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UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT APPEALS FOR END TO VIOLENCE IN MOGADISHU

12 May 2006

The following statement was issued today by the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Ghanim Alnajjar:

“I wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms the serious upsurge in violence against civilians caused by fighting between heavily-armed militia forces in Mogadishu’s northern neighbourhoods,” the Expert said, adding that, “in situations like these, most of the victims are civilians who are caught in the crossfire, some of which are children.”

It is reported that up to 120 people have been killed and scores injured, during the past five days. This serious round of fighting in Mogadishu is the second this year and the worst that the city has seen in almost a decade. An earlier round of violence in March 2006, reportedly killed 90 people.

“I appeal to these militia forces to end these hostilities immediately, and I wish to remind all concerned of the need to fully respect humanitarian law during conflict and of the duty to protect the human rights of civilians at all times,” Mr. Alnajjar said.
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