New York (Caasimada Online) – The ongoing clashes in LasAnod, Sool region in Somalia, have resulted in a dire humanitarian situation, with over 185,000 people displaced, according to an inter-agency assessment mission conducted by humanitarian partners.
The UN’s Independent Expert on Human Rights in Somalia, Isha Dyfan, has voiced her deep concern over the number of civilian casualties resulting from these clashes.
Ms. Dyfan has expressed alarm at the indiscriminate and deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, resulting in the deaths of at least 63 people and over 363 injured.
She has called for those responsible to be held accountable and for impartial, effective, and independent investigations to be conducted into the deaths and injuries.
The responsibility of all parties in Somalia
Ms. Dyfan has called on all parties involved in the clashes to respect their obligations under international law, particularly regarding protecting civilians.
She has urged them to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities and to resolve their disputes through dialogue.
The UN expert stressed that failure to do so would be equivalent to denying access to justice and perpetuating impunity.
The responsibility of all parties involved in the clashes is to prioritize protecting civilians and respect their obligations under international law.
Dire humanitarian situation in Somalia
The ongoing clashes in LasAnod, Sool region, have resulted in a dire humanitarian situation, with over 185,000 people displaced, and women and children accounting for 89% of the figure, according to an inter-agency assessment mission conducted by humanitarian partners.
The situation will likely worsen if the clashes continue, exacerbating the plight of those affected by the violence.
Ms. Dyfan has reiterated the call made by international partners for unhindered humanitarian access to urgently address the needs of those displaced and impacted by the violence.
Providing humanitarian assistance is a fundamental right and an essential element of protecting civilians in armed conflicts.
The lack of access to humanitarian aid can exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation, leading to further suffering and loss of life.
The Role of Independent Experts
Ms. Dyfan is part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, the largest body of independent UN Human Rights system experts.
The independent experts work voluntarily and are independent of any government or organization.
Their role is to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world, and they do not receive a salary for their work.
Independent experts play a critical role in monitoring and reporting human rights violations and providing recommendations to address them.
Ms. Dyfan’s experience in human rights
Ms. Dyfan brings extensive experience in the field of human rights, having served as the Chief of the Human Rights Section in the UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur, Sudan (UNAMID) for four and a half years before retiring at the level of director.
She studied History and Law in Sierra Leone and the UK. Ms. Dyfan was appointed the Independent Expert on Human Rights in Somalia by the Human Rights Council in May 2020.