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Somalia progressing but work remains

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Somalia is commended for its political progress though the human rights and national security situation present challenges, a U.N. rights official said.

The U.N. Human Rights Council held a special session Wednesday in Geneva on assistance to Somalia.

The European Union last week hosted a one-day summit outlining a "New Deal" for Somalia. Delegates to the summit pledged their support as Somalia focuses its development agenda on consolidating political gains made since forming its first functioning central government in more than 20 years last year.

Flavia Pansieri, deputy high commissioner for human rights, said Somalia was recognized for political progress but had lingering challenges to address.

"Continued attacks by al-Shabaab reminded all about how much work remained to be done in the fight to ensure security for all people living in Somalia," she said in a statement.

Al-Shabaab was blamed for a siege on the Westgate Mall in Nigeria that left more than 60 people dead.

Pansieri added the situation in Somalia "continued to be very challenging." Civilians, she said, were paying the price by getting stuck in the cross fire.

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shridon told the Human Rights Council his country was taking action to ensure "perpetrators of such crimes [terrorism] were dealt with in accordance with the law."

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