Somalia - ReliefWeb News
There is a marginal improvement in food consumption for people assisted through relief operations, but in spite of the good progress, needs will remain high to the end the year. The situation remains critical for 10.2 million people in need of food assistance.
There is an imminent pipeline break for cereals in September. WFP currently requires USD 158 million to support 7.6 million people affected by drought for the rest of 2016.
The revised Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) is scheduled to be launched by the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) in the first week of August. The results will modify the food response plan for the rest of 2016.
The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 200712 addresses acute food insecurity, currently exacerbated by the ongoing drought. The PRRO supports and complements the Government's social protection, disaster risk management and nutrition programmes by providing emergency food assistance and productive safety net activities. WFP and the Government’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) are assisting 7.6 million people in six regions in need of emergency food assistance in 2016.
The PRRO 200700 provides food assistance to 600,000 refugees in Ethiopia — 10 percent of which receive a combination of cash and food assistance in five camps. The PRRO also supports the school meals programme, targeting children attending primary schools and nutrition interventions for prevention and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition. Prevention of moderate acute malnutrition targets children aged 6-23 months, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, while targeted supplementary feeding is for children under the age of five.
The Country Programme (200253) comprises of: support to the Ethiopian Government in disaster risk management; school meals programme; support to people living with HIV and AIDS; and support to smallholder farmers through Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative.
SO 200711 provides safe and reliable air transport to thousands of humanitarian personnel.
SO 200752 supports the construction of the Geeldoh Bridge to improve accessibility to two woredas (districts) in the Somali Regional State.
SO 200358 supports the development of the humanitarian logistics base in the Port of Djibouti in order to improve efficiencies in both humanitarian and commercial logistics.
SO 200977 supports and augments the logistics capacity of the Government of Ethiopia and other humanitarian partners in the drought response.
According to the results of the Belg assessment and WFP’s May/June household food security monitoring survey, food consumption has improved slightly because of provision of food assistance and the Belg (March-May) rains. However, access to food is still severely limited and the situation remains of concern. In addition, the WFP May/June household food security survey showed that 80 percent of relief households and 37 percent of non-targeted households still cannot meet their minimum food requirements.
Based on the number of people targeted in the joint emergency relief response as per the current Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) of 7.6 million, the joint Government’s and WFP pipeline faces a pipeline break in September, particularly for cereals.
The logistics cluster is currently working alongside NDRMC staff in Addis Ababa, Adama and Dire Dawa Hubs, to support NDRMC’s efforts to improve the operations and the management of the logistics supply chain. These include support to the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority (EMAA) to facilitate the implementation of the national logistics strategy and support port planning operations.
Thanks to recent contributions for the refugee operation, there will be not be an interruption in assistance for the remainder of the year. However, given that procurement of food commodities usually requires more than three months, an additional USD 20 million is required by September 2016 to avert a possible interruption in assistance in the first quarter of 2017.
The annual nutrition survey conducted in Dollo Ado indicates that global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates are above 20 percent in the camps. In response to the high GAM rates, WFP has extended coverage of its blanket supplementary feeding programme for the prevention of moderate acute malnutrition to children aged 24-59 months in Dollo Ado and reinstate SuperCereal in the general rations for all refugees.
Nutrition surveys in Turkana show very high prevalence of moderate and severe acute malnutrition.
The Kenyan Government and UNHCR started a head count for all refugees in Dadaab.
Preliminary findings of the asset-creation evaluation are out.
WFP hosted a delegation from southern Africa to learn about linking farmers to schools.
The main goal of the Country Programme (CP) is to develop national capacity in addressing long-term hunger and nutrition issues in Kenya. It complements the resilience PRRO 200736 and prioritises: 1) capacity strengthening for improved emergency preparedness and response; and 2) supporting national social protection and safety net systems, including school feeding. This is achieved through:
(i) strengthening county governments’ capacity to prepare, analyse and respond to shocks and accelerating government leadership and coordination of safety nets; (ii) supporting the national school meals programme; (iii) enhancing market access for smallholder farmers; and (iv) supporting the National Nutrition Action Plan.
Through this operation, WFP addresses food and nutrition security in the arid and semi-arid lands as county governments enhance their capacity to prevent and respond to sudden and slow-onset disasters. It focuses on:
(i) harmonising relief and nutrition support with emerging government safety nets; (ii) strengthening productive assets to improve food security and enhance resilience to climate-related shocks; and (iii) enhancing partnerships to scale and ensure the sustainability of assets. Households receive in-kind or cash-based transfers.
Through this PRRO, WFP assists eligible refugees living in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps. Assistance is mainly through general distributions: a hybrid of in-kind food and restricted cash-based transfers. Refugees first pass through the biometric fingerprinting system to check their eligibility before collecting in-kind food and cash. This system yields efficiency gains and significantly enhances accountability.
Treatment of moderate acute malnutrition is provided to children and mothers. To prevent acute malnutrition, complementary specialised foods are given to all children 6-23 months and pregnant women or mothers with young children. School children receive porridge. WFP also provides support to the host community through asset-creation activities and food-for-training (the latter is also available for refugees).
The Government of Kenya and UNHCR began a headcount for all refugees in Dadaab, as a first step to scale-up of repatriation to Somalia, ahead of the intended closure of the camps. By the end of July, 80 percent of the planned refugees had been verified. Close to 14,000 Somalis have returned home so far in 2016. Plans are underway to increase the number of road convoys to Somalia and to move 32,000 refugees (non-Somalis or Somalis awaiting resettlement) to Kakuma or Kalobeyei.
The WFP commissioned consultants shared preliminary findings of the asset-creation evaluation. Some positive findings include that the programme: (i) has often had a positive impact on food security and nutrition; (ii) is well aligned to national planning frameworks such as Ending Drought Emergencies; (iii) has contributed not only to building physical assets but also social capital; and (iv) has empowered women. Some areas requiring strengthening include: (i) more appropriate technology choices for specific local conditions; and (ii) increased extension services to promote good agricultural practice. WFP will prepare a management response to the recommendations in the coming weeks.
WFP continued with stakeholder consultations in the semiarid counties on the transition of asset-creation households away from WFP cash transfer support. Those identified for transitioning will be linked to the services of Government and other partners that will provide essential inputs and enable households to increase agricultural outputs and access markets. Preparatory activities for the expansion of asset creation activities into two arid counties (Samburu and Wajir) continued.
