Somalia joins two Treaties: the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Somalia joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions is a very good thing.  In 2013, cluster munitions dating from the Ogaden War between Somalia and Ethiopia was discovered and cluster munition remnants pose a daily threat to nomadic people and their herds. With accession to the Convention, Somalia is now obligated to clear those remnants and to meet the needs of cluster munitions survivors which the government has acknowledged are not being met today (Goobjoog News, no link).

However, I think Somalia’s accession to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which occurred on the same day as accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, is equally important.  Currently 14 out of every 100 Somali children do not live to see their fifth birthday.  Less than half of Somalia’s children are vaccinated against measles.  One in 10 Somali children are born to mothers between 15 and 19 years old (World Bank Data Bank). And just last year, Save the Children rated Somalia as the worst place to be a mother in its annual State of the World’s Mothers report.

We’ve written many times on this blog about Somalia’s steady improvement after decades of conflict.  The conflict continues, but the aspiration shown by Somalia’s government to join these two treaties is welcome and to be supported.  Congratulations to the people of Somalia and a special congratulations to our colleague Dahir Abdirahman of the Somalia Coalition to Ban Landmines for his hard work and efforts which have led to Somalia’s joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Michael P. Moore

October 2, 2015

moe (at) landminesinafrica (dot) org