On the 14th of May, a report surfaced on social media claiming that a 4-year-old girl called Farhiyo Abdishakuur Botaan was raped by her neighbour. The rapist has been identified as Mohamed Hussein Elmi, a 21-year-old soldier from the Somali National Army.
It is not clear where the crime took place. Farhiyo has been taken to Madina hospital in Mogadishu in order to receive treatment.
In recent years, there has been a drastic increase in the rape of young children in Somalia.
On March 30th 2020, 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 United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, addressed the United Nations Security Council on March 29th 2019 on behalf of Secretary-General António Guterres regarding the increase of sexual violence in Somalia. According to the Secretary-General, women and girls in Somalia have been placed in a state of “acute vulnerability”.
“Impunity for the perpetrators of crimes of sexual violence continues to be a concern. Mistrust of the criminal justice system, gender biases of police officers, the lack of financial resources and the victims’ lack of knowledge of their rights impede their access to justice” the Secretary-General expressed in his report.
At the time of writing, the rapist is under police custody but no official charges have been made as of yet.