WFP completed the electronic registration of people assisted by the asset-creation activities in Baringo, Isiolo, Marsabit, Tana River and Turkana Counties. Registration in Garissa and Samburu will be completed in August. The activity, conducted jointly with the Government, UNICEF and WFP, includes collecting information on vulnerability dimensions affecting children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and the elderly.
WFP hosted a delegation from agriculture and education ministries from Namibia and Zambia to study Kenya’s home-grown school meal programme. The aim was to learn how to link farmers to schools. The visit is expected to support the implementation of the African Union decision on School Feeding and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa.
2014 Annual Narrative Report of IASC Gender Standby Capacity Project
The GenCap Project was established in 2007 as an inter-agency resource under the auspices of the IASC Sub-Working Group on Gender and Humanitarian Action (now the Gender Reference Group and Humanitarian Action) and in collaboration with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). The Project’s aim was to respond to the recognition that gender needed to be better integrated in humanitarian response, and was part of the IASC Humanitarian Reform. The Project deploys Senior Gender Advisors to strengthen the humanitarian system’s capacity in gender mainstreaming and gender equality programming.
This annual narrative report of the GenCap project provides an overview of the main project activities, outputs and impact in 2014 within the three main project focus areas: 1) the deployment of senior experts on mission; 2) gender training delivery and capacity building efforts; and 3) efforts to influence the system towards stronger ownership and awareness of Gender Equality Programming (GEP). 2014 marked the implementation of year one of the Project’s first three year strategy1 (endorsed in March 2015). The annual project strategy meeting (October 2015) was an opportunity to take stock of the strategy implementation in terms of giving stronger emphasis on GenCaps’ strategic advisory role to the HC/HCTs, sustainability of efforts, and the role of the GBV window within the larger project. The strategy was updated to reflect the SC decision to continue GBV deployments throughout 2016 and to make a stronger effort to streamline GenCap and GBV deployments and team building.
In 2014, the project has moved forward on the strategy implementation by giving increased focus to monitoring, preparing the ground for IASC Gender Marker adaptation and gradual handover to the cluster leads, with the main focus of deployments at country level and based on criteria set in strategy. Global level support targeted global clusters and HPC processes with coordinated SRP country support and country missions, and capacity building of Advisors to enable a more strategic engagement with HC/HCTs.
As the GenCap project was established within the framework of the IASC, the SU participated as an observer at most IASC Gender Reference Group (GRG) meetings to stay abreast with policy level debates and advocacy. The GenCap project also provided support to the 2014 review of the implementation of the IASC Gender Policy Statement2 and input to the GRG issued Gender Alerts.
The Gu rains from April to June 2016 provided some relief and reduced the impact of the drought in parts of Puntland and Somaliland. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) managed Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed and Toghdeer regions received near average to above average rainfall compared to the long term mean for the period. Recovery from the drought nevertheless remains very slow. The remaining parts of Somaliland, and most areas in Puntland recorded below average rains that were sporadic and ended prematurely.
In April 2016, a Somalia Inter-Agency Rapid Needs Assessment (SIRNA) was carried out at household level in most affected areas of Puntland and Somaliland to complement existing information and provide a broad multicluster overview of needs. The priority needs highlighted were food and water, as well as healthcare. In addition, nutrition, education, protection and shelter support were required to ensure minimum standards of living among vulnerable girls, pregnant and lactating women, boys and men, and prevent an exacerbation of existing vulnerabilities and exposure to protection risks. Scarcity of pasture and water sources also increases the risk of inter-communal violence due to competition and related protection violations.
The outlook for southern and central Somalia is also increasingly worrying. According to the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU), as of 30 June, the 2016 Gu harvest is expected to be 30 to 50 per cent below average in southern Somalia. In addition, with a 50 per cent chance of a La Nina event, the next Deyr rainy season (October – December) is likely to be below average in most parts of the country. The ongoing Acute Watery Diarrhea/Cholera outbreak in large portions of the country further compounds vulnerability.
This update of the “Call for Aid” provides a snapshot of the current situation, response and highlights gaps in Puntland and Somaliland in order to mobilize further response to avert a deterioration of the situation due to prolonged effects of drought in most affected areas. It also maps out a strategy for supporting recovery following four consecutive seasons of below average rainfall in Somaliland and one in Puntland that has compromised the coping capacities of the people. It covers the three-month period from July to September 2016, and builds on the Call for Aid launched on 31 March 2016, Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2016 and the Somalia Contingency Plan for El Niño developed in September 2015. It continues to align with priorities outlined in the 2016 HRP related to drought in Somaliland and Puntland and emerging needs.
Of the US$127 million required as of 31 March, $49 million has been funded. These resources have enabled clusters to scale up, but a gap of US$61 million remains to provide humanitarian assistance over the remaining period to 1.7 million people in Puntland and Somaliland.
Mogadishu, Somalia | AFP | Friday 8/26/2016 - 08:10 GMT
Seven people were killed in an attack by Shabaab jihadists on a popular beachfront restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu, city authorities said on Friday.
"Nine people including two Shabaab gunmen were killed in the attack" on Thursday, Mogadishu city spokesman Abdifatah Halane told AFP.
Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab jihadists attacked the Banadir Beach Restaurant close to the city's Lido Beach, setting off a car bomb before exchanging fire with security forces.
The assailants also threw grenades at the security services who cordoned off the area. One man with a head wound was detained by the authorities which accused him of being the bomber.
The restaurant is popular with young people and government officials. Around 20 people managed to escape from the restaurant during the gunfight.
The Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement distributed via the Telegram messaging service, claiming to have killed "scores" of people.
It said the restaurant was targeted because it was frequented by "apostates" indulging in "obscenity and vice".
The Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, seeking to impose an austere Islamic rule on the country.
By Friday morning officials said the attackers had been killed.
All the "attackers have been gunned down and the restaurant is now under the full command of the Somali government soldiers," regional police commander Colonel Abshir Bishaar told the Somali National News Agency.
"The terrorist attack killed nine persons, five of them were civilians, two security forces and the other two were the militants who carried out the attack," Bishaar said, adding that two other civilians were injured.
Threat to elections
It is the second time this year the group has attacked the Lido beach area and its many eateries, including upmarket establishments popular with business people and diaspora Somalis who have returned home to the city.
In late January, Shabaab gunmen detonated a bomb before bursting into the Lido Sea Food Restaurant and spraying gunfire at terrified customers, killing 20 people.
The group is expected to try to violently disrupt elections due to be held in September and October.
Despite abandoning the capital five years ago, Shabaab still launches regular attacks against government, military, civilian and foreign targets.
The jihadists have also staged repeated attacks in neighbouring Kenya and a recent security analysis warned that the group was expanding its horizons with cells active in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as well as Somalia.
