(Mogadishu, 15 August 2011) Regarding Human Rights Watch report, entitled “You Don’t Know Who To Blame” issued today which makes accusations that the TFG has largely failed to provide basic security and human rights protections and have committed serious rights violations.

 Government Spokesperson, Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow), said:

“It is with great regret that we receive these allegations from Human Rights Watch especially without given us the opportunity to respond before the publication.

“We refute these allegations and the government is willing to meet with Human Rights Watch officials to discuss their concerns.” Human Rights Watch stated in their report “Reliable figures are hard to come by in Somalia,” which clearly shows that the information they have lacks credibility. They are out of touch to the reality on the ground and they do not have offices inside Somalia.

“I would stress, however, that the TFG takes its responsibilities to the protection of its civilians and we take extreme cautions under extreme difficult circumstances when combating operations to bring peace and stability where we believe there are civilians. On the other hand, Al-Shabaab is responsible for most of human rights violations that happen in Somalia. Our soldiers undertake exceptional work under extremely dangerous and difficult conditions. We are very proud of them and the high standards they endeavor to maintain.

The Somali people, especially those in Mogadishu, know that their soldiers work hard for them and never knowingly place them in danger. Somalis overwhelmingly support and gave confidence to the Government of Somalia and most of Internally Displaced People have moved to government controlled areas.”

All TFG security forces have had trainings and they fully comply with international humanitarian and human rights law. We take very seriously to all allegations of human rights and humanitarian law violations. We investigate and all perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions.

We encourage Human rights activists to carry out their work and to report credible findings. We work very closely with all aid agencies and we help them to carry-out their duties by providing security escorts. Our Prime Minister has announced the creation of a special force to protect convoys delivering aid to people affected by drought and famine in order to secure the convoys, to protect food aid, and to protect the camps when food is distributed.

 Somalia has successfully fulfilled its international obligation by submitting a National Report on the situation of the human rights situation in the country to the 11th session of the Working Group of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) on 3rd May 2011. The Government has frequently reiterated its commitment to make human rights the foundation of the transition to a new Somalia and reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the international humanitarian law.

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Source: Office of the Prime Minister of Somalia