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Last Updated: 28 November 2014

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2013

929 (230 killed; 673 injured; 26 unknown)

Casualties in 2013

20 (2012: 27)

2013 casualties by outcome

5 killed; 15 injured (2012: 3 killed; 24 injured)

2013 casualties by device type

4 antipersonnel mines; 6 antivehicle mine; 10 explosive remnants of war (ERW)

HALO Trust reported 20 mine/ERW casualties in Somaliland in 2013. Nineteen casualties were civilian. In 2013, as in previous years, most casualties were children (11, or 58% of civilian casualties) including 10 boys and one girl. Among the adult casualties, five were men and four were women.[1]

The 20 casualties in 2013 represented a slight decrease from the 27 mine/ERW casualties reported by HALO in Somaliland in 2012.[2] It is part of a trend of declining casualties that began in 2007. Since 2012, casualty data has not been available from the Somaliland Mine Action Centre (SMAC), which had reported on annual casualties occurring from 2000–2011.

Between 2000 and the end of 2013, the Monitor identified 929 casualties in Somalia (230 killed; 673 injured; 26 unknown).

Victim Assistance

The number of mine/ERW survivors in Somaliland is not known, but there were at least 673 as of the end of 2013. No efforts to assess survivors’ needs were identified.

Somaliland developed a National Disability Policy in 2012.[3]

Overall, mine survivors have received only minimum assistance.[4] As in previous years, several local NGOs in Somaliland provided services for persons with disabilities, and other organizations assisted persons with war-trauma, including mine/ERW survivors among their beneficiaries. The health system in Somaliland was detrimentally affected by uneven distribution of resources between the capital, Hargeisa, and the provinces, and by low capacities of facilities to deliver quality primary healthcare services. Additionally, it has been reported that “Somaliland is also exceedingly poor in terms of policy and government commitment to disability and rehabilitation.”[5]

The rehabilitation sector was managed by two organizations, the Somaliland Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and the Disability Action Network (DAN). Each used their own network of partners and providers to deliver rehabilitation services. Each ran one of two rehabilitation centers in Hargeisa.[6]

The SRCS continued to provide prosthetics and rehabilitation supported by the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) and the Norwegian Red Cross.[7] To improve the quality of services, the SRCS physical rehabilitation center in Hargeisa received support and monitoring visits by an SFD physiotherapist and an ortho-prosthetist in 2013.[8] In December 2013, a meeting was held in Hargeisa between representatives of the SRCS, the Norwegian Red Cross, and the SFD to review progress in the management of the services run by the SRCS. The SRCS was found to be “very short of qualified staff,” so a course of training in basic bench-working skills was organized.[9]

In 2013, a community-based rehabilitation project carried out by DAN was supported by UNICEF.[10] Handicap International (HI) support to DAN ended in December 2012.[11] The Ministry of Health had noted that the government was not in a position to financially support the rehabilitation sector.[12]

The Somaliland National Disability Forum maintained a program for enhancing capacity-building for persons with disabilities and disabled persons’ organizations. A project called the Somaliland Advocacy Mine Victim Association, associated with the Somaliland National Disability Forum, had received support to implement a program for improving the livelihoods of persons with disabilities through skills training and income-generating activities in 2012.[13]

Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Somaliland (CCBRS) offered immediate post-incident psychological assistance to survivors and families. CCBRS also provided community-based rehabilitation for persons with disabilities.[14] The General Assistance and Volunteer Organization (GAVO) offered psychological support to persons affected by conflict-related trauma.[15]

In 2013, HI completed its support to a project to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities in Somaliland by increasing the participation of persons with disabilities in rights advocacy and democratic activities implemented by DAN. From April 2013, the project was being supported by the foreign ministry of Germany as part of a wider program to promote the rights of people with disabilities, particularly women and children.[16]

The Somaliland constitution notes that the state is responsible for the health, care, development, and education of persons with disabilities. There was no legislation requiring the accessibility of buildings for persons with disabilities. Several local NGOs in Somaliland working with persons with disabilities reported numerous cases of discrimination.[17]


[1] Casualty data for 2013 sent by email from Valon Kumnova, Desk Officer for South Asia and Horn of Africa, HALO Trust, 8 July 2014.

[2] Casualty data for 2012 sent by email from Bartholomew Digby, Programme Manager – Somaliland, HALO, 11 October 2013.

[3] Jennifer Palmer and Karl Blanchet, “Planning for Sustainability in the Physical Rehabilitation Sector: Report of a 1.5-year follow-up study in Somaliland,” International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Handicap International (HI), October 2012, p. 12.

[4] SMAC, “Annual Report 2011,” Hargeisa, January 2012, p. 7.

[6] Ibid.

[7] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 16.

[8] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 18.

[9] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 12.

[11] HI, “Where we work: Somaliland,” undated; and HI, “Support to Somaliland Rehabilitation Services,” 22 August 2013.

[12] Jennifer Palmer and Karl Blanchet, “Planning for Sustainability in the Physical Rehabilitation Sector: Report of a 1.5-year follow-up study in Somaliland,” International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and HI, October 2012, p. 12.

[14] UNICEF, “Child Protection Advocates provide safety nets for vulnerable Somali children, 24 February 2011;” and Farhan Abdi Suleiman, CCBRS, “Hargeisa: Youth Killed in Land Mine Explosion,” Somaliland Press, 31 January 2011.

[15] Psychology in Africa, “Somalia Mental Health Profile,” 13 August 2013; and GAVO website.

[16] HI, “Where we work: Somaliland,” undated.

[17] United States (US) Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014; and US Department of State, “2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,” Washington, DC, 24 May 2012.