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
by Nora Parasie, 2016/08/23
Instead of relaxing and taking a rest from her teaching profession during her summer vacation, the Hamburg teacher Nora Parasie took off to what seemed like a different world: as a voluntary humedica intervention team member she went to the refugee camp Melkadida, situated approximately 6.000 km away at the Ethiopian-Somali border, to assist the local team in providing medical care for the people. In her following first report from Ethiopia she talks about what kind of adventures you have to expect when undertaking such a journey.
„Saturday night in London: „The airplane to Addis Ababa is now ready for boarding. Please stay seated till this announcement will be finished.“ These are the words, which announce my Ethiopian Airlines flight. While boarding I am asked whether I own a return ticket and then the travel starts. The new spirit of Africa is the airline´s subtitle.
African music welcomes me at my green coloured seat and I already feel attuned to my journey to Africa. My seat neighbour is on her way to her family in Nigeria. For her Addis is no more than a travel hub, also for me it is only a one-day stopover. The cool temperatures below 20 degree remind me of Germany. I find out that Addis, which is positioned at an altitude of 2.300 m, is the third-highest located capital of the world.
Before entering the tiny airplane, everyone controls whether his luggage is on board, then we are ready for take off. The pilots are sitting two rows in front of me. The lift-off is a bit shaky. During the two-hour flight, the landscape gets more barren, for a long time we only see the desert. Finally I recognise camp settlements and a river. We land on a sand track. This has to be Dollo Ado, the town on the Somali border. At the end of the track I look out of the window and see five off-road vehicles of different aid organisations already waiting for their staff members. I am glad to see also an employee wearing a humedica vest.
It is hot and dusty. The passport control takes place on the sand road directly in front of the airplane. I have finally arrived in an area, which had taken in more than two hundred thousands of refugees from Somalia. Here they hope to be safe and provided for. The next three weeks I will get to know humedica´s work in der region and support the German coordinator Sandra in her duties.
Hunger and terrorist militia
Two hours on dirt roads bring us to Melkadida, home for 45.000 refugees and the biggest camp in this region. We drive in convoy with another humedica car. The Ethiopian military is very present in the Somali region, because terrorists of the Al-Shabab-Militia are still active on the Somali side.
In 2011 the people living at the border triangle of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya suffered from the most serious draught for the last fifty years. The consequences were an extensive famine and immense refugee influx. Many people have also left Somali because of the continuing civil war and the terrorism. Since the outbreak of this humanitarian disaster humedica is on site, thanks to the support of the Foreign Office. Midwifes, nurses, physicians, dental assistants, translators and drivers work at the health care station in Melkadida situated in the middle of the camp. Passport control at the landing site
Monday morning in Addis Ababa, 6.00 a.m. Again I am at the airport, standing at the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service counter to check in my luggage in order to fly to Dollo Ado in South Ethiopia. As I am one of the total of seven passengers for this flight I receive a reusable boarding ticket. The departure is delayed for two hours and so I have enough time to get acquainted with the other six passengers while taking breakfast. They are employed by several aid organisations in the region of Dollo Ado - the area, where Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia border.
In the neighbouring camp Kobe a new health care station for pregnant women and children under five years, who are a particularly endangered group, could be opened last year. Some refugees act as so-called Community Health Workers for humedica. Their task is to inform their fellow refugees about hygiene, vaccines and nutrition. humedica training coordinator Lilly organises regular trainings to provide them with the necessary background knowledge.
„When we started our work in 2011, the people have arrived here extremely famished and weakened.“ reports the employee Frelemo. He is responsible for the pharmacy and distributes the drugs at the health care station. „At this time many people have died due to the famine disaster. It was only natural for our staff to work from dusk till dawn. Often it was a matter of life or death. In the meanwhile the situation has stabilised, but the people here still depend on outside support. It still is most uncertain, what their future brings.”
Riding on a donkey cart to the health care station
Tuesday morning, 7.50 a.m. Departure for the health care station. The 20 humedica employees, who all live on a site in front of the camp, jump in three cars. On the way more employees board the vehicles. At the health care station many patients are already waiting for us. Nurse Mohammad discusses this day´s activities with the Community Health Workers. The other employees settle in at the pharmacy, the dentist treatment area, the laboratory, the observation and treatment rooms. Meanwhile the nurse Zahara carries out the triage of the waiting patients. Triage means the classification of patients: people, who suffer from particularly severe or chronic illnesses or have travelled for a long time to get here, are treated first.
During the next hour the rooms start to fill. The employees Freo and Teddy begin to pull out teeth. The German dentist Gerhardt Petz, who once worked at the camp among other German surgeons, has taught them how to do that. Mieraf takes blood samples of a patient, Omar and Dr. Ahmed treat the emergencies first, Frelemo distributes drugs and explains how to take them. The „ambulance“ vehicle brings in a seriously ill older man. The „ambulance“ is a donkey cart, an indispensable means of transport in this region. The man is taken to the observation room. Here wait ten stretchers for patients, who have to be observed for the day.
How to treat diarrhoea correctly
Everyday life at the refugee camp has become routine in the last five years since the start. But health education continues to be crucial. Often it is just a matter of explaining to the people that they must bring their children to the health care station instead of treating them according to impairing traditions like simply cutting wounds open or putting diarrhoea down to the growth of teeth and therefore extracting them. You also have to explain the correct use of medicaments time and again. Often patients take them in doses, which are too high. Another aim is sufficient immunisation coverage for polio, meningitis and measles.
Presently the refugee camps in the Dollo Ado region continue to fill: Somali refugees, who have found shelter in Kenya and Jemen, are relocated. When I conduct a patient survey and ask, what they wish for from humedica, many of them say: „Continue like this.“ To continue, to stabilise the situation, this is the aim for tomorrow. They do not want to leave, tells me a UN employee, who is responsible for the resettlements. They still hope that one day in the future they will be able to return to their homes.
The coolest season with 33 degrees
About 5.00 p.m. the last patients are treated. The area surrounding the health care station starts to empty. Exhausted all workers get in the vehicles. Back on the site Lemlem and Mita are already preparing supper, rice with a spicy tomato sauce. Today it is breezy, so the 33 degrees are tolerable. I learn that August is the coolest month. We play a round of volleyball. I am lucky: afterwards one of the three existing showers is available.
