Human Rights Watch called on Saudi Arabia to stop the deportation of Somali refugees back to the war-torn Horn of Africa nation.
Saudi authorities sent more than 150 people back to the Somalia capital, Mogadishu, on Dec. 17, HRW said, citing local press reports. Another 2,000 were returned in June and July, according to the United Nations.
“Deporting anyone to a war zone like Mogadishu is inhumane, but returning children is beyond comprehension,” said Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The Saudi authorities should immediately stop these deportations and ensure that Somalis in Saudi Arabia are not returned to their country.”
Islamist militants have been fighting the Somali government for the past three years. Most of southern and central Somalia has been seized by the rebels, while President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s government controls only parts of Mogadishu with the support of troops from the African Union.