Sexual violence pervasive in Somalia: UN
Beijing: Sexual violence against women and children is still pervasive in Somalia, a UN spokesperson said Friday.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, about 800 cases of rapes, domestic violence, female genital mutilations, early and forced marriage were reported in the capital city of Mogadishu from January to June this year.
Rape continues to be perpetrated by unknown armed men and men in military uniform, and the internally displaced remain most vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence, Eduardo del Buey, the deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing here.
Del Buey quoted the UN Children``s Fund as saying that some one- third of the victims of sexual violence are children. Survivors of such violence are provided with medical assistance, psychosocial support, and legal counseling by humanitarian partners, he said.
According to UN figures, at least 1,700 people were affected by sexual and gender-based violence in Somalia last year.
The Somalian government and the UN signed a joint communique on the prevention of sexual violence in May, stressing that there is zero-tolerance to sexual violations and that perpetrators will be punished.
Somalia has been torn by factional fighting since 1991. On June 2, the UN launched an assistance mission to offer expertise in areas ranging from the political process to disarmament to help Somalia achieve peace, reconciliation and stability.
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