GOOBJOOG NEWS|NEW YORK: Slightly over 700 children were killed or maimed in Somalia in 2020 in violations carried out by the militant group Al-Shabaab, government forces, clan militias and AMISOM, a new UN report has revealed.
The UN Secretary General report on children and armed conflict notes that 222 children were killed while 481 were maimed. Most of the casualties (252) were attributed to Al-Shabaab while government forces including SNA were responsible for 43 cases.
Other actors include Somali Police Force the Somali Police Force (35), and regional forces, including Jubbaland forces (19), Galmudug forces (10), Puntland forces (5), Jubbaland police (3), Galmudug police (2) and Southwest forces (1). Violations were also attributed to clan militias (28), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) (5), the Kenya Defence Forces (3), the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (1) and unidentified armed elements (296).
Most of the casualties (158), the report said were a result of improvised explosive devices followed by crossfire between armed groups (155). Another 127 children were either killed or maimed by gunshots while explosives remnants of war accounted for 54 cases.
The report also notes that 1,442 boys and 53 girls, some as young as eight, were recruited by Al-Shabaab and Somali Security Forces at the federal and state level. Most of the cases (1,169) were recruited by Al-Shabaab followed by 100 cases from Somali Police Force and 74 by the Somali National Army.
Government security forces were notably notorious offenders concerning child rape and other forms of sexual violence, the report says. The report attributes some of the 227 cases of sexual violence to government forces including SNA with 25 cases followed by the police with 14 cases. Al-Shabaab was responsible for 26 cases of sexual violence against children.
Out of 76 attacks on schools and hospitals, Al-Shabaab was responsible for 60 cases while government forces were accused of carrying out six attacks.
The UN report further reveals that out of 1,158 children (1,065 boys, 93 girls) who were abducted, Al-Shabaab was responsible for 1,142 cases mainly for recruitment.
The report verified that violations had been committed against 19,379 children in 21 conflicts. Most violations in 2020 were committed in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen.