[JURIST] Al-Shabaab [CFR backgrounder] radicals launched an attack on Sunday against Somalia’s Supreme Court. The attack, resulting in at least 35 deaths [AP report], was one of the worst attacks in years for the country’s capital of Mogadishu. According to the Somali government, nine men were involved in the attack [BBC report] against the court, six of whom detonated explosive vests. Al-Shabab retained control over most of Somalia’s capital before Somali forces and the African Union (AU) [official website] forced al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu in 2011. Since being forced out of the capital, al-Shabaab has carried out a series of bomb attack in the city, with Sunday’s coordinated attack amounting to the largest one since 2011. The Somali government reported that all of the attackers died, with some killed by security forces.
Recently, Somalia has come under criticism for human rights violations. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported last month 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.” Earlier in March, a Somali appeals court judge dropped charges [JURIST report] against a woman who alleged she had been raped by Somali government security forces and was consequently charged with defamation against the government.