Somaliland: Human Rights Defenders in Pursuit of Genuine Electoral Process


Somaliland Human Rights Defenders

Somalilandsun-Genuine, free and fair elections are essential for protecting and promoting human rights in Somaliland. It is important to monitor human rights issues related to the electoral process. This is separate from the general electoral observations that will be carried out by the civil society and the international election observation missions. At the election period, it is vital the human rights organizations to work hard to ensure human rights are not violated in respect to elections. The human rights defenders can perform tasks effectively if they have united, well-coordinated, and organized plan and strategies. To take effective monitoring, it is needed to face in united front where all human rights organizations are part of the process and take their role. For that reason, the human rights defenders will meet to discuss the way forward and set a plan and framework for the monitoring.

Therefore, human rights organizations met in Hargeisa on 2nd and 3rd October. They decided to establish a working group. The Group is ad hoc gathering of human rights organizations and defenders who are united by the purpose of ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights during the election period. Therefore, there is no strict hierarchy and structure. However, to facilitate the working of the Group and its effectiveness, the Group selected a chairperson, a spokesperson, and secretariat. The existence of the Group will end on 1st January 2018.
Registered human rights organizations and individual human rights defenders are members of the Group which is an ad hoc voluntary based forum intended to exist and work during the election period. Any organization and person who works on the human right issue and is interested in contributing to the activities of the Group is eligible to be a member.
The objectives of the Group are to:
Coordinate the human rights organizations and defenders during the election period;
monitor the human rights issues related to the election;
Ensure human rights are not violated during the election period;
Advocate for human rights matters related to the election;
Report election-related human rights abuses/violations during the election period;
Creating cooperation to work together closely during this period.
The following will be the guiding principles of the Group:
Respect for the constitution and the other laws of Somaliland;
Impartiality and independence;
Cooperation and contribution;
Commitment and volunteerism; and
Passion for human rights.
Faiza Aw Ali Yousuf of Somaliland Youth Development Association, is selected as the chairwomen of the Group, Jamaal Hussein Ahmed, the Secretary-General of Somaliland Lawyers Association (SOLLA), is selected as the spokesperson, and Human Rights Centre is the secretariat of the Group, giving administrative and logistical support.
1. Faisa Aw Ali Yousuf, Chairperson of the Group
Phone: 063 4418771
2. Jamaal Hussein Ahmed, Spokesperson,

Phone: 063 4122290
3. Ruwaida Abdi Mohamed
Human Rights Centre

Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre, Hargeisa Somaliland
Lawyer at Xaqdoon Law Firm
Mobile: +252 63 4468227 Email:
Twitter: @GuleidJ

???All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.??? Article 1 of the UDHR