Somalia - ReliefWeb News
03/15/2014 12:14 GMT
MOGADISHU, March 15, 2014 (AFP) - A car bomb went off on Saturday in central Mogadishu near a hotel popular with government officials and businessmen, injuring at least one person, police and witnesses said.
"There was a car bomb explosion near the rear gate of the Maka Al Mukarama hotel. It seems that the car was parked there loaded with explosives but we are still investigating casualties", police officer Mohamed Mire told AFP.
Witnesses told AFP that casualties were carried from the scene of the blast, but it was not clear if they were injured or dead.
Police confirmed at least one person was injured in the blast, which appeared to target the hotel, popular with government officials and businessmen who have returned home after years abroad.
"It was a really big explosion and the street was busy when it happened," said Hussein Issa, who witnessed the blast.
The hotel was hit by a car bomb in November that left several people dead and the area around the hotel has also been targeted several times recently.
In February alone, major attacks in Mogadishu have included a car bomb at the gates of the airport, a major suicide attack on the presidential palace and a car bombing on a cafe close to the intelligence headquarters.
No party has so far claimed responsibility but similar attacks in the past have been claimed by the Shebab, the Al-Qaeda-linked group which African Union troops are battling in Somalia.
In the latest advance against the Shebab, Somali government forces backed by African Union troops on Thursday captured the small town of Buula Burde, in the southern Hiran region bordering Ethiopia.
- Security situation 'deteriorated' -
News of Saturday's car bomb sparked angry comments on Twitter that the army should concentrate on completely securing Mogadishu rather than on fighting the Islamists elsewhere in the country.
Hardline Shebab insurgents once controlled most of southern and central Somalia but withdrew from fixed positions in Mogadishu two years ago.
However, guerrilla units stage regular deadly attacks in the capital, and also claimed responsibility for last year's deadly attack in neighbouring Kenya, when commandos stormed the upmarket Westgate mall, shooting shoppers and hurling grenades.
Government and AU troops have also come under repeated hit-and-run attacks in rural areas surrounding the settlements they capture.
After a series of sweeping victories in 2012, the AU force AMSIOM had remained largely static, hampered by limited troops and air power.
But the UN-mandated force launched a new offensive earlier this month against the Islamist fighters, after Ethiopian soldiers joined to push troop numbers to some 22,000.
The UN's envoy to Somalia, Nicholas Kay, this week told the Security Council the offensive would be "the most significant and geographically extensive military advance" since AMISOM started operations in 2007.
But Kay also warned the security situation in the capital Mogadishu had "deteriorated" in the last three months.
Recent Shebab attacks in the capital have targeted key areas of government or the security forces, in an apparent bid to discredit claims by the authorities that they are winning the war against them.
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
The data table below is as of 12 March 2014
- In Cameroon, two new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases are reported this week, from 2014. The new cases confirm continued transmission of this strain and geographic expansion of infected areas following detection of four cases in October.
- Newsweek Pakistan published an in-depth interview with Dr Hamid Jafari, WHO, about the current situation of polio eradication in Pakistan. The interview can be accessed here.
DADAAB, Kenya, March 13 (UNHCR) – Six years ago, Muuxi Adam met two friends in a coffee shop in the Canadian city of Winnipeg to talk about ways they could help other Somalis stuck in refugee camps in Africa.
The three, all Somali but from different clans, started by setting up a non-governmental organization, Humankind International, to spread awareness about Somali refugees in neighbouring countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia, and to raise money for education projects for refugees.
In February, their initiative took concrete form with the opening of a pre-school in the Dagahaley camp, part of the world's largest refugee camp complex at Dadaab in north-east Kenya. "More than 400 children lined up to enrol in the school, but we could only take 140 for now," Muuxi told UNHCR at the recent opening ceremony. He added that half were from the camp and half from the host community.
The school has three teachers, two from the refugee community and one local Kenyan. CARE International, UNHCR's partner for primary education in Dagahaley, has connected the school to a regular water supply.
"This is one of my greatest moments in life," said Muuxi, who grew up and suffered in war-torn Somalia before becoming separated from his family and making his way in 2004 to Toronto in Canada, where he is now a citizen.
He first gained inspiration for an education project after tracking down and visiting his mother in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. While there, he met an eight-year-old refugee and asked him about school. He was shocked when the boy told him he could not go to school. That was the seed which was watered in the Winnipeg café with his fellow Somalis, who had both lived in Dadaab.
Muuxi, who is aged in his late 20s, said his NGO had spent US$35,000 on the Dadaab school, but he was confident of raising more funds through Humankind International. "Our target is to sponsor 120 refugees every year," he said, while adding: "What is important is that the school is now open to benefit the community."
Ahmed Warsame, the ethnic Somali head of UNHCR operations at Dadaab, said it was "great to witness the extraordinary efforts made by former refugees to help their communities to alleviate human suffering." Warsame, coincidentally also a Canadian citizen from Winnipeg, pledged UNHCR support for the school through the provision of equipment and learning materials.
The refugee agency supports other primary and secondary initiatives at Dadaab, which is home to some 350,000 registered refugees.
By Duke Mwancha in Dadaab, Kenya
Human Rights Council
During its noon session, the Human Rights Council continued its clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children, Ms. Marta Santo Pais, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui. A summary of the first part of the dialogue, including presentations by the Special Representatives, can be read here.
In the discussion, the specific vulnerability of some children, such as migrants, girls or children with disabilities, had to be taken into account, speakers said. Governments were urged to pay more attention to child trafficking, which was a crime against humanity and a true form of slavery, a speaker said. States had to comprehensively prevent school violence, another speaker said. Questions were put to Ms. Santo Pais on how her recommendations could be integrated into their national systems, how to involve children and young people in consultative processes and what improvements could be made for children specifically under conditions of prolonged foreign occupation. The importance of promoting partnership, coordination and technical assistance among the international, regional, and specialized stakeholders in fighting violence against children was stressed.
In statements on children and armed conflict, some delegations highlighted the plight of children in the Syria conflict where since the civil war began three years ago more than ten thousand boys and girls had been killed and more than 1.2 million had become refugees. The situation of children in Central African Republic conflict was also raised as a cause for deep concern. Measures to end the recruitment of child soldiers in Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen were discussed. Several speakers referenced the new Arms Trade Treaty, which could be a key tool in protection of children in conflicts. Concern was expressed about reports of sexual violence committed against children in armed conflict and the military use of schools, which was often underreported. The importance of restorative justice programs for child offenders was noted, as the need for reintegration and rehabilitation of children who had taken part in armed conflicts.
