Annual Report: Somalia 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Somalia 2011

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Abuses by armed groups

Armed Islamist groups continued to unlawfully kill and torture people they accused of spying or not conforming to their own interpretation of Islamic law. They killed people in public, including by stoning them to death, and carried out amputations and floggings. They also imposed restrictive dress codes, flogging women who did not wear the hijab and forcing men to wear trousers no longer than the ankle.

  • In January, a man accused of rape was reportedly stoned to death by members of al-Shabab in the city of Barawe, Lower Shabelle.
  • In April, the bodies of five beheaded men were found in Mogadishu. It was alleged that al-Shabab had beheaded them because they were involved in building a new Parliament.
  • Two men reportedly had their hands amputated by members of al-Shabab in July in the town of Balad, north of Mogadishu, on accusations of theft.
  • On 27 October, two young women were reportedly shot dead by al-Shabab members in a public killing in Beletweyne. They were reportedly accused of spying. The town had recently been the scene of fighting between al-Shabab and pro-TFG forces.


Presidential elections were held on 26 June in the Republic of Somaliland. Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud Silanyo, a former opposition politician, was declared the new President in July. According to independent observers, the elections were generally free, fair and peaceful. However, media freedom organizations reported some instances of restrictions on journalists in the lead-up to the elections.

Tensions flared in the border areas of Sool and Sanaag claimed by Puntland. A new armed group clashed with Somaliland security forces from May onwards. Thousands of people were reportedly displaced by the clashes.

Displaced people from southern and central Somalia continued to live in difficult conditions.

Minority groups continued to suffer discrimination.

  • In September, two women from a Gaboye minority clan who had been acquitted by a court in Aynabo, Saraar region, were attacked by local people and kept in prison for their own protection. They were also allegedly attacked by prison inmates. They were subsequently released.

Death penalty

In December, the TFG carried out its first execution since 2007. In Puntland, at least six people were sentenced to death and at least seven were reportedly executed. In Somaliland, two people were reportedly sentenced to death.

  • On 7 December, Nur Ahmed Shire was executed by TFG forces in the district of Hamar Weyne in Mogadishu. A former TFG soldier, he had reportedly been convicted of killing another TFG soldier.