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UN envoy condemns attack on Mogadishu

A UN envoy to Somalia on Saturday strongly condemned [statement] the terrorist attack on a village restaurant in Mogadishu that left 15 dead. Reports state [UN press release] that a car bomb exploded outside of a restaurant frequented by government workers and journalists. The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, urged the international community to continue to support the Somali people as they work toward peace, noting that this kind of terrorism poses a threat not only to Somalia and Africa in general, but also to the world as a whole. Kay, who heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) [official website], said that UNSOM was poised to assist the people of Somalia in combating terrorism.

Ways to address violence and human rights abuses in Somalia continues to be a concern. Early this month, UN rights experts condemned [JURIST report] a human rights roadmap adopted by the Somali government. In April Bari urged the Somali government to continue efforts to strengthen the country's justice system after the Supreme Court complex was attacked [JURIST reports] by al-Shabaab radicals. In March Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported that displaced people in Somalia face the risk of physical abuse [JURIST report] and rape. HRW noted that the threat of beatings and rape from internal security forces was significant and called for the practices to end. According to HRW, "Instead of finding a safe haven from fighting and famine, many displaced Somalis who came to Mogadishu have found hostility and abuse."

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