Suddenly I hear the generator starting operation. Quickly I plug in all charging cables and use the electricity to print out the sheets of the patients´ survey, which I would like to continue tomorrow. When I am going to dinner at 7.00 pm, it is pitch-dark. The television shows a soccer game: Japan against Nigeria. Was that not broadcasted yesterday already? It is a repetition, in the 10th minute I hear that the game has ended 3:5. Nigeria has won.
Djibouti: Djibouti: Inter-agency update for the response to the Yemeni situation #46 (1 – 15 August 2016)
3,618 Refugees currently hosted in Djibouti pending further physical verification exercises
1,636 Registered females.
1,299 Registered children and adolescentsHIGHLIGHTS
According to the latest available statistics from IOM and the Government of Djibouti, a total of 36,162 persons of mixed nationalities have arrived in Djibouti as of end of July 2016 (since 26 March 2015). Of those, 19,636 persons (54 per cent) are Yemeni nationals, 14,562 (40 per cent) are transiting migrants and 1,964 persons (6 per cent) are Djiboutian returnees.
As at 15 August 2016, there are 3,618 refugees currently in Djibouti (pending forthcoming verification exercises in Obock town and Djibouti city). Markazi camp hosts over 1,400 refugees.
Ensure protection of refugees and asylum seekers and provide assistance.
Provide documents to refugees.
Work with the government to ensure access to territory and freedom of movement.
Continue to develop the infrastructure at Markazi camp.
Continue border monitoring activities.
UNHCR carries out regular border monitoring in Djibouti by observing activities at Obock port as well as entry points along the villages north of Obock. UNHCR has observed a decrease in new arrivals compared to previous months; this may be due to the harsh weather conditions in Obock. Meanwhile, UNHCR continues to advise refugees in Markazi camp on the dangers of return to Yemen.
Mogadishu, Somalia | AFP | Thursday 8/25/2016 - 20:02 GMT
Several gunman attacked a beachfront restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Thursday, prompting an exchange of fire with the security forces, an AFP correspondent said.
The incident began when a nearby car exploded, after which the gunmen ran into the restaurant, a popular eatery near Lido beach. Somali security forces at the scene then exchanged fire with the gunmen who were holed up inside, the correspondent said.
Shots could still be heard coming from the scene, he added, as officers set up a security cordon around the restaurant.
It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.
Several Somali news outlets reported that the jihadist Shabaab group had claimed responsibility for the attack on the restaurant, which is often frequented by Somali officials.
An Al-Qaeda aligned group, the Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in the capital Mogadishu.
It was forced out of the capital by African Union soldiers five years ago but continues to launch regular attacks including many in recent months on restaurants, hotels and military bases, often using suicide car bombers and gunmen.
The group is expected to try and violently disrupt elections due to be held in September and October.
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
Mogadishu, 25 August 2016 – Senior military officers from the African Union Mission in Somalia and the Somali National Army have pledged to work together to rid the country of the militant insurgent group Al-Shabaab.
“If we do not work together to defeat Al-Shabaab and if we cannot effectively hand over the security of Somalia to the Somali national security forces, then we’ll have failed in achieving our mandate”, AMISOM Force Commander Gen Osman Noor Soubagleh Force Commander told participants of a joint conference of AMISOM Sector Commanders and senior SNA officers, Wednesday. The SNA team was led by the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen Alibaashi Mohamed.
Soubagleh said the meeting would facilitate the ability of both forces to plan, prepare, coordinate and synchronize joint operations directed against Al-Shabaab in all the five sectors.
Gen Mohamed for his part, said after visiting several sectors in Somalia, he had witnessed the plight of the Somali people under Al-Shabaab. He described Al-Shabaab militants as having no defined position, forcing them to collect taxes and food from the public. He further said the group posed no big challenge to AMISOM and SNA as in their current state its armament and equipment was limited.
“If we act together and get support from partners we’ll make major strides”, Gen. Mohamed told the joint conference.
The Force Commander noted that the country was preparing for an electoral process and AMISOM was under obligation to support the Federal government before and after the process.
“We must support and assist in the economic development and establishment of effective governance in support of the federal government both now and after elections to gain the support of the population and counter the propaganda of Al-Shabaab,” Gen. Soubagleh added.
AMISOM sector commanders and senior officers have been meeting in Mogadishu to plan and strategize operations against Al Shabaab.
Present at the conference were two deputy AMISOM force commanders Maj Gen Nakibus Lakara (Logistical support) and Maj Gen Mohamedesha Zeyinu (Operations and Plans).
Gen. Mohamed said the two forces were ready to work together to resolve issues facing them.
“This is our second meeting to participate and what is being tackled shows there is renewed energy and resolve to address them,” Gen Mohamed noted.
Mogadishu, 23 August 2016 – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has organized a one-day training workshop for civilian humanitarian actors from the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia to raise awareness on how to engage with partners in the delivery of aid within the country.
Twenty-two local humanitarian organizations in the region attended the meeting held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, Sunday. Central to the workshop was the question of how, and in what circumstances humanitarian organizations engage with AMISOM.
Speaking at the opening of the training, the Deputy Head of OCHA, Crispen Rukasha said the exchange of knowledge was critical to their operations. “The purpose of this training is to raise awareness among our humanitarian partners in recognition of the core humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and humanity so that they are aware of the context of the guidelines to enable us come together and engage AMISOM as the last resort to save life,” Rukasha said.
The ability of humanitarian organizations to operate freely and independently in parts of Somalia, against a constant threat from Al-Shabaab militants who are waging an insurgency, has hampered humanitarian activities. “The Somalia context is quite complex and challenging because we have humanitarian actors who are responsible for saving lives, and our colleagues, AMISOM, who are mainly concerned with peacekeeping and security. As a result, we came up with the civil-military guidelines,” Mr Rukasha observed.
The guidelines will promote an approach which aims to minimize the potential for competition and conflict between different actors while at the same time minimizing duplication and disruption of efforts.
Critical levels of global acute malnutrition (GAM rate ≥15 %) observed in Dhobley, Baidoa and Dolow IDPs in south-central regions and Garowe, Bosasso and Galkayo in Northeast region.
WFP requires USD 104.3 million in order to continue providing life-saving humanitarian and livelihood support assistance for the next six months.
The protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO) targets 2.4 million people over three years and seeks to stabilize and reduce undernutrition and enhance the resilience of vulnerable individuals and households to cope more effectively during shocks. WFP recognizes that gender inequality directly affects the ability of nations to become free from hunger and food insecurity and has integrated gender-sensitive programming throughout its activities.
