Hundreds of non-combatant civilians were deliberately killed by armed political groups and their supporters on account of their membership of a particular clan. Somali civilians, including children, were arbitrarily killed by UN peace-keeping and US troops, who detained dozens of people without charge or trial. Five women were summarily executed by stoning in the breakaway Somaliland Republic. A UN military operation, "Operation Restore Hope", authorized by the UN Security Council in December 1992 to establish "a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations", sought to exert control in a country racked by civil war, famine and the absence of central government or rule of law. The multinational UN task force, UNITAf, led by US forces, reduced the number of deaths caused by starvation, but was only partially successful in securing peace between the Somali fighting groups or protecting relief workers and supplies. In March the 15 armed political groups of the main two rival Somali coalitions agreed to stop fighting and to set up a 78-member Transitional National Council (TNC) as a two-year interim political and legislative authority for the country. However, the TNC had not been established by the end of the year. In May "Operation Restore Hope" handed over to a second UN Somalia operation, UNOSOM II, which was to last two years with US military backing. The UN Security Council authorized it to use force to end fighting in different parts of the country and to disarm and demobilize all armed Somali groups. It was mandated to establish a Somali police force and new administrative, legal and judicial institutions, and to prepare a new constitution in conjunction with the TNC. It initiated a relief and reconstruction program, supplementing the activities of international relief agencies. Increasing tension in the south of Mogadishu, the capital, between UN forces and General Mohamed Farah Aideed's United Somali Congress (USC) faction, the leading group in the Somali National Alliance (SNA) coalition, led to the killing of 23 Pakistani UN troops on 5 June. A UN Security Council resolution the next day authorized the investigation and detention for prosecution, trial and punishment of those responsible for the deaths. The UN Special Representative on Somalia declared General Aideed a wanted person in connection with the killings. This was followed by five months of bitter fighting in Mogadishu between UN forces and US supporting forces and General Aideed's armed supporters. Several hundred Somalis, many of them apparently unarmed and including children, were killed by UN and US troops. Somali gunmen killed over 70 UN and US soldiers, including 18 US soldiers in October during a UN operation to arrest SNA leaders. In response to international concern about the violence, the UN then reverted to seeking a political solution to the conflict with General Aideed, who had evaded capture. The UN Security Council rescinded its arrest order and established a new international commission of inquiry into the 5 June killings of UN troops. It also tried to reopen all-party reconciliation talks. By the end of the year the Somali police force and courts were being re-established in some areas on the basis of the constitution and laws established at independence in 1960. The inter-clan fighting which had ravaged the country in 1991 and 1992 had mostly subsided, although areas of tension remained. In the first four months of the year before the UNOSOM II operation, scores of defenceless civilians were arbitrarily killed on account of their clan origin during fighting between opposing clan factions in the southern port of Kismayu. On 2 January Sean Devereux, a British aid worker, was shot dead in Kismayu by unidentified gunmen, reportedly because of his criticism of massacres of unarmed civilians there the previous month by the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM). Killings of clan opponents from minority clans or sub-clans occurred throughout the year, particularly in Kismayu and Mogadishu. A pro-Aideed mob killed four foreign journalists on 13 June and General Aideed's USC militias reportedly killed several people suspected of spying for the UN. Many of the hundreds of killings by UN peace-keeping and US troops appeared to violate human rights or humanitarian standards. In most cases, neither the UN nor the governments of the troops concerned carried out investigations in accordance with international standards. In March US military authorities investigated one death caused by shooting and decided not to bring charges. However, in April a US soldier was convicted by a court-martial in Mogadishu of aggravated assault on two Somali civilians. Canadian military investigators charged eight Canadian soldiers with criminal offences, including murder, torture and unlawful use of lethal force, in connection with two incidents in March. They had not been tried by the end of the year. A Belgian Ministry of Defence inquiry investigated reports of 31 killings and cases of ill-treatment of Somali civilians by its troops. According to its report in November, 13 cases were under judicial investigation, but no further details were known at the end of the year. Some 20 civilian demonstrators were killed by Pakistani troops in Mogadishu on 13 June. The Pakistani authorities said their soldiers were returning fire against gunmen who were using civilians as "human shields". On 12 July US troops killed over 60 civilians, including elders and religious leaders with whom UN officials were negotiating. The troops said they had attacked what they believed was a command post of General Aideed, although this was evidently not the case. On 3 October scores of civilians were killed and some 700 wounded, about a third of whom were women and children, in gun battles between General Aideed's militias and US troops, who