AMISOM Senior International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Adviser, Dr. Omar Abdulle Alasow speaks on AMISOM’s obligation to the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP) of the United Nations Secretary General – Somalia


What is the role of Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) and Police Contributing CPCs with respect to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in Somalia?

Dr. Omar Abdulle Alasow: TCCs and PCCs have an obligation to respect and uphold international humanitarian law (IHL) governing the conduct of hostilities in Somalia. They have a duty to provide IHL instructions to their forces under IHL. It is therefore important that TCC and PCC forces are trained in IHL before being deployed to Somalia.

The obligation of the TCC and the PCC to ensure compliance with IHL extends to compliance by the Somali Security Forces (SSF) engaged in joint operations with or supported by AMISOM forces. It also entails the obligation for TCCs and PCCs to investigate alleged violations of IHL by their forces in Somalia and to take action against offenders, as well as to prevent or end IHL violations by FSS.

What are the obligations of TCCs and PCCs with respect to the UN Secretary General’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP) and how does this relate to the logistical support provided by UNSOS ?

Dr. Omar Abdulle Alasow: The UN Secretary General instituted the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP) on UN support to non-UN security forces in 2011. The policy applies to the work of the UN wherever it provides support to non-UN security forces. . It is based on existing international obligations in the field of humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law and aims to ensure compliance with these obligations.

It is of utmost importance that the AMISOM TCCs and PCCs integrate IHL and human rights into the planning for the deployment of their forces in Somalia and provide them with adequate pre-deployment training in the application IHL and human rights rules before being deployed. Military and police personnel designated for deployment must have a clean human rights record. TCCs and PCCs are also required to provide relevant information on their forces to the UN for risk assessment purposes under the Policy.

The HRDDP applies to UNSOS as a United Nations entity providing logistical support to AMISOM and the SSF. UNSOS is therefore required to implement the policy, including conducting risk assessment, putting in place mitigation measures, monitoring and intervening when serious violations of IHL, human rights and refugee law are committed. It is required to carry out a risk assessment of the provision of logistical support, in particular the risks of AMISOM and the FSS committing serious violations of IHL, human rights and refugee law.

The policy requires UNSOS to put in place measures to actively and closely monitor the conduct of AMISOM and the FSS. If there are reports of serious violations of the law being committed, UNSOS should immediately intercede and advise the leadership of AMISOM and the FSS with a view to ending such violations. In the event that, despite the intervention, such violations continue to occur and the authorities do not take corrective mitigating measures, UNSOS may suspend or withdraw its support to beneficiary units.


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