In 2016, WFP is targeting 1.4 million vulnerable Somalis in food insecure areas. To address undernutrition in children under five years of age, pregnant women and nursing mothers, WFP will provide a mixture of curative and preventative nutrition assistance as well as targeted behaviour change communication aimed at tackling the underlying causes of nutrition insecurity. WFP will provide relief interventions through in-kind or cash-based transfers whenever appropriate and support communities in creating assets to improve livelihoods, address localised food insecurity and build their ability to withstand shocks. WFP will also work with local authorities to provide daily school meals to primary school students and nutrition assistance to malnourished HIV/TB clients.
WFP currently operates from the country office in Mogadishu and the Liaison Office in Nairobi. WFP maintains an extensive presence in Somalia through Area Offices in Mogadishu, Galkayo, Hargeisa, Bossaso and Dolow, and sub-offices in Berbera, Garowe and Beletweyne. WFP also has staff in Kismayo, El Wak and Dhobley in southern Somalia.
This special operation (SO) was launched to enable the food security cluster (FSC) that is co-led by WFP and FAO to assume humanitarian leadership around coordination and information management of emergency food security responses. The SO ended in June 2016 after which FSC activities have been integrated into WFP’s PRRO and the ongoing FAO programme.
This special operation facilitates the provision of safe and reliable air transport services to the humanitarian community in Somalia and Kenya. A WFP managed common air service has been present in Somalia since 2007. For the first five years, activities were implemented through a single country operation. In 2013, a two-year successor operation was launched which formally established humanitarian air services in support of relief operations for both Somalia and Kenya.
World: Actualización sobre la información en el Mediterráneo - Flujos migratorios en Europa: Llegadas y muertes (23 de agosto 2016)
269.244 llegadas por mar en 2016
publicado a las 09:30 hs. (horario Europa Central) 23/8/16
1.011.712 llegadas en 2015
269,244 arrivals by sea in 2016
published 09:00 CET 23 August
1,011,712 arrivals in 2015
World: Informe de la Representante Especial del Secretario General para la Cuestión de los Niños y los Conflictos Armados (A/71/205)
Este informe se presenta a la Asamblea General conforme a lo dispuesto en su resolución 70/137 sobre los derechos del niño, en la que solicitó a la Representante Especial del Secretario General para la Cuestión de los Niños y los Conflictos Armados que siguiera presentando informes a la Asamblea General sobre las actividades emprendidas en cumplimiento de su mandato, con información de sus visitas sobre el terreno, y sobre los progresos alcanzados y los problemas que subsisten en relación con la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados. El informe abarca el período comprendido entre agosto de 2015 y julio de 2016. En él se describen las tendencias actuales y también se reflexiona sobre los 20 años transcurridos desde que la Asamblea, mediante su resolución 51/77, creó el mandato relativo a los niños y los conflictos armados. Además, en el informe se proporciona información acerca de las visitas sobre el terreno realizadas por la Representante Especial, su colaboración con organizaciones regionales y asociados internacionales y el diálogo con partes en conflicto, y se incluye una actualización sobre la campaña “Niños, No Soldados”. También se plantea un conjunto de desafíos y prioridades de la agenda de la Representante Especial y se concluye con una serie de recomendaciones para mejorar la protección de los niños afectados por los conflictos.
1. En su resolución 70/137, la Asamblea General solicitó a la Representante Especial del Secretario General para la Cuestión de los Niños y los Conflictos Armados que siguiera presentando informes, tanto a la Asamblea como al Consejo de Derechos Humanos, sobre las actividades emprendidas en cumplimiento de su mandato, con información de sus visitas sobre el terreno, y sobre los progresos alcanzados y los problemas que subsisten en relación con la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados. La solicitud se basó en el mandato otorgado por la Asamblea en su resolución 51/77, en la que recomendó, entre otras cosas, que la Representante Especial procurara que se tomara mayor conciencia y promoviera la reunión de información acerca de los sufrimientos de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, y estimulara la cooperación internacional para asegurar el respeto de los derechos de los niños en esas situaciones. En consonancia con ese mandato, y de conformidad con lo solicitado por la Asamblea en su resolución 70/137, en el presente informe se proporciona información actualizada sobre la campaña “Niños, No Soldados”. También se ponen de relieve los progresos alcanzados durante el último año y se resumen las prioridades inmediatas, así como los objetivos de más largo plazo fijados para impulsar la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados, en colaboración con los Estados Miembros de las Naciones Unidas, las entidades de las Naciones Unidas, las organizaciones regionales y subregionales y la sociedad civil.
II. Estado de la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados
A. Panorama general de las tendencias y los desafíos
2. La Representante Especial presentará este informe a la Asamblea General 20 años después de la aprobación de la resolución 51/77, por la que se estableció el mandato relativo a la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados. El 20º aniversario del mandato brinda la oportunidad de hacer un balance de los numerosos logros obtenidos y poner de relieve las esferas que están más rezagadas. En su informe pionero acerca de las repercusiones de los conflictos armados sobre los niños (A/51/306), que fue presentado a la Asamblea en 1996, Graça Machel describió la brutalidad extrema a que estaban expuestos millones de niños atrapados en conflictos y demostró el carácter central de la cuestión para las agendas internacionales de derechos humanos, desarrollo y paz y seguridad.
3. Si bien ha habido progresos sustanciales en los últimos dos decenios, como se indica en el presente informe, en el segundo semestre de 2015 y a principios de 2016 persistían graves problemas para la protección de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados. La intensidad de las violaciones graves de los derechos de los niños aumentó en una serie de situaciones de conflicto armado. Preocupó especialmente la proliferación de agentes que participaban en los conflictos armados. Las operaciones aéreas transfronterizas realizadas por coaliciones internacionales o Estados Miembros a título individual, especialmente en zonas pobladas, produjeron entornos sumamente complejos para la protección de los niños. Los efectos en los niños de la incapacidad colectiva de prevenir conflictos y ponerles fin son graves: existen regiones en crisis y las violaciones de los derechos de los niños se están agravando en varios conflictos. Las violaciones se relacionan directamente con el ultraje al derecho internacional humanitario y el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos por las partes en los conflictos.
