Outreach across Horn of Africa

The United Nations

In July, a UN human rights officer embarked on an outreach visit to the Horn of Africa’s Sool and Sanaag regions, a seven-day round-trip of more than 1,600 kilometres by road.

UNSOM Human Rights Officer, Sia Mawalla (left), and leader of a visiting UN team, poses for a photo with a civil society representative in Ceerigaabo, Sanaag region

The region is home to some 600,000 people, many of whom the UN tries to support as they face challenges ranging from inter-clan conflict to gender-based violence and human rights violations.

Travelling such long distances is all part of the regular work of human rights staff and other UN officials in their efforts to meet those in need.

The recent trip involved discussions with local government officials, civil society groups and human rights activists, with the latter calling for stronger press freedom, modern facilities for law enforcement agencies to better serve local residents, and improvements to camps for internally displaced people.

Security for UN teams on such outreach missions is a major consideration, as is navigating long stretches of roads of varying quality and avoiding wildlife – especially herds of camels

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