Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on Somalia
Statement by the United States of America
as delivered by Jason Mack
33rd Session of the Human Rights Council
September 28, 2016
Thank you, Mr./Madam President. We express our appreciation to the Independent Expert for his work.
Let me begin by affirming that the United States remains committed to supporting Somalia’s transition toward peace, prosperity, and democracy.
We call upon the government to hold a credible, transparent and inclusive electoral process resulting in the election of a President on October 30, 2016, helping to ensure a democratic legacy for the current administration, and laying the foundation for the next phase of democratic reform and state building. A new and inclusive government, selected and supported by Somalis, is needed to consolidate progress and carry the reform agenda forward.
The United States remains deeply concerned by the government’s treatment of journalists in Somalia, including incidents of harassment, arrests, and censorship. We emphasize the importance of respect for freedom of expression. The ability of Somalis to freely express their views and make fully informed choices is critical for the electoral process to have legitimacy.
We take note that Somalia continues to make progress eliminating the unlawful use and recruitment of child soldiers, but we urge additional actions to prevent the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers.
It is critical to seek accountability for members of security forces in Somalia who commit human rights violations, including those involving unlawful killings and sexual exploitation and abuse, through mechanisms that fully respect the rights of all parties.
Thank you, Mr. President.
We would like to ask the Independent Expert:
What actions should the government take to ensure the upcoming elections are as inclusive and participatory as possible?