suffered 18 casualties in their search for SNA leaders. In all these cases, the investigations by the UN, US and Pakistani authorities to establish whether the killings by their forces were lawful or not, and whether they could have been avoided, failed to satisfy international standards for thorough, prompt and impartial investigations. UN and US troops arrested hundreds of Somalis during the year, mostly in Mogadishu and particularly after the killing of 23 Pakistani UN troops on 5 June. Most were released after days or weeks, although some 400 alleged criminals were transferred from UN custody to Somali prisons and police stations. The UN began to establish new courts in August, but no detainees were known to have been tried by the end of the year. Of the 70 people arrested for political or security reasons in the conflict with General Aideed, most were held and interrogated in a special detention centre in the UN compound in Mogadishu. They included about 20 SNA leaders arrested by US troops in October. Detainees were denied access to relatives, although the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was allowed to visit all UN detainees. None was brought before a judicial authority, charged with an offence or allowed access to a lawyer. It was unclear whether they were detained in a law enforcement operation or were effectively prisoners of war. A UN spokesperson said they were being held in "preventive custody" for security reasons. By the end of the year all but eight had been released. In March the UN Commission on Human Rights called for the appointment of an Independent Expert on Somalia. He was appointed in August but had not visited Somalia by the end of the year. In September the UN Security Council approved the establishment of a human rights office as part of UNOSOM II which would investigate human rights violations and train police, judges and prison officers. By the end of the year only limited steps had been taken to implement this human rights program. An Independent Jurist was appointed by the UN in December to review the UN detentions. A Nigerian soldier in the UN force and a US serviceman, who were captured by General Aideed's militias in September and October respectively, stated that they had been ill-treated in custody. They were eventually given medical treatment and allowed visits by the ICRC, and were released in November. The bodies of some Pakistani, US and Nigerian soldiers killed in the fighting were mutilated by pro-Aideed mobs. The breakaway "Republic of Somaliland" in the northwest, relatively untouched by the violence in the south, refused to join the proposed TNC. In May clan and political groups elected Mohamed Ibrahim Egal as President to head a two-year interim administration. A new National Charter stated that Somaliland would abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It declared that legislation would be based on laws in force before General Siad Barre's coup in 1969 and on Islamic Law, but the administration did not legalize cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments such as flogging, which had been inflicted by courts earlier in the year. Summary and extrajudicial executions took place in Hargeisa in Somaliland in January. On 8 January five women were stoned to death for adultery after being arrested by an Islamic group, taken into police custody and tried by an informal Islamic "court". They were denied legal representation, condemned to death, refused any appeal and publicly stoned to death the next day by the religious group which had arrested them. Somaliland officials did not intervene. Later, after local and international criticism, police arrested Sheikh Dahir Ahmed Yunis, the leader of the religious group, and 15 others involved in the incident, but released them later unpunished. Amnesty International appealed to all Somali political groups, military and civilian, to commit themselves publicly to human rights objectives, end the abuses and support the rule of law. In April Amnesty International published a report, Somalia: Update on a disaster - proposals for human rights. It urged the UN to establish an international group of independent civilian advisers to implement international human rights standards, investigate human rights abuses by all parties, including UN and other foreign forces, and take prompt corrective action. It called for a public inquiry into human rights violations in Somalia over the past two decades, and for those responsible for extrajudicial executions and other deliberate and arbitrary killings and torture, to be brought to justice. Amnesty International urged the UN to investigate thoroughly killings of civilians by UN forces and asked the governments of Belgium, Canada, Pakistan and the USA what steps they were taking in regard to allegations of abuses by their troops. It also called on the UN to ensure that no one was detained by UN forces contrary to the UN's own standards on the rights of detainees. The UN wrote to Amnesty International in June rejecting allegations of disproportionate use of lethal force by UN troops and dismissed the proposal for unosom to have civilian human rights advisers. In November the UN told the organization that it was striving to ensure adherence by unosom to all international and humanitarian laws. It later provided some details of three incidents of killings by UN troops, the troops' rules of engagement and detention procedures, and the new unosom Human Rights Office. The Canadian Government replied to Amnesty International in July about the investigations it had initiated, but at the end of the year Amnesty International had received no reply from the US, Belgian or Pakistani governments. Amnesty International condemned summary executions by armed Somali groups and the executions in Somaliland.

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