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Somalia: New Constitution Approved

(Aug. 9, 2012) On August 1, 2012, Somalia's special, 825-member National Constituent Assembly approved a new constitution for the country by a large majority – over 96% of the 645 votes cast. (Dan Taglioli, Somalia Special Assembly Approves New National Constitution, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST (Aug. 1, 2012).) Traditional elders, who had selected the members of […]

Somalia: Action Plan to Eliminate Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers

(July 12, 2012) On July 3, 2012, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations signed an Action Plan on concrete steps for the Government to take to realize a child-free national army in the country. If the Government fully complies with the plan, the U.N. Secretary-General will remove it from the U.N.'s […]

Somalia: Puntland Establishes Piracy Courts and Prisons

(Apr. 20, 2011) On April 18, 2011, Reuters reported that Somalia's Puntland semi-autonomous regional state will soon put in place special prisons and courts to try pirates in the Indian Ocean region. (Martina Fuchs, Somali Enclave to Set Up Piracy Courts, Prisons, REUTERS (Apr. 18, 2011).) According to Saeed Mohamed Rage, Puntland's Minister of Marine […]

Somalia: Special Courts and Anti-Piracy Law Proposed

(Jan. 27, 2011) On January 25, 2011, the United Nations special envoy on maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia put forward a proposal for the establishment of special courts to try piracy cases (Somalia: UN Envoy Proposes Special Courts to Try Suspected Pirates, UN NEWS SERVICE (Jan. 25, 2011), The proposal envisages the […]

Somalia: Prime Minister Plans to End Child Soldiering

(Nov. 10, 2010) On November 2, 2010, Somalia's Prime Minister, Mohammed Abdullah I Mohammed, met in Somalia's capital city of Mogadishu with the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy. At that meeting, Mohammed stated that his government is determined to end the practice of children serving as soldiers […]

Somalia: Journalist Gets Six-Year Prison Term for Interviewing Man with Al-Qaeda Links

(Aug. 19, 2010) On August 14, 2010, in Somalia's Puntland State, a court convicted a journalist affiliated with a Bosaso-based radio station of violation of Puntland's anti-terrorism laws, for conducting an interview with a local rebel leader with links to Al-Qaeda. Bosaso is a port town in Puntland. The court imposed a six-year prison term […]

Somalia: Counterterrorism Law Proposed in Puntland Regional State

(July 23, 2010) It was reported on July 17, 2010, that the Puntland Council of Ministers unanimously approved a new anti-terrorism law, which, if enacted by the state's parliament, will establish a special court to try terrorism suspects and their accomplices. (Cabinet Approves Counterterrorism Law, GAROWEONLINE.COM (July 17, 2010), The 66-member parliament is expected […]

Somalia: Hand Chopped Off of Man Convicted of Theft

(Sept. 11, 2009) In May 2009, the Islamic Sharia court of Kismayo district of Somalia confirmed that Mohamed Omar Ismail had been found guilty of stealing goods with an estimated total value of US$90 – including a bag, ten pairs of trousers, ten shirts, and eight other items – from another man's house. The townspeople […]

Somalia: New Law on State of Emergency Adopted

(Aug. 25, 2009) It was reported on August 20, 2009, that Somalia's Transitional Federal Parliament passed into law a state of emergency bill that had been submitted by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's administration in June. (Federal Lawmakers Approve State of Emergency Law, GAROWEONLINE, Aug. 20, 2009, available at The bill sailed through the Parliament […]

Somalia: Puntland State Approves New Constitution

(July 6, 2009) On June 21, 2009, Somalia's Puntland State's parliament adopted a new constitution which is said to have 141 provisions and which, for the first time in Puntland's history, provides for the introduction of a multiparty political system. According to the speaker of the Puntland parliament, the Constitution received overwhelming support, with 49 […]