Connect with us

About Wajir Times

Will Somaliland enforce historic rape law



Women march on the streets of the capital Hargeisa to mark 25 years since the break-away nation claimed independence from Somalia. The self-declared republic in the Horn of Africa, has made its first law against rape. (Courtesy)

NAIROBI—President Musa Bihi Abdi’s government has made a historical law against rape that confines rapist in Somaliland in jail for up to 20 years.

This is its first law against rape that also criminalizes different sorts of gender violence such as forced marriage, trafficking for sexual slavery and sexual harassment.

Ayan Mahamoud, senior Somaliland’s representative in Britain, said that with the help of the government the bill which was awaiting signing for years had finally been effectuated.

“This really is a historic law for Somaliland. For the first time rapists will be scared that they will be punished and end up in jail for years,” Mahamoud told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from London.

Mahamoud also noted that the bill expected to be signed into law in the coming week, had passed the lower house in January and the upper parliament house on 7th April 2018 respectively.

A network of 46 women’s organizations in Somaliland embraced the decision by the upper house also House of elders which they termed as conservative.

The bill had been approved by 35 out of 50 members.

However they maintained people had to be educated about the law as rape was not defined as a crime in Somaliland until the recent approval.

This meant the rapist faced no conviction and the victim ended up marrying the perpetrator to avoid public shame.

“The government needs to ensure people know about the law, and that adequate resources be provided to ensure law enforcement agencies and the judiciary implement and enforce It.” said a statement from Nagaad, a member of the women’s group.

This is a big step for the northern territory, which declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991.



Your comments here:


Share it with your friends