AMISOM supports Somali judicial systems review process

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Addis Ababa, 22 June 2014 (WIC) - The Somali Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development in collaboration with AMISOM have today convened a roundtable discussion on the country’s judicial system, with a view of working towards establishing effective structures.

The discussions drew representatives from the Federal Government of Somalia, the civil society as well as AMISOM’s Legal, Political and Gender, Women and Child Protection units.

The day’s discussions focused on assessing the current Judicial systems, current challenges and how these can be addressed to ensure access to justice for the Somali people.

Speaking during the round table discussions, the Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of the Federal Parliament of Somalia, Hon. Maryan Aways emphasized the importance of effective systems, especially to ensure justice for victims of violence.

“Injustice has risen to a level where women and the population in general, shy away from demanding what’s rightfully theirs or discussing it. This is due to the belief that justice institutions are actually not based on justice and so the people don’t discuss what their rights are. So it is imperative that we have useful outcomes out of this event and that the Somali government and AMISOM who are facilitating this, create a fruitful partnership that will be useful to the Somali people,” she said.

According to a press release AMISOM Public Information Services sent to WIC, Mr. Adebayo Kareem, AMISOM Senior Legal Officer noted that the country’s history has eroded justice systems, which now need to be re-established.

“AMISOM’s commitment to Somalia is to assist in the rebuilding of the Somali Judiciary and Criminal Justice Sector. We all know that due to the history of Somalia, we have a potential conflict of law environment in Somalia. We have the civil law history, we have the common law history, we have the traditional dispute resolution regime and we have the constitution and these four different systems are a potential for conflict. So one of the reasons AMISOM wants to come in, is to see how we can harmonize these various sources of legal support,” he said.

Representatives of the Somali government appreciated the role played by AMISOM ensuring that the country’s institutional structures are re-established.

“Somalia today needs justice. We have weaknesses in justice. We need a judicial system; we need justice and security. I’d like to extend my gratitude to the African Union and AMISOM’s respective components that have partnered with us. We have partnered on security, gender, human rights and women and child protection. We are thankful for that and now they are working on justice as well and we are grateful for that,” said Ader Ali Mohamed, the Director of Public Awareness, Ministry of Women and Human Rights.

The round table discussion was convened to identify the gaps in the country’s judicial systems and develop a strategy on how to facilitate the establishment of effective justice systems in Somalia.

AMISOM continues to engage different stakeholders and to support the processes aimed at institutional building in Somalia.