4. Los conflictos prolongados han tenido efectos considerables en los niños. En la República Árabe Siria, según el Enviado Especial para Siria, el conflicto ya ha causado la muerte de más de 400.000 personas, incluidos miles de niños. En el Afganistán, en 2015 se registró el mayor número de bajas infantiles desde que las Naciones Unidas empezaron a documentar sistemáticamente las bajas civiles en 2009. En Somalia, la situación siguió siendo peligrosa para los niños: el número de violaciones de derechos registradas no mostró señales de disminuir en 2016, y centenares de niños fueron secuestrados, reclutados, utilizados, brutalmente muertos y mutilados. Cabe señalar, como ejemplo sumamente inquietante, la situación en Sudán del Sur, donde los niños fueron víctimas de las seis categorías de violaciones graves de sus derechos, en particular durante las brutales ofensivas militares lanzadas contra las fuerzas de la oposición. El deterioro de la situación en julio de 2016 es especialmente preocupante por la situación penosa de los niños. En el Iraq, los intensos enfrentamientos armados y los ataques contra la población civil perpetrados por el Estado Islámico en el Iraq y el Levante han causado la muerte de miles de civiles, entre ellos muchos niños. En el Yemen, el conflicto ha continuado intensificándose, con niveles alarmantes de reclutamiento, muerte y mutilación de niños y ataques contra escuelas y hospitales.
World: Rapport de la Représentante spéciale du Secrétaire général pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé (A/71/205)
Ce rapport est soumis en application de la résolution 70/137 de l’Assemblée générale relative aux droits de l’enfant, dans laquelle l’Assemblée prie la Représentante spéciale du Secrétaire général pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé de continuer à lui présenter des rapports sur les activités menées en exécution de son mandat, notamment sur les visites qu’elle effectue sur le terrain ainsi que sur les progrès réalisés dans le cadre de l’action engagée pour lutter contre les violences faites aux enfants et sur les problèmes qu’il reste à surmonter en la matière. Le présent rapport décrit l’évolution de la situation sur la période comprise entre août 2015 et juillet 2016. Il revient aussi sur les 20 années écoulées depuis la création du mandat du Représentant spécial pour les enfants et les conflits armés, en vertu de la résolution 51/77 de l’Assemblée générale. Le rapport contient également des informations sur les visites effectuées sur le terrain par la Représentante spéciale, sur sa coopération avec les organisations régionales et les partenaires internationaux et sur le dialogue qu’elle a engagé avec les parties, ainsi que sur les avancées de la campagne « Des enfants, pas des soldats ». Il décrit certaines des difficultés rencontrées et les domaines sur lesquels son action porte en priorité, et se termine par une série de recommandations visant à améliorer la protection des enfants touchés par les conflits.
1. Dans sa résolution 70/137, l’Assemblée générale prie la Représentante spéciale du Secrétaire général pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé de continuer à lui présenter des rapports sur les activités entreprises en application de son mandat, notamment sur les visites qu’elle effectue sur le terrain, les progrès réalisés et les obstacles restant à surmonter dans le cadre de l’action menée en faveur des enfants touchés par les conflits armés. Cette demande découle du mandat donné par l’Assemblée générale dans sa résolution 51/77, qui recommande que le Représentant spécial fasse prendre davantage conscience de la condition dramatique des enfants touchés par les conflits armés, incite à recueillir des éléments d’information sur cette situation et oeuvre à l’établissement d’une coopération internationale qui permette de faire respecter les droits des enfants pendant les conflits armés. Conformément à ce mandat, et comme l’Assemblée le demande dans sa résolution 70/137, le présent rapport rend compte de l’évolution de la campagne « Des enfants, pas des soldats ». Il met également en évidence les progrès réalisés au cours de l’année écoulée et expose les priorités immédiates ainsi que les projets à exécuter à plus long terme dans le cadre de l’action engagée en faveur des enfants touchés par les conflits armés, en collaboration avec les États Membres, les organismes des Nations Unies, les organisations régionales et sous-régionales et la société civile.
II. Bilan des travaux exécutés sur le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé
A. Aperçu des tendances et des difficultés
2. La Représentante spéciale présentera ce rapport à l’Assemblée générale 20 ans après l’adoption de la résolution 51/77 qui a créé le mandat pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé. Ce vingtième anniversaire est l’occasion de dresser un bilan des nombreuses avancées réalisées et de mettre en lumière les domaines dans lesquels il faut encore progresser. Dans son rapport historique (A/51/306) présenté à l’Assemblée générale en 1996, Graça Machel décrivait l’extrême brutalité subie par les enfants pris dans un conflit et soulignait que cette question devait s’inscrire au coeur de l’action internationale pour les droits de l’homme, le développement, la paix et la sécurité.
3. Malgré les progrès substantiels accomplis ces vingt dernières années, comme le démontre le présent rapport, le deuxième semestre 2015 et le début de l’année 2016 ont encore été marqués par de sérieuses difficultés qui ont entravé la protection des enfants touchés par un conflit armé. Les violations graves à leur encontre se sont intensifiées sur de nombreux terrains de conflit et la multiplication des acteurs engagés dans ces troubles a été très préoccupante. Les opérations aériennes transfrontalières menées par des coalitions internationales ou à titre individuel par des États Membres, notamment dans des zones habitées, ont créé des conditions très défavorables à la protection des enfants. L’échec collectif à prévenir et faire cesser les conflits a de graves conséquences pour les enfants, car des régions sont en proie à l’instabilité et les violations commises contre des enfants s’intensifient dans différentes zones de conflit. Ces violations sont la conséquence directe du peu d’intérêt apporté au respect des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire par les parties au conflit.
4. Les conflits prolongés ont des effets considérables sur les enfants. Selon l’Envoyé spécial pour la Syrie, le conflit en République arabe syrienne a causé la mort de plus de 400 000 personnes, dont des milliers d’enfants. En Afghanistan, on a dénombré en 2015 le plus grand nombre de victimes parmi les enfants depuis 2009, quand l’Organisation des Nations Unies a commencé à recenser systématiquement les victimes civiles. En Somalie, les enfants sont toujours en grand danger : le nombre de violations constatées ne semble pas diminuer en 2016 et des centaines d’enfants sont enlevés, enrôlés, utilisés, brutalement tués et mutilés. L’exemple du Soudan du Sud est l’un des plus inquiétants, car les enfants y ont été victimes des six violations graves, en particulier pendant les violentes offensives militaires contre les forces d’opposition. Le sort des enfants est très préoccupant en raison de la détérioration de la situation depuis juillet 2016. En Iraq, l’intensité des affrontements armés et des attaques visant les civils menés par l’État islamique d’Iraq et du Levant a causé la mort de milliers de civils, dont de nombreux enfants. Au Yémen, l’escalade continue du conflit s’est accompagnée d’un nombre alarmant d’enfants recrutés, tués et mutilés, mais aussi des attaques contre les écoles et les hôpitaux.
