NAIROBI, Kenya, June 12 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch said Wednesday a draft Somali law creating a human rights commission is too weak to work effectively and called on Parliament to revise it.
Deputy Director of African research Leslie Lefkow said the commission could play a valuable role in Somali efforts to erase a long record of human rights abuses.
"But a weak law will cripple the commission from the start and parliament should make sure that doesn't happen," she said in a statement.
Human Rights Watch said the draft measure contains many positive elements but lacks a broad mandate on access to witnesses and could lack the power to ensure any recommendations will be carried out.
Somalia last year formed a functioning central government in Mogadishu for the first time since the 1990s. It has since struggled with political rivalries and lingering threats from al-Shabaab, a terrorist group tied to al-Qaida.
"Somalia's international partners are eager to support government institutions, but they should make clear that their support for a new human rights commission depends on the authorities' commitment to an active and empowered body," Lefkow said from Nairobi.