Speaking in the discussion were Palestine, Costa Rica, Angola, International Development Law Organization, Lithuania, Albania, Belgium, Mexico, Morocco, Syria, Ireland, United States, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ireland, Ecuador, United Arab Emirates, Holy See, Germany, Djibouti, South Africa, Nepal, France, Argentina, Thailand, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Luxembourg, Malta, International Committee of the Red Cross, China, Switzerland, Sudan, South Sudan, Monaco, Indonesia, Russia, Viet Nam, Botswana, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea, Armenia, Egypt and Bahrain.
The Network for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Latin America and Institute of the Commissioner for Human Rights of Azerbaijan also took the floor.
Qatar, Syria, Armenia and Azerbaijan spoke in the right of reply.
The Council will continue its annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child this afternoon, holding at 3 p.m. a panel discussion on empowering children to claim their rights.
The Council has before it the annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui (A/HRC/25/46).
The Council has before it the annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children (A/HRC/25/47).
Clustered Interactive Dialogue
Palestine regretted that despite outcries by the international community, civil society and world public opinion, Israel continued to ignore its obligations under international law, and Palestinian children continued to be victims of Israel’s illegal policies, and practices of assault, harassment and intimidation by Israeli settlers. Palestine asked what improvement could be made for children specifically under conditions of prolonged foreign occupation. Costa Rica welcomed the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty in April 2013 and called on the international community to ratify it, as it would be a key tool in protection of children in conflicts because weapons indirectly or directly gave rise to serious acts of violations against women and children. Angola said it had made child protection its priority for 2013 to 2017, reinforced the capacities of the National Institute of the Child, created the National Council for Children and enacted a series of laws guaranteeing the protection of children and on education programmes. As a president of the Great Lakes Region, it had made efforts to bring about peaceful settlements of the conflicts in the region, cooperating with the countries concerned and the United Nations to demobilize and prevent the use of minors in armed conflict.
International Development Law Organization said access to justice was crucial to the enjoyment of children’s rights. In practice, even where an abused child had a right to vindicate his or her rights, he or she would not identify it as a rights violation. Lithuania said it considered action plans as a key tool to end recruitment of children, but their implementation required political will as well as resources and systemic engagement with non-state actors. Lithuania encouraged the Special Rapporteur to conclude action plans with non-state armed groups and appreciated attention to the use of schools by military. Albania said it was deeply concerned by the reports of sexual violence committed against children in armed conflict which were often underreported. It reiterated that the International Criminal Court played a critical role in fighting immunity, although serious crimes should primarily dealt with by the national judicial systems.
Belgium expressed support for the inclusion of the elimination of all forms of violence against girls in the post-2015 development agenda and said different mechanisms of restorative justice were available in juvenile proceedings at a national level. While welcoming progress in addressing the situation of children in armed conflict, Belgium expressed dismay at ongoing acts of sexual violence committed against children, as well as for attacks against schools and hospitals. Mexico said that full respect for the rights of children had to be founded on conditions of peace and were particularly violent during armed conflict, it spoke of its hopes for the Arms Trade Treaty and supported national and international measures to reintegrated children who had took part in armed conflict. Morocco expressed concerned about the situation of children who continued to be victims of serious violations to their fundamental rights in situations of armed conflict. Morocco stressed the need for financial resources to sustain national projects.
Syria said it had cooperated with the Special Representative and presented information about crimes committed by terrorists groups; it was dismayed by the accusation concerning alleged acts committed by the Government. Ms. Zerrougui had not been objective but, rather, had decided to name and shame Syria, putting into question the value of cooperation with the mandate holder. Syria also condemned the allegations of the Qatari delegations, made as the country continued to support terrorist activities. Peru said it had adopted an array of measures, such as the creation of a registry to provide statistical information, an emergency hotline, and special units for child victims of abuse. It asked how the Council could best address the negative consequences of arms transfers on human rights in situations of armed conflict. United States recalled States’ responsibilities to keep children safe. It remained deeply concerned about the situation in Syria, where since the civil war began more than ten thousand boys and girls had been killed and more than 1.2 million had become refugees. The United States also expressed concerned about the use of child soldiers in Somalia and minors fleeing the Central African Republic. It agreed on the importance of restorative justice programs for child offenders.
Democratic Republic of the Congo said that children’s rights in the country were under threat because of numerous armed conflicts, and the Government had to combat violations such as child enlistment in armed forces and mines and their use as sexual slaves and human shields. Perpetrators of grave violations of children’s rights did not benefit from amnesty and could not be members of armed or police forces. Ireland agreed that restorative justice and informal conflict resolution mechanisms could play an important role in the protection and reintegration of children; they should not preclude children from accessing formal justice system and should never jeopardize their rights. Ireland asked about progress made in the implementation of the action plan for the Democratic Republic of the Congo to end the recruitment and use of children by national security forces, and sexual violence. Ecuador said its constitution recognized child rights as essential elements in the construction of democracy and inclusive society and had adopted the National Agenda for Intergenerational Equality which provided for shared responsibility between the State and family.
United Arab Emirates said that the evidence of mistreatment and ill treatment of children in the report of the Special Rapporteur was alarming, and that very few denounced the violations and very few perpetrators were held accountable. Violence against children could not be addressed without taking into account the context in which they grew up.
Holy See expressed concern about the lack of understanding of the dimensions of crimes of sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and called for more attention by governments to human trafficking, which was a crime against humanity and a true form of slavery. Family breakdown was a serious contributing factor to the violence against children and the international community must enact suitable policies to support and strengthen family. Germany said that children today remained a deliberate target of violence and welcomed the increased number of ratifications of the Optional Protocol on children in armed conflict. Germany was deeply concerned about increasing attacks on hospitals and schools in conflict-affected areas, most notably in Syria and asked about practical activities that could be undertaken by parties to conflict to reduce the military use of schools.
Djibouti said that the protection of children was one of its main concerns. It was pleased to have been among the first countries to have ratified the Convention on the rights of the child and was trying to implement recommendations issued by the Committee. South Africa said the work of law enforcement officers in protecting the most vulnerable had been strengthened through the establishment of a special offenses court. Restorative justice remained key in the context of juvenile justice. Child trafficking remained a threat to society worldwide and South Africa adopted single status to deal with trafficking holistically and comprehensively. Nepal said that violence committed against children was a threat to society, justice, sustainable development and inclusive democracy. Nepal had undertaken legal, policy, and institutional measures for the prevention and elimination of violence against children, including the explicit criminalization of all forms of violence. Significant progress in rehabilitating and reintegrating conflict affected children after the official end of the ten year armed conflict had also been made.
France welcomed progress in the area, ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and highlighted the need for national strategies. Regarding restorative justice, it asked the Special Rapporteur to provide examples of good practice. Sexual violence was in particularly a cause of concern. France called on all States to support the Paris Principles. Argentina attached importance to the protection of children and their rights. Argentina’s legal system reaffirmed the rights of boys, girls and adolescents to physical and moral integrity. Argentina said the recruitment of child soldiers was unacceptable and stressed its concern about attacks to schools and hospitals. Rehabilitation programmes which sought to avoid repeated victimization and recruitment were necessary. Thailand agreed that in protecting children from violence, including when children were involved in the criminal justice system, it was necessary to take gender- and child-sensitive approaches that placed human dignity at the heart. Thailand had amended its juvenile and family court and procedures act in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and established training centres based on the concept of restorative justice.
Côte d'Ivoire said that sadly armed conflict continued to destroy the lives of children and threaten their rights. Despite the threat, there was progress in the fight against children in armed conflict. Côte d'Ivoire took note of the concerns raised about sexual violence against girls and the way the justice system handled such cases. Luxembourg said that throughout the world thousands of children continued to be abducted, killed, abused, raped or deprived of their education. The recent Security Council resolution that highlighted the dramatic situation of children in Syria should encourage all parties and the authorities of Damascus especially to do everything they could to ensure that humanitarian access was allowed to all the populations that required it, especially children.
International Committee of the Red Cross said that in some contexts, children were unlawfully recruited by armed forces or armed groups while at school and as a result, parents may keep their children at home and teachers may stop coming to work. It had followed with interest initiatives to prevent schools and universities from becoming part of the battlefield. Sovereign Military Order of Malta said that numerous international law instruments, universal and regional, protected children against violence. Implementation of those standards was the direct responsibility of States individually and collectively. The fundamental role of families in preventing violence and reintegrating child victims of violence was stressed, as well as the importance of restorative justice.
China said it had taken comprehensive measures at the legislative and judicial levels and condemned all violence against children. The Government continued to improve specific systems of protection for the most vulnerable children from violence and threat of violence and supported the concept of restorative justice. Togo said that since 2007 it had a Children’s Code that protected children against all forms of violence. Togo realized that certain social and cultural practices did exist that directly affected the rights of children, such as child marriage, infanticide, female genital mutilation and so-called sorcery children.
Switzerland said that the report of the Special Representative on violence against children demonstrated that there were ways of protecting the rights of children in the judicial system. How did Ms. Pais suggest integrating her recommendations in national systems and how did she intend to involve children and young people in consultative processes at the national level? The reintegration of victims of sexual violence was a particular challenge. Sudan said children in Sudan were one of the most vulnerable groups and had been included in texts adopted nationally such as those criminalizing and prohibiting the recruitment of children for military operations. A minimum age for entering the military had been set at 18 years, and there was a database registering demobilized child soldiers. Rebel groups continued to practice adoption and forced mobilization, which was forcing Sudan to pull its efforts to bring those groups back to the negotiating table. South Sudan spoke about its strategy of demilitarization of child soldiers, which started in 2001 when Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army became the first rebel movement globally to initiate demobilization of children, with approximately 18,000 children demobilised by 2004. South Sudan welcomed the guidelines on the military use of schools. In 2012 South Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army issued a military directive on the protection of the child.
Monaco stressed that children constituted a priority for the Principality of Monaco. Legislation adopted in 2007 reinforced the combat of crimes and offenses against children. In 2011 additional legislation addressed prevention and elimination of violence. Indonesia, alongside Norway and the Special Representative, said it was at the forefront of the promotion of restorative justice for children, with the view that it was imperative to shift from a retributive to a restorative approach. Russia hoped that interaction between the Special Representative and Syria would be strengthened and would allow Syria to implement a series of recommendations. Russia acknowledged measures taken by Syria to soften the impact of the conflict on children, including preventing their participation in conflict operations. It called on the Special Representative to note violations committed by terrorist groups which qualified as war crimes.
Viet Nam said a comprehensive approach to prevent children from being affected by armed conflict should include sustainable development, poverty eradication, the rule of law and respect for human rights, reintegration and rehabilitation of children. Botswana welcomed the new commitments to end the recruitment and use of children in Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Yemen. It lamented continued deprivation of children of their right to life, physical integrity and basic social and economic rights in prolonged conflicts such as in Syria and the Central African Republic. Venezuela said it had established specialized mechanisms to guarantee rights for all persons on its territory and its children could count on the effective application of the Organic Law for the Protection of Children and Adolescents.
Equatorial Guinea considered the integration of restorative justice into the protection of children was a model for conflict resolution. In terms of seeking true participation of children, the availability of social structures should be combined with development goals.
Armenia stressed the need to promote restorative justice for children, for which it had set up thirteen Community Rehabilitation Centres in different regions in the country facilitating reintegration of juveniles. It underlined the authorities of Azerbaijan had responsibility to provide accountability for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in connection with displacement of Armenians in the late 1980s and 1990s. Egypt highlighted the need to attain the full potential of partnerships between Governments and civil society in areas of awareness-raising, addressing root causes or supporting useful models of restorative justice, the importance of family as the fundamental unit of society for prevention of violence and of updating national plans of action, as well as recognizing specific vulnerability of some children to violence. Bahrain was thankful for the highlighting of the urgent need to put an end to violence against children, all forms of which Bahrain condemned. International cooperation had to be strengthened to put an end to violence against children and end impunity.
Network for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Latin America said that violence against children was a main debt being incurred against the coming generations. States had to promote a comprehensive approach to the prevention of school violence against boys, girls and adolescents. Violence between peers was a major problem for boys, girls and adolescents. Institute of the Commissioner for Human Rights of Azerbaijan said people worldwide had hoped that the twenty-first century would bring mankind peace, security and prosperity, but unfortunately numerous natural and manmade disasters, wars, armed conflicts, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing resulted in huge loss of life and gross violations of human rights, with women and children suffering first. All children were our children, it said.
Right of Reply
Qatar, speaking in the right of reply, said that it seemed the Syrian delegation was playing a comedy in the Council and their statement distorted the real state of affairs. The international community had turned its back on the Syrian regime because of credible reports condemning the horrible violations and assassinations of those who were demanding their liberty. Why had the Syrian delegation ignored the fact that several thousand children had been forcibly displaced, along with their families? The only thing uniting both countries today was their presence in this room. Qatar would support the Syrian people.
Syria, speaking in the right of reply, said that the Qatari delegation had demonstrated the hypocrisy of a Government that had spared no financial effort to support terrorist organizations committing atrocities and taking the lives of children. Qatar was shedding crocodile tears while claiming to be part of the international community’s condemnation, it said. Responding to the statement made by the United States, Syria said it condemned its insistence on continuing to spread lies and support terrorist groups. If the United States was sincere about the desire to put an end to the plight of the Syrian people they could contribute by ending hostilities and the sanctions that restricted the Syrian people’s access to food and medicines.
Armenia, speaking in the right of reply, said that it was deeply concerned that the lives of children had become a tool for manipulation. Armenia had reiterated many times its readiness to hold an investigation into the mentioned cases, and the fact that such an independent investigation had not been conducted and had been avoided by Azerbaijan demonstrated who stood behind those violations and false accusations.
Azerbaijan, speaking in the right of reply, said it was regrettable that Armenian officials used Council sessions for groundless statements. It was a well-known fact that it continued to suffer as a result of Armenian aggression. The legality of the separatist entity by Armenia in Azerbaijan had been repeatedly stated at the international level and had not been recognized. Armenian officials continued to lie and mislead the international community.
Qatar, speaking in a second right of reply, said it was tired of the irony and attitude of Syria over the past three years, and its distortion of reality. The rights of the Syrian people continued to be violated by the current terrorist regime. The international community should shoulder its responsibilities and ensure respect for the rights of a people suffering under the yoke of oppression and systematic killings. Qatar and the international community would work to ensure those rights were upheld.
Armenia, speaking in a second right of reply, recalled that Nagorno-Karabakh had formed part of historical Armenia for many years. The territory had been integrated into Azerbaijan illegally through a violent process. Armenia had never been part of the Soviet Union, but an independent state recognized by the international community. The territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh had become a buffer zone.
Syria, speaking in a second right of reply, said that the philosophy behind freedom, democracy and the aspirations of people in rebellion which everyone kept hearing about from representatives of the Qatari authorities all fell to the ground when its interference into the affairs of Syria and of other Gulf States was looked at. Terrorism and massacres in Syria were ending its future.
Azerbaijan, speaking in a second right of reply, said that Armenia’s statement was once again based on falsified facts and anecdotes. It was an abuse of the right to speak. It was curious that Armenia had the insolence to speak about peace and human rights. Armenia had purged both its own country and Azerbaijan of all non-Armenians, it said.
For use of the information media; not an official record
World: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson (A/HRC/25/59) (Advance Edited Version)
Human Rights Council Twenty-fifth session
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
This is the third annual report submitted to the Human Rights Council by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson.
In chapter II of the report, the Special Rapporteur lists his key activities undertaken from 10 January to 16 December 2013. In chapter III, the Special Rapporteur examines the use of remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, in extraterritorial lethal counter-terrorism operations, including in the context of asymmetrical armed conflict, and allegations that the increasing use of remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, has caused a disproportionate number of civilian casualties, and makes recommendations to States. The present report constitutes the continuation of the Special Rapporteur’s interim report on the use of drones to the General Assembly (A/68/389).
South Sudan: Communiqué of the 25th Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on the Situation in South Sudan
ADDIS ABABA, 13th March 2014
The IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held its 25th Extra-Ordinary Summit on 13th March 2014 in Addis Ababa, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and current Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly to discuss the situation in the Republic of South Sudan.
Somalia: Less Than Three Years After Famine Gripped Somalia’s Breadbasket, Somali Farmers Bounce Back
WFP purchases more than 2 million metric tons of food every year worldwide. At least three-quarters of it comes from developing countries. This is because WFP's policy is to buy food as close as possible to where it is needed. By buying locally WFP helps sustain local economies, reduces transport times and saves money.
MOGADISHU– For the first time, Somali farmers are turning themselves into suppliers of high-quality food assistance, which WFP will use to support their fellow Somali people.
Agricultural communities – especially in south-central Somalia, the country’s grain basket – have, over the last two decades, been severely affected by conflict and recurrent drought, which has resulted in the widespread failure of crops and poor yields. WFP and partners are working with local farmers to change that.
For over 12 months, experts from WFP and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have worked with dozens of farmers in several communities. The farmers were trained in post-harvest handling, storage and warehouse management in a bid to increase the quality of their production and limit losses by keeping the grain free of contamination and pests. Farmers also learned how to grade their grain.
“We learned a lot from the technical training. Before, we never used to grade harvested maize accordingly but this exercise taught us the importance of grading and marketing,” said Nafisa Haji Shukri, one of the farmers who received training.
The farmers now produce maize to international quality standards in sufficient quantities to sell to WFP. With the funding from the government of Austria, WFP purchased 200 metric tons of high-quality maize that will be used to provide food assistance to people working to build and restore community infrastructure in WFP food-for-assets projects in Somalia.
“This is a historic day; the purchase by WFP sends a message to the world that Somali farmers can produce maize that’s comparable to other East African countries. We thank WFP for giving us this opportunity to prove ourselves,” said Hagi Shukri Ahmed, the Chairman of the farming co-operative.
WFP Country Representative Stefano Porretti described the initiative “as a significant achievement for the participating farmers” and a milestone for WFP’s operations in Somalia.
“Strengthening livelihoods and increasing resiliency is an integral part of WFP’s strategy in Somalia,” Porretti added. “WFP will continue to support small-scale farmers in Somalia by empowering them to produce and sell more food, so as to become competitive players in local markets.”
According to food production data, Somali farmers only meet 40 percent of the country’s domestic cereal demand. FAO and WFP will jointly seek to scale up this initiative to ensure that small scale farmers have better opportunities to access agricultural markets, to become competitive players in domestic and international food trade and thus to improve their lives.
The Humanitarian Compendium provides a comprehensive overview of IOM humanitarian projects for 2014 in coordination with other humanitarian partners and agencies.
The anticipated military offensive by the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to recover Al Shabaab controlled areas in southern and central Somalia has begun. The operation is expected to directly affect scores of districts and regions in southern and central Somalia.
- In Bakool, SNAF/AMISOM forces started moving to key towns including Rab Dhuure, Xudur and Waajid around 5 March. The majority of main towns in Bakool have reportedly been taken by SNAF/AMISOM forces with the exception of Tayeeglow and surrounding villages. Reportedly, Al Shabaab moved back to Rab Dhuure two days after it was taken when SNAF/AMISOM troops left the village for Waajid. Further details are unknown at this stage
- In Gedo, Ethiopian-led AMISOM troops moved south along the Juba River, having reclaimed Buur Dhuubo.
- In Lower Shabelle, SNAF/AMISOM troops moved towards Qoryooley en route to Baraawe. Some locations on the way were reportedly vacated without resistance.
- In Galgaduud, SNAF/AMISOM forces moved to Dhuusamarreeb on 10 March according to reports by local authorities in Guri Ceel and Dhuusamarreeb. The increased movement of forces to Dhuusamarreeb confirms that the offensive is underway. Civilians have continued to move out of the considered hot spots. Numbers are not yet known.
- In Hiraan, reports indicate that Al Shabaab engaged in a hit-and-run attack on 10 March on SNAF/AMISOM forces in the outskirts of Belet Weyne town. Al Shabaab leaders are reportedly mobilizing communities within their strongholds against the military operation.
It is estimated that 3 million people live in the districts and regions, which may be directly affected by the military operation. While the situation remains fluid, an estimated 6,000 people have arrived in Baidoa in Bay region, the main recipient location so far.
According to an inter-agency assessment on 5 March in Baidoa, 1,700 displaced people had arrived from Diinsoor in Bay and Xudur in Bakool in February. The movements were mostly preemptive and people moved due to fear of attacks. By 12 March, an additional 4,300 displaced people, mainly from Waajid and Xudur in Bakool, were reported to have arrived in Baidoa. People have also been reported to have been displaced in the nearby towns of Xudur, Waajid, and Tayeeglow, but numbers are not confirmed. Those arriving in Baidoa said that threats by Al Shabaab were prime motives for moving.
According to the District Commissioner of Xudur and a local NGO, about 700 families were moving behind SNAF/AMISOM convoys as they made their way from Ceel Barde to Xudur. It is reported that many of these families were original inhabitants of Xudur, who fled prior to the Ethiopian National Defense Force’s withdrawal from Xudur in March 2013, and took the current offensive as an opportunity to return.
Humanitarian response and coordination:
The newly displaced people in Baidoa started receiving shelter and household items on 11 March, with 650 families receiving supplies according to the Shelter Cluster focal point in Baidoa. Another 350 household kits are to be distributed by 13 March. Shelter, water, food and health services remain the immediate needs for the displaced in Baidoa and those fleeing towns in Bakool region to surrounding villages, as well as those returning to liberated towns in Bakool, according to humanitarian partners.
Humanitarian access due to the volatile security situation remains a major challenge. Humanitarian partners are working to determine urgent needs, mapping supplies in the various hubs and how to best respond. All humanitarian assistance is based on assessed needs and is guided by the humanitarian principles of: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence. It is hoped that if the military operation leads to the establishment of proper administrative structures in the newly controlled areas, it may provide an opportunity for humanitarian organizations to have a safe and predictable access to people in need in those areas.
Advocacy focused on ensuring compliance to international humanitarian law, human rights law and other applicable standards is ongoing with SNAF/AMISOM, based on the draft of the Somalia Humanitarian Country Team guidelines for provision of humanitarian assistance and protection of civilians in the context of armed conflict.
1) Heavy downpours over the past few weeks have caused the overflowing of the Licungo River across the Zambezia province of northern Mozambique. The flooding has negatively affected the livelihoods of many residents of the Namacura and Maganja da Costa districts. Light rains are expected during the next week, which could sustain oversaturation and worsen conditions on the ground.
2) Heavy rains over the past two to three weeks have resulted in destroyed houses, damaged infrastructure, and displaced local residents over the Kitwe region of north-central Zambia. The forecast heavy rains during the next outlook period maintain elevated risks for localized flooding over many areas of the region.
3) Widespread, torrential rains fell across eastern Southern Africa, resulting in flooding, infrastructure damages, and loss of lives over many areas of the Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and Johannesburg of South Africa; and surge of the Incomati River of southern Mozambique during the past week. Abundant rains are forecast to continue during the next week, potentially worsening ground conditions.
On 10 November 2013, the State of Puntland in Somalia was hit by a tropical cyclone, followed by very heavy rains and flash floods. An estimated 20,300 households (approximate 142,000 people) in Nugaal and Bari region have been affected, with over 8,500 households being worst hit. Livelihoods were severely destructed, and local pastoralists have lost up to 90 percent of their entire livestock. According to an updated report from Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and UN Food and agricultural organization (FAO), many families living in Nugaal and Bari region are still experiencing acute food security crisis as a negative impact after the cyclone hit.
This cyclone is considered as one of the many silent disasters around the world which has difficulties to catch the attention of international headlines. Limited support could be mobilized to provide essential humanitarian aid which hindered sufficient resources to fulfill the humanitarian needs.
International Red Cross Actions
The International Red Cross is working closely with the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) to provide relief and early recovery assistance to those affected by the cyclone, and is seeking a total of HK$21 million globally to assist 3,300 households (approximate 23,100 people). To date, the following activities have been carried out:
Provided health services for over 5,700 persons through the deployment of four mobile health teams;
Provided vaccination for measles as well pentavalent vaccines (Note: The “five-in-one” pentavalent vaccine protects children from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) which causes pneumonia and meningitis.) to 143 children;
Distributed 600 mosquito nets to 300 households;
Organized hygiene awareness campaigns on prevention of diarrhoea, reaching 600 households in Nugaal region;
Distributed non-food items, including kitchen sets, mosquito nets, blankets, tarpaulins, sleeping mats and jerry cans to 300 households in nomadic settlements.
*Hong Kong Red Cross Actions**
The Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) has mobilized approximately HK$2.2 million supporting Somali Red Crescent Society and International Red Cross actions. The amount is used to provide one month essential full food package (50 kg of rice, 25 kg of beans, 25 kg of wheat flour and 10 litres of cooking oil per family per per month) for 1,950 cyclone affected households (approximately 13,650 people) in Bari region.
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Somalia: Briefing to the UN Security Council by Ambassador Nicholas Kay, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, 11 March 2014
Madam President, Members of the Council
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to brief the Council from Mogadishu today, and for your continued support to Somalia’s peace-building and state-building. I am on the ground in Mogadishu and not with you in New York due to the intensity of events at this moment. I hope you understand.
The best hope for peace and stability in Somalia, the Horn of Africa and beyond remains a united, secure and federal Somalia. This is achievable. Somalia can reach its goal of an agreed constitution, a nation-wide electoral process and increased security by 2016. But times are tough, and in the short term may get tougher. Insecurity in Mogadishu poses challenges for Somalis, the UN and the international community. 2014 is a crucial year. It is marked, I would say, by security and political challenges, which will be overcome if the Federal Government of Somalia and international partners remain united and if both accelerate delivery of their mutual commitments.
As I speak, an expanded AMISOM and the Somali National Army (SNA) are prosecuting a renewed offensive against Al Shabaab, made possible by UN Security Council Resolution 2124. It will be the most significant and geographically extensive military advance since AMISOM started, and there have already been notable successes. I pay tribute to the commitment and sacrifices made by AMISOM and its police and troop contributing states. Under Ambassador Annadif’s leadership, AMISOM continues to be the single most important contributor to the security of Somalia, and a vital partner for the Federal Government and the United Nations in peace-building, state-building and stabilisation. Ethiopian troops were officially incorporated into AMISOM earlier this year. The UN has played its part in preparing for the new operations. Supplies of food, fuel and water were stockpiled by the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) in all sectors in advance of the operations. UNSOA and UNSOM have been supporting the training of Somali National Army troops. This includes training in human rights and humanitarian law, in accordance with the Secretary-General’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.
As you will be aware, in Mogadishu the security situation has deteriorated since the last time I briefed the Council in December. A suicide attack carried out on a UN convoy, a complex suicide attack against the Presidential compound in Villa Somalia, and another suicide attack near the National Intelligence headquarters, all in the month of February, are sharp reminders. The risk of further attacks against Somali government and international targets remains high.
The Federal Government and AMISOM have increased their security operations in the city and the Government has developed a new Mogadishu security strategy. I look forward to its early implementation and I hope international partners will actively support it and respond rapidly to requests from the Government.
The UN has taken measures to improve its own security. Planning for the UN Guard Unit, endorsed in February by the Council to protect UN personnel and facilities in Mogadishu, is underway, with the first deployments expected in April. I take this opportunity to thank the Council and the Government of Uganda for their support in establishing the Guard Unit. I would also like to thank AMISOM for their cooperation in facilitating its deployment.
Vital though they are, military operations alone will not achieve sustainable peace-building and state-building. The Government has established a framework for the stabilisation of areas that will become accessible as a result of these operations, including the establishment of interim local administrations. UNSOM has been working closely with partners to support this.
As AMISOM and the Somali National Army begin their offensive, we are all conscious of the need to uphold humanitarian principles and respect for international humanitarian law. We also need resources. I urge donors and partners to contribute to the trust fund for the supply of non-lethal support to the Somali National Army in line with resolution 2124. Such UN support for a national army is groundbreaking, and requires our collective effort and determination to succeed.
Developing strong, professional Somali security forces is essential. Progress is being made, but it is made harder by the continuing insecurity and conflict. UNSOM’s work on security sector reform continues. We are, for example, taking some practical steps such as supporting biometric registration and the provision of uniforms. We plan to support the Somali Police Force’s recruitment of 2,300 additional police officers in 2014. Somalia’s security institutions need urgently to be properly funded. I hope that international partners will work with UNSOM, AMISOM and the Federal Government to work out how to do this in a timely and effective manner.
I am pleased also to report that in February the European Union training mission began its training programmes inside Somalia. This is a significant step that deserves our recognition.
Achieving greater security is a vital task for 2014. But the political dimension of state-building and peace-building is equally vital this year. After nearly three months of negotiation, Somalia now has a new Federal Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed. The Cabinet contains experienced and technocratic Ministers whose workplans are built around the priorities identified in the New Deal Compact. On 24 February, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and I co-chaired, in Mogadishu, the first meeting of the High-Level Partnership Forum, the body overseeing the implementation of the Compact. The Forum concluded that now was the time for both the Government and international partners to convert plans into actions, pledges into tangible projects and to make real political progress. I am pleased to report that as we meet, the Federal Government is finalising a detailed plan and timetable for a process leading to the formation of Federal States, a final Constitution and democratisation by 2016. I expect this timetable, called broadly Vision 2016, will have concrete and realistic deliverables, to be published in the coming weeks following further consultation with stakeholders, including Puntland and the Interim Jubba Administration. The UN stands ready to play a central role in supporting its implementation.
Strengthened public financial management is another pillar of state-building. Following the resignation of the former Central Bank Governor in November 2013, the Government has made progress towards rebuilding national and international confidence in its financial institutions. A key step has been the establishment of a Financial Governance Committee, involving experts from the government and international financial institutions to advise on financial management. Alongside other key measures, the Federal Government has agreed to share the existing strategic concession contracts with the Committee for technical review and expert advice. Improved transparency and accountability are critical steps in initiating aid flows. The World Bank, I should note, has been intrepid in supporting on the ground the progress we are beginning to see.
The formation of Federal States needs to be accelerated. I said the same in my briefing to you in December. It is even more true today.
In Baidoa, in south west Somalia, the gulf between two rival camps, advocating a six- and three-region state respectively, remains wide. On the 3rd of March, I called on all parties to respect the Constitution and existing agreements of the Federal Government and to resolve disputes through inclusive dialogue. I continue to offer UNSOM’s good offices to support a Federal Government-led process. The Government has clearly stated its commitment to a three region state, a position that should be respected.
In Southern Somalia, the formation of the Interim Jubba Administration continued with the announcement of ministerial positions on the 20th of February. There have been positive steps towards reconciliation and inclusivity. But the full implementation of the 28 August Addis Ababa Agreement requires continued engagement and compromise. I salute the efforts of Ethiopia as Chair of the Council of Ministers of IGAD and guarantor of the Addis Ababa agreement. UNSOM is working with the Federal Government, the Interim Jubba Administration and partners to mobilise resources to manage an increased caseload of disengaged combatants in Kismayo and to take forward reconciliation initiatives.
To the north, in Puntland, on 8th of January I witnessed, along with several members of the international community, the election of President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas and the peaceful handover by former President Abdurahman Mohamed Farole. UNSOM supported critical mediation efforts in the run-up to the elections and advocated, among other things, for greater women’s political participation. I am encouraged by the new Government’s commitment to resumption of Puntland’s suspended democratisation process and the restoration of relations with the Federal Government of Somalia. President Gaas has highlighted the difficult budget situation and the shortage of funds to pay salaries of Puntland government officials, including security forces. I hope that donor efforts to find an interim solution will bear fruit.
I am also inspired by the vigour and enthusiasm of Somali women’s political advocacy. Twenty-three women’s organisations from South-Central Somalia and Puntland have established the Somali Women Leadership Initiative to campaign for increased political participation of women. UNSOM remains firmly committed to enhancing women’s participation in national decision-making. Encouragingly in Puntland, President Abdiweli Gaas appointed five women to cabinet, more than any of his predecessors.
Promotion and respect for human rights is at the core of UNSOM’s support to the Federal Government. We have been working with both AMISOM and the Somali National Army to provide training on human rights, international humanitarian law and refugee law. A Joint Working Group on human rights due diligence, which includes AMISOM, UNSOA and UNSOM has been established. I hope that in the near future it will also include the Federal Government. The consultative process to create a National Human Rights Commission is still delayed against a background of sustained attacks against human rights defenders and journalists and the continued application of the death penalty. I am also deeply concerned about the ongoing incidence of sexual violence in Somalia. I look forward to the implementation of the recommendations of the Team of Experts on Sexual Violence established under Council Resolution 1888 (2009). The Team of Experts visited Somalia in December 2013.
Despite significant humanitarian crises around the world and within the region, I believe Somalia must remain a priority. The country’s humanitarian crisis is among the largest and most complex in the world. An estimated 2.9 million people will need immediate life-saving and livelihood support in the next six months. Recent improvements in the humanitarian situation are fragile and risk reversal if the current trend of low and slow funding for the 2014 humanitarian appeal continues.
There have been reports recently also of displacement as a result of the fighting, especially in Bay and Bakol. As of the 9th of March some 3,700 newly displaced people arrived in Baidoa, mainly due to fear of attacks. As of today they have all started receiving shelter and household items. We also had reports of some 700 previously displaced families that have returned to Hudur after it was recaptured by Somali National Army and AMISOM forces. Humanitarian access due to the volatile security situation remains a major challenge. Humanitarian partners are working to determine urgent needs and how to best respond.
On the 10th of December last year a tripartite agreement was signed between the governments of Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR for the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees in Kenya. But conditions in Somalia are not yet conducive for wide-scale refugee return. Without sufficient preparation, mass returns could in fact cause instability and worsen the humanitarian situation in the country.
As a result of changes in its legislation, in December 2013, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began deporting Somali nationals as well as other migrant workers. It is estimated that more than 22,000 have returned to Somalia so far. The International Organisation for Migration expects as many as an additional 33,000 people could be deported in the next three months. Such an influx to Mogadishu could exacerbate the plight of the internally displaced in the capital.
Progress in Somalia has been mixed so far, but it is progress. We still have a long way to go. The targets which the Federal Government has set itself, in partnership with the international community, remain relevant and feasible. National reconciliation, federalism, the conclusion of the constitutional process and the rebuilding of security institutions are critical. Despite setbacks and delays, none of these tasks remain out of our collective reach. But time is of the essence. The time for action is now.
To conclude, Somalia and Somalis desperately need improved security. I firmly believe this can be achieved, but it requires a collective effort.
Secondly, national reconciliation must be fast-tracked. The establishment of Federal States is critical to the creation of a cohesive and effective federal structure in Somalia. Reconciliation efforts must continue, and will be an additional tool in the fight against the enemies of peace. Legislation to set the constitutional and electoral processes in motion must be must enacted.
Finally, I urge the international community to continue to provide the support necessary to build the Federal Government’s capacity to undertake the significant work that remains. Somalis need to see and feel the benefit of increasing peace and security. We need to convert good plans into more concrete assistance, or as a Somali proverb says “A sweet hand is better than a sweet mouth”. The Federal Government is frustrated with the slow delivery of tangible assistance. A country broken from decades of conflict has huge needs. Not all can or will be met quickly, especially while conflict continues. But I wonder if together we could not achieve some faster success in rebuilding Somalia’s shattered state.
As friends and partners of Somalia, we need to stay the course. Now is not the time to prevaricate. We have to be prepared for setbacks, but remain resolute. After nearly a quarter of a century of wars, state collapse and immense human suffering, Somalis are determined to build a lasting peace. They need and deserve our continued support.
I thank you very much.
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Durham University, United Kingdom
Police reform is thought to require a police force to break with its past. This is notably so in the aftermath of conflict or regime change. In practice, however, most police forces are selectively reconstituted, and their development is influenced as much by legacy issues as by international standards filtered through local norms. This article uses the experience of Somalia’s three regional police forces to reconsider the relationship between past and present projects to build police authority and capacity, and what this says about institutional memory in the absence of documentation. In Somalia, as in other clan or tribal-based societies, police development is influenced by a blend of security levels, political imperatives, pragmatism, international resources and memories of past practices, with group experience playing a more significant role than institutional memory. The only identifiable general principle is the need for political settlements and tactical flexibility – that is, for stability.
Somalia: Somalia Can Achieve Goals by 2016 despite Mixed Progress during Decades-long Crisis, Secretary-General’s Special Representative Tells Security Council
7132nd Meeting* (AM)
Permanent Representative Hails AMISOM Efforts, Warns of Al-Shabaab Infiltration
Despite its mixed progress in decades of war, State collapse and immense human suffering, Somalia could reach its goals of elaborating an agreed Constitution, installing a nationwide electoral process and ensuring greater security by 2016, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council today.
“The best hope for peace and stability in Somalia, the Horn of Africa and beyond remains a united, secure and federal Somalia,” said Nicholas Kay, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), via video link from the country’s capital, Mogadishu. Noting that the security situation there had deteriorated abruptly, he recalled three suicide attacks that had occurred last month, the first against a United Nations convoy, the second against the presidential compound, Villa Somalia, and the third near the headquarters of the national intelligence service.
Emphasizing that the risk of further attacks against Government and international targets remained high, he said that an expanded African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as well as the Somali National Army were prosecuting a renewed military offensive against Al-Shabaab, as authorized by Security Council resolution 2124 (2013). “There have already been notable successes,” he said, underlining the logistical support provided by UNSOM and the United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia (UNSOA).
The United Nations had also taken measures to improve its own security, he continued, noting that the Organization would deploy the Guard Unit in April to protect its personnel and facilities in Mogadishu. In order to develop strong, professional national security forces, UNSOM was providing uniforms, support for biometric registration, and for the recruitment of 2,300 police officers.
On the political front, Mr. Kay said, Somalia now had a new federal Government led by Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed. His Cabinet contained experienced, technocratic Ministers whose work plans were built around the priorities set forth in the New Deal Compact. The federal Government was finalizing a detailed plan and a timetable for a process that would lead to the formation of federal states, a final Constitution and democratization by 2016.
He said UNSOM was also working with AMISOM and the national army to provide training on human rights, international humanitarian law and refugee law. Describing the country’s humanitarian crisis as one of the world’s largest and most complex, with an estimated 2.9 million people needing immediate life-saving and livelihood support in the next six months, he warned that conditions in Somalia were not yet conducive for a massive return of refugees from neighbouring Kenya, despite the signing of a tripartite agreement by the two nations and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on voluntary repatriation.
Yet, Saudi Arabia had begun deporting Somali nationals and more than 22,000 were estimated already to have returned, he noted, adding that an additional 33,000 were due for possible deportation in the next three months. He urged the international community to strive for faster success in rebuilding the shattered State by translating good plans into concrete actions. “The Federal Government is frustrated with the slow delivery of tangible assistance,” he stressed.
Elmi Ahmed Duale (Somalia) agreed with Mr. Kay’s account of the current situation in his country, and noted that the Minister for Foreign Affairs had expressed his commitment to fulfilling the requirements set out in resolution 2142 (2014). In addition, an assessment team was on its way to begin its work in Mogadishu, with the aim of helping the Government implement the resolution’s requirements on the handling, monitoring and storage of weapons, he said, emphasizing that there was a greater need than ever for a trust fund to help the Government and its forces to fulfil their obligations. Yet, he expressed concern that, even though some territory had been liberated from Al-Shabaab, including in Puntland, the group could infiltrate other safe areas. Voicing satisfaction with AMISOM’s operations, he said the important thing now was to ascertain Somalia’s capacity to fulfil its obligations under resolution 2142 (2014).