World: Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (A/71/205) [EN/AR]
Increasingly Complex Conflicts with Devastating Impact on Children, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Warns General Assembly in Annual Report
23 Aug 2016
New York – In her annual report to the General Assembly, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, highlighted the devastating impact on children of increasingly complex conflicts, despite concerted efforts and significant progress achieved over the past year.
“The impact on children of the collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, with regions in turmoil and violations against children intensifying in a number of conflicts,” Leila Zerrougui said in the report, which covers the period from August 2015 to July 2016. “The violations are directly related to the denigration of respect for international humanitarian and human rights law by parties to conflict.”
Emerging crises and protracted conflicts profoundly disrupted children’s lives during the reporting period. She noted that the proliferation of actors involved in armed conflict and cross-border aerial operations created highly complex environments for the protection of boys and girls. In 2015, and again in the first half of 2016, Afghanistan recorded the highest number of child deaths and injuries since the UN started systematically documenting civilian casualties in 2009. In Syria and Iraq, violence continued unabated. In South Sudan, following a year during which children were victims of brutal violations, hopes for improvement all but evaporated with the resumption of conflict last month. In Yemen, the escalation of conflict continued with alarming levels of child recruitment, killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals.
Twentieth anniversary of the children and armed conflict mandate
The report also takes stock of the achievements accomplished in the twenty years since the publication of Graça Machel’s report, “Impact of armed conflict on children,” which led to the creation of the mandate of the Special Representative by the General Assembly. Since 2000, over 115,000 children have been released as a result of action plans and advocacy. Engagement with non-State armed groups is growing and recently contributed to a historic agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP to release all children in the ranks of the FARC-EP.
The advocacy generated by this mandate, and reinforced by the campaign “Children, not Soldiers”, has led to a global consensus among Member States that children do not belong in security forces in conflict. This progress in addressing recruitment and use over the last 20 years has been built upon and utilized in work to reduce other grave violations, notably sexual violence and attacks on schools and hospitals.
In that regard, the new development agenda brings new opportunities to reinforce and create synergies with the child protection agenda. The Special Representative called on the General Assembly in her report to pay special attention to children affected by conflict to fulfil the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, she called for adequate resources for education in emergencies and for support to children disabled during conflict.
Protection challenges posed by violent extremism
Other issues addressed in the report to the General Assembly include the impact of violent extremism on children. During the reporting period, children were severely affected, and often the direct targets of acts intended to cause maximum civilian casualties. Recruitment and use of children, abductions and other grave violations were prevalent concerns as armed groups controlled large swaths of territory. The Special Representative urged Member States to avoid responding to these threats with operations that can “create or add to real or perceived grievances in the affected population.”
The report also states that increasingly large numbers of children have been arrested, detained, used as spies and for intelligence gathering, or even sometimes sentenced to death for their alleged association with parties to conflict.
“Detention of children should always be the last resort for the shortest time possible and guided by the best interests of the child. If they are accused of a crime during their association with armed groups, children should be processed by the juvenile justice system rather than by military or special courts,” said Leila Zerrougui.
Attacks on health care and protected personnel
In the past months, attacks on medical facilities, including aerial bombardments, have increased concerns over the protection of health care in conflict. This has severely disrupted access to lifesaving assistance for children growing up in conflict zones, and can have long-lasting consequences as it often takes years to rebuild capacity. The Special Representative calls on all parties to conflict to take clear measures to protect hospitals as outlined in the report.
Armed conflict has resulted not only in human casualties, but also in an ever growing number of displaced children. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, an unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced away from their homes among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are children. In the Report, the Special Representative encourages Member States and other partners to support initiatives to help displaced children rebuild their lives, particularly through ensuring that education is prioritised in emergency settings.
The Report ends with recommendations to the General Assembly and Member States, which include:
To ensure that Member States engagement in hostilities, including in efforts to counter violent extremism, are conducted in full compliance with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law
To highlight the rights of children displaced by conflict and the obligations of States of origin, transit and destination
To treat children allegedly associated with non-State armed groups as victims entitled to the full protection of their human rights
Encouraging Member States concerned by the “Children, not Soldiers” campaign to redouble their efforts to fully implement their Action Plan
To take appropriate measures to reintegrate children, giving special attention to the needs of girls
To ensure that special attention is paid to children affected by armed conflict in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Read the full report at: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N16/234/89/PDF/N1623489.pdf?OpenElement
For more information please contact:
Sharon Riggle or Stephanie Tremblay
Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict,
Tel: +1 212 963-9614 – Mobile: +1 917 288-5791
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Use the hashtag: #ChildrenNotSoldiers
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) has announced its plans to implement the gradual withdrawal of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) from the country from October 2018 until December 2020. The state-building project in Somalia is, however, far from complete. Al-Shabaab also remains a serious threat to the stability of the country and the region.
At the 27th African Union (AU) summit in July 2016, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui noted that ‘in October 2018 we will start the drawdown of AU forces in Somalia. Meanwhile we are going to conduct a very robust and collective attack at Jubba Valley so as to undermine and reduce al-Shabaab.’ Since the attacks against al-Shabaab by AMISOM and the Somali National Army (SNA) in 2014 and 2015, most of al-Shabaab’s forces are concentrated in Jubba Valley in southern Somalia. The planned offensive against the extremist group in this part of the country is therefore highly significant. Chergui added that the AU would also devote a lot of energy to the training of Somali forces ‘to prepare them to take over the responsibility of security in their own country’.
The exit plan follows Uganda’s planned withdrawal of its troops from AMISOM by December 2017 on the grounds of limited logistical and financial support. According to reports, AMISOM peacekeepers recently endured six months without pay. Although the PSC has renewed the mandate of AMISOM until 30 May 2017, the AU is faced with increasingly limited resources. This makes it difficult for peacekeepers to capture and consolidate areas recovered from al-Shabaab in its efforts to extend the state’s authority across Somalia. The European Union (EU), the major funding partner of the AU for AMISOM, has cut the AMISOM troop allowance by 20%. There is no doubt that the PSC’s 2020 exit plan is the result of resource challenges and the need for the Somali government to take full control of public services in the country.
But can the AU exit responsibly by 2020, in view of the arduous task of consolidating local support for the Somali government? It is not merely about the continued al-Shabaab insurgency or the inability of government forces to ensure stability in the region. An overview of the state of affairs in Somalia shows that the legitimacy of the state project in Somalia largely depends on the support of the international community. There is still a long way to go to consolidate local support for the Somali government.
