On March 30th, two young girls aged 3 years and 4 years respectively were kidnapped and raped near their home in Afgoye, a town approximately 25 kilometers west of Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu. The toddlers were on their way back from school when they were ambushed by unknown men who sexually assaulted them, according to the parents of the young victims. The young girls were found a day later by their loved ones and are currently receiving treatment in Medina hospital in Mogadishu.
The rape of young children has become increasingly more prevalent in Somalia in recent years. The brutal rape and murder of 12-year-old Aisha Ilyas Aden in the Puntland region of Somalia in late February 2019 made international headlines. Aisha’s killers were convicted when their DNA was successfully matched with the evidence found at the crime scene, setting the precedent for the use of forensic science in rape cases in Somalia. There have also been recent reports on the rape of a 7-year-old in the Galmudug region of the country, but not much information has been made public about this case.
The horrific nature of the rape of the toddlers even elicited a strongly worded statement from the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development of the Federal Government of Somalia. Therein, it states that “The Ministry is working closely with the Office of the Attorney General to bring the perpetrators to justice and is in contact with the families of the survivors to provide the necessary support”.”
Social media users who became aware of this case expressed their mutual anger and disgust, some even calling on the relevant authorities to seek justice on behalf of the toddlers and their families.
At the time of writing, 18 suspects are currently in custody but no official charges have been made regarding this case.