminate shelling. Thirty children were killed and 51 others injured in incidents involving improvised explosive devices. In one incident, in December, a 16-year-old boy was executed by the Al-Shabaab for attempted desertion.
In 154 incidents of sexual violence, 152 girls and 2 boys were raped, including by unknown armed elements (65), members of the national army and allied
militias (49), Al-Shabaab (31), ASWJ (7) and the Somaliland forces (2). Twenty of the girls were subjected to sexual violence in the context of forced marriages following recruitment into Al-Shabaab. The rape of 21 children in 19 separate incidents by national army and unknown armed elements inside internally displaced persons camps was a particular concern since the camps were supposed to be a safe place for displaced children.
Fifty-four attacks on schools and 11 attacks on hospitals by the national
army (28), Al-Shabaab (18), unknown armed groups (7) and ASWJ (1) were documented. Four of the attacks on schools by Al-Shabaab and an unknown armed group resulted in the recruitment of 34 boys. In addition, Al-Shabaab used schools for recruitment campaigns.
In 2013, 863 boys and 237 girls formerly associated with armed forces or groups were enrolled in reintegration programmes in Mogadishu, Merka, Guriel, Dhusamareb and Afgoye districts. The United Nations also continued to engage with the Federal Government of Somalia to ensure the implementation of the two action plans to end and prevent the recruitment and use and the killing and maiming of children by the national army. With the establishment of the United Nations Assistance Mission (UNSOM) in July, one Child Protection Adviser was deployed to further support the process. In addition, a working group on children and armed conflict, comprising representatives of the Government, the United Nations,
non-governmental organizations, and the donor community, was established in Mogadishu and reviewed standard operating procedures for the handover of children formerly associated with armed forces and groups before adoption by the Government in March 2014. Furthermore, I welcome the commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia to become party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols, in particular in respect of the involvement of children in armed conflict, and urge the Government to ratify them.
Parties in Somalia
1. Al Shabaaba,b
2. Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (ASWJ)a
3. Somali National Armya,b,*
The parties underlined have been in the annexes for at least five years and are therefore considered persistent perpetrators. (a) Parties that recruit and use children. (b) Parties that kill and maim children.
*This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).