AMISOM established to secure the transitional government
Since the collapse of the central government in Somalia in 1991, the international community has assumed a primary role in restoring an internationally recognised political order in the country. It took over a decade (1992–2004) to form the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2004, after more than 14 peace conferences. Initially the TFG could only operate from Kenya because it could not gain enough local support to move to Somalia. When the government eventually moved to Jowhar in Somalia, it was under the protection of a local warlord. In mid-2005 it moved to Baidoa, protected by Ethiopian forces backed by the United States (US).
The Islamic Courts Union (ICU) that became prominent in Mogadishu in the early 2000s was ousted by these Ethiopian forces in December 2006. The TFG then moved to the capital Mogadishu. However, the routing of the ICU led to the birth of al-Shabaab, which remains the bane of state order and security in Somalia. AMISOM was established to help secure officials and government installations in 2007, but the mission gradually revised its strategic priorities to capturing regions controlled by al-Shabaab so as to extend the state’s authority. The AU has made remarkable progress in Somalia. This includes driving out al-Shabaab from key areas of Mogadishu and supporting the establishment of a federal government in 2012 under a new constitution.
Volatile security context
However, as reported by the AU Commission, the security situation in Somalia remains volatile. ‘A significant portion of Somalia remains under the control of al-Shabaab and the recovery of the entire territory of the country still requires a significant sustained effort.’ Although AMISOM has made progress in capturing areas from al-Shabaab, the Somali government has thus far been unable to consolidate such gains through the provision of security and services to the recaptured regions. This has led to numerous attacks on AMISOM and al-Shabaab’s retake of recovered areas.
A number of analysts contend that the international community has imposed its version of a state on locals and that limited ownership of the state project in Somalia continues to foster local allegiance to militant groups such as al-Shabaab. US-based security experts Bronwyn E Bruton and Paul D Williams note that ‘al-Shabaab was not an insurgency; it held sway over more than 90 percent of southern Somalia’s territory, delivered some important human services, provided security, collected taxes, and was tolerated by the public, albeit often because collaboration was perceived as being the least worst option … AMISOM’s de facto mission was to install an unelected government that controlled no territory, delivered no services, provided no security to the public, and was broadly perceived by its own citizens as illegitimate.’
Although the AU ‘prioritizes territorial recovery and consolidation’ in the period leading up to 2020, AMISOM and its international partners can only exit responsibly if there is local ownership of the state project in Somalia.
Has the state given Somalis enough reason to pledge allegiance to it?
Since independence in 1960 the successive governments in Somalia have been unable to gain the sustained trust of the local population. Corruption, nepotism and political oppression were hallmarks of leadership in Somalia from the civilian regime in the 1960s to General Siad Barre’s regime and on to the TFG era. Concerns about returning to an oppressive and dysfunctional state structure are thought to be among the reasons for the protracted state collapse in Somalia. With the new government, leadership issues remain a huge concern given the in-fighting and continued reports of corrupt political officials.
Some analysts such as the Addis Ababa-based Dereje Seyoum hold that the weaknesses of the Somali state reflect the reluctance of some Somali elites to work diligently for stability and development, because they benefit from the political economy of state fragility and instability in Somalia. This, he argues is because the international community has made state building a lucrative business for the elites through an excessive focus on these elites. The 2015 UN High-Level Panel on Peace Operations also bemoans the fact that ‘the focus of peace processes and state-building efforts tends to be on the capital and on a small political and civil service elites’.
How can local support for the state be consolidated?
To gain locals’ buy-in in the state project in Somalia, the international community needs to nurture and redirect the Somali government to become accountable and efficient, not only for the sake of donors but also for the local population from whom it seeks to draw legitimacy. This entails professionalising public servants and challenging the state to pursue local development rather than remaining over-reliance on foreign aid. The government should keep civil society informed about the state of affairs and create platforms for local actors to critique and influence government activities. Such actions will encourage a better relationship between the state and the Somali population.
In view of the upcoming elections in October, Somalia needs statesmen and -women who can reverse locals’ negative image of state governance. The government will also have to improve socio-political and economic institutions to unite Somalis and direct allegiance to the government.
Furthermore, a number of other issues need to be addressed in Somalia. This includes addressing the nature of the central government’s relationship with self-declared autonomous regions such as Somaliland and Jubbaland. Added to this, it is in the interests of regional states in Somalia that a compromise between Somali actors and regional actors be attained to address historical grievances.
The comment by Uganda's Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem in June this year, on announcing Uganda’s withdrawal, should be kept in mind by AMISOM and its international partners when devising their exit strategy. ‘We went there with a view of clearing and getting rid of the terrorism in Somalia, we did not go there to be Somalis. We should re-examine the mission and the objective of the mission,’ he said.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) has embarked on a countrywide series of training workshops for local journalists on the forthcoming electoral process in Somalia.
The first of the two-day workshops ended in Mogadishu today. Similar trainings are scheduled to be carried out in Baidoa, Kismaayo, Cadaado, Belet Weyne and Garowe.
UNSOM spokesperson Joseph Contreras described the 2016 electoral process as one of the most complicated elections in recent years and said the workshops are designed to help explain the unique process.
The spokesperson said the United Nations views this year’s electoral process as a vital stepping stone towards one-person, one-vote elections in 2020 and a major improvement over the process held in Somalia in 2012.
Topics addressed during the inaugural training included tips and techniques for covering the electoral process, the electoral calendar, the UN role in the process and a draft code of conduct for journalists.
Contreras said the UN is providing logistical and technical support and political expertise to the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) and the State Indirect Electoral Implementation Teams (SIEITs) at their request to facilitate implementation of the electoral process.
Some of the participating journalists discussed the challenges they expect to face in covering the electoral process.
Bishara Abdirasahid Ahmed asked about a central location where media personnel could obtain information when the voting for members of parliament and the president commences.
“Personally, I expect to learn how to report on elections since I will be involved. Some of the challenges relate to who will give information to journalists and who has the final decision on the electoral process,” Bishara said.
“I was involved in the 2012 process and I expect this year’s to be different,” said journalist Muna Mohamed Gedi “Since it will happen in many towns other than Mogadishu, the media must have capacity to report on the process.”
In contrast to the 2012 electoral process, this year’s voting will involve many more Somalis and take place in regional and state capitals as well as Mogadishu.
“The forthcoming process will involve Somalis of all walks of life and sectors,” journalist Farrah Abdi Warsame observed.
He added that since the electoral process will be carried in all of the six states of Somalia, many expect the members of the next parliament will be more representative and of a higher caliber.
The training is being organized by the Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Group of UNSOM with the support of consultants to equip journalists with the needed skills to report on the electoral process.