MANDERA (Xinhua) --
Three miners were killed and one injured
by al-Shabab militants at a quarry in Mandera county in
northeast Kenya on Thursday, an official confirmed on
regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh said the militants
stormed the Shimbir Fatuma Quarry, about 65 kilometres
from the Kenya-Somalia border, where the miners were
living, on Thursday evening.
from the scene of incident is that three were confirmed
dead and one injured person is currently at Shimpir
Fatuma health center while some are yet to be
established where they are,” Saleh said.
He said two
of the workers escaped with gunshot wounds. The quarry
workers seemed to have defied government orders to
vacate the area following increased cases of al-Shabab
attacks in the restive region that borders Somalia
were killed by the militia in a similar incident a year
go after they apparently sneaked back to the quarry in
Mandera sub-county following a security operation.
authorities in 2015 ordered all quarries in Mandera
County near the Somali border be closed and all workers
to vacate the places due to terror threats. The
directive came after the murder of 14 quarry workers.
however faulted the government’s move saying that they
were not given reasons for the closure of the mines but
only told to vacate their working places. They argued
that the quarries near the Kenya-Somalia border were
Kenyan authorities, more than 500 workers mine in the
same quarry, something they said terrorists will
capitalize on as they gain fame in killing a large
number of innocent Kenyans.
UN expert calls for
release of abducted children in Somalia
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
A United Nations human rights expert on
Friday called for the immediate release of all children
kidnapped or recruited as fighters in armed conflict in
Nyanduga, the UN Independent Expert on the situation of
human rights in Somalia, also condemned recent terrorist
attacks in the country and urged action to stop use of
children in armed conflict.
abduction of children by the al-Shabab group and their
recruitment and use by government security forces in the
armed conflict constitute a grave violation of the
children’s rights,” Nyanduga said in a statement issued
in Mogadishu at the end of a six-day mission to assess
the human rights situation in the country.
lauded Somali government for measures taken so far to
rehabilitate children captured in combat, and for
recognizing that such children were victims.
expert urged the authorities to act now to stop children
being used in the fighting, calling on the government to
build rehabilitation centres to address the plight of
children associated with al-Shabab.
wanted to see a strengthening of the justice sector, in
particular the police, judiciary, related ministries and
other institutions crucial for underpinning security
rights expert welcomed action by both the government and
the international community to reduce loss of life from
famine, but made clear that more had to be done urgently
to help thousands of people forced to leave their homes
because of flooding.
government must commit itself to addressing this
recurring problem by adopting a range of durable
solutions, including the relocation of victims to higher
ground,” the expert said.
the government for some human rights improvements,
including ending the practice of executing in public
those convicted of terrorism-related offences, but made
clear there was still much more to be done to improve
human rights generally in Somalia.
been a considerable improvement in the right to freedom
of expression and opinion compared to the previous year,
but I am still receiving reports of harassment,
intimidation, arrest and detention without trial of
journalists. I call on the government to ensure respect
for the right of freedom of expression and opinion, and
a free media,” the expert said.
UN envoy calls for
free, independent media in Somalia
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The UN top envoy in Somalia on Thursday
called for free and independent news media in the Horn
of Africa nation where journalists operate in difficult
environment as the World Press Freedom Day is marked
across the globe.
Keating, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative
for Somalia also lauded the courage and dedication of
the country’s journalists who operate in one of the
world’s most dangerous environments for media workers.
the hundreds of Somali journalists who risk their lives
on a regular basis to do their job,” said Keating in a
statement issued in Mogadishu.
free and independent news media is indispensable in all
democratic societies, an essential means to hold the
powerful to account. An essential component for the
media to do its job is ending the culture of impunity
that, unfortunately, prevails for crimes committed
against journalists,” he added.
The UN envoy
urged lawmakers to resume their deliberations over an
amended version of Somalia’s 2016 Media Law and give due
consideration to a list of recommended changes to the
law submitted by the country’s leading media
associations last year.
He said this
year’s theme “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and
The Rule of Law” is particularly relevant to Somalia.
the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ),
no one has been brought to justice for the murders of 26
journalists over a ten-year period, and for the third
consecutive year Somalia was given the worst track
record worldwide for unsolved murders of journalists in
the CPJ’s 2017 Global Impunity Index.
the Human Rights and Protection Group of the UN
Assistance Mission in Somalia, which he heads, has
documented continuing violations of the right to freedom
of expression, including the closure or suspension of 14
media outlets in Somalia since August 2016.
He said the
rights protection group has also documented media
violations including arbitrary arrest and detention of
131 people for reasons related to freedom of expression