The meeting began at 10:06 a.m. and ended at 10:35 a.m.
- The 7131st Meeting was closed.
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Community-Based Therapeutic Care (CTC) Mogadishu, Somalia
SAACID, with support from UNICEF and WFP, operates a mother & child health and nutrition network across Mogadishu City; treating acutely malnourished children under 5 years of age, providing nutrition counselling and supplementation to pregnant and lactating women and TB patients, malaria testing and treatment, and immunization services. This bulletin provides highlights from this month’s activities.
Syria: Violence continues, with opposition infighting in the northwest and heavy clashes across large parts of the country, including Rural Damascus. While several military ceasefires have allowed some access to besieged areas, insecurity continues to interrupt aid distribution, and access to Ar-Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor and areas around the capital remains highly constrained. To date, over nine million people are estimated to have been displaced by the crisis, at least 2.5 million of whom have crossed into neighbouring countries.
South Sudan: New clashes and displacement continue to be reported in the northeastern states as well as the capital Juba. In three months, the crisis has forced 932,000 people to flee their homes, 226,000 of whom have crossed to neighbouring countries. Overall, an estimated 4.9 million people – over 40% of the population – are in need of urgent assistance across the country. Negotiations between the warring parties are stalling due to lack of consensus over the framework for dialogue. Talks are expected to resume on 20 March.
Sudan: Renewed attacks by rebel groups and militias in the Darfur region are estimated to have caused the displacement of 40,000 people since early March, while local sources have reported that dozens of civilians have been killed. In rebel-controlled areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, food security is expected to deteriorate to emergency levels by April.
Pakistan: The Government warned it could launch a full-scale operation against militant strongholds in North Waziristan, amid renewed attacks claimed by reported rebel splinter groups. Despite the resumption and progress in peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, violence continues on the ground. Since 20 February, an estimated 23,000 people have been displaced by government strikes and fear of further attacks. Access is heavily curtailed, but initial assessments indicated that most pressing needs include food, shelter, healthcare and WASH.
Last Update: 11/03/2014 Next Update: 18/03/2014
Humanitarian aid must be prioritised in Dadaab camps, despite return of refugees to Somalia
MSF issues briefing paper highlighting appalling conditions in Dagahaley camp.
Geneva, Nairobi 10 March 2014: As plans progress for the voluntary return of hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees from Kenya to their home country, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has once again urged that this process is not carried out at the cost of the aid already being provided to people who remain in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps. With many organisations suffering funding cuts in the camps, and alongside a deteriorating security situation, MSF is urging international donors to ensure provision of humanitarian assistance, and calling upon the Government of Kenya to improve protection of refugees.
MSF has today issued a briefing paper further outlining the ongoing inadequate and insecure conditions in Dagahaley, one of the five camps that comprise the Dadaab refugee camp complex in northeastern Kenya. Dadaab refugees: An uncertain tomorrow also details results of an assessment carried out last year by MSF in Dagahaley.
“Results of our assessment demonstrate woefully inadequate conditions in Dagahaley,” said Charles Gaudry, Head of Mission for MSF in Kenya. “For example, 41 percent of refugees questioned say their shelters do not provide sufficient protection from rain, and around one in ten refugees have no access to latrines.”
Data from this year still depicts a grave situation. In January, MSF treated 2,346 watery diarrhoea cases - over 900 cases more than the previous year during the same period. “This represents a 39 percent increase, and illustrates the pressing priority for improvements to be made to camp hygiene and shelter,” continued Charles. “The current living conditions for refugees are simply unacceptable.”
In the assessment, refugees were also questioned about their willingness to return to Somalia. Despite the conditions in Dagahaley, four out of five refugees said they would not consider a return to their home country.
Malnutrition continues to seriously hamper the health of Dagahaley’s population. Although currently not at an emergency level, ongoing surveillance activities reveal the existence of a large cohort of malnourished children with an average of 175 new admissions per month in MSF’s outpatient therapeutic feeding program. Each month, approximately 49 malnourished children with medical complications are admitted to the MSF hospital.
“With such poor conditions in the camp, MSF medical teams remain on alert for any deterioration in the nutrition situation,” says Charles. “Reduction in funding for aid agencies is a major concern. The World Food Programme for example, had to reduce food rations by 20 percent in November and December 2013 in Dadaab. If similar cuts were to happen again, this could have serious consequences for the health and nutrition status of refugees.”
In light of the current situation, and despite plans for the return of refugees to Somalia, MSF strongly urges all stakeholders, and international donors in particular, to ensure adequate funding for providing continued assistance and security in the camps in Kenya. MSF also calls on the Government of Kenya to ensure that refugees are protected and that security is improved in the camps, in order that aid agencies are not prevented from providing assistance. At the same time, the organisation stresses that efforts by the Kenyan government and the UNHCR to improve dignity and safety of refugees during the return process must be maintained.
MSF has been working in Dadaab for the past 20 years and is currently the only provider of medical care in Dagahaley camp. Each month, MSF teams carry out around 18,000 outpatient medical consultations and admit over 450 patients from the refugee and host communities to Dagahaley hospital.
Somalia - IOM, in close collaboration with the Government of Somaliland and in partnership with UN agencies, has opened a new Digaale permanent settlement in Hargeisa, Somaliland, for 500 displaced (IDP) families who in the past lived in destitute temporary settlements.
IOM is providing durable solutions for the IDPs through voluntary relocation, livelihoods, healthcare and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for some of the 85,000 vulnerable IDPs in Somaliland. Its Somaliland livelihoods and migration health programmes are funded by the government of Japan.
Among others, IOM has partnered with a local NGO, Kaaba Micro-Finance Institute, to provide micro financial support to 52 families as part of its livelihoods program.
Speaking at the opening of the settlement, Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Ismail Abdullahi said: “Our strategy is to continue to shift from providing care and maintenance to searching for durable solutions for people seeking to integrate back into our society.”
“IOM will continue to help this vulnerable community by providing them with basic health care during the relocation exercise. I am thrilled to see these people move from makeshift shelters to permanent homes,” said IOM Hargeisa head of sub-office Dr Samir Hadjibduli.
IOM is now working closely with the Ministry of Health to provide free primary healthcare services at the new settlement. The services include ante-natal and post-natal care, immunization, day treatment and stabilization prior to hospital referral and medication.
An IOM-supported health post in the settlement has also received in-kind donations of primary healthcare kