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Last updated: June 2022

Clan militias are important actors of political life across Somalia. Their actions can be violent, uncontrollable and, sometimes, random. A clan militia is generally an armed group based on lineage and the result of the convergence of several individuals’ interests. [Actors, 3.4.1]

The chaotic situation since the 1990s enabled the emergence of numerous armed groups of variable sizes and was sponsored by local people and diaspora, but also by several foreign actors. [Actors, 3.4.2]

Clashes can occur between and within clan militias. They are reported all over Somalia and constitute a relevant part of the security incidents. These clashes are mainly driven by land and resource disputes and by vendetta. Numerous human rights violations were attributed to clan militias, including killings and sexual violence. Violations against children were also documented, including child recruitment, deprivation of liberty, killing and maiming of children, rape and sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals, abductions, and denial of humanitarian access. Clan militias have also been responsible for cases of torture and other degrading treatment on the population.

Clan members have also been involved in clan revenge, killings and blood feuds [Actors, 3.2.1]. For more information, see The role of clans in Somalia and profile 2.7 Individuals involved in blood feuds/clan disputes.

For more information on the relationship between clans, their militias and Al-Shabaab, see 1.3 Al-Shabaab under chapter Actors of persecution or serious harm.

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For further information on human rights violations committed by clan militias and/or clan members and their relevance as potential exclusion grounds, see chapter Exclusion.