Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Somalia

U.S. Statement as delivered by Rachel Schiller
Human Rights Council 36th Session
Geneva, September 27, 2017

Thank you Mr. Vice President.

The United States congratulates Somalia for the successful conclusion of its national electoral process in February, which was more inclusive than the 2012 process.  We believe President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s peaceful election marks an important milestone in Somalia’s ongoing transition to a secure, stable, and prosperous state.

Somalia’s continued security challenges and acute food insecurity underline its need for strong and effective leadership that will improve the strength and capacity of its democratic institutions and eliminate corruption to more effectively deliver reliable government services to the Somali people.

Somalia is continuing to make progress eliminating the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers, but we urge additional actions to prevent their unlawful recruitment and use in Somalia’s national forces and the forces of allied militia.

We remain deeply concerned by the government’s mistreatment of journalists, including incidents of harassment, arbitrary arrest, and censorship.  It is essential that its people enjoy the right to freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive, and impart information and the ability to be fully informed, particularly as conditions in Somalia improve.

We would like to ask the Independent Expert where you anticipate your role will be most effective in encouraging the Federal Government of Somalia to strengthen federalism and institute one-person one-vote elections in 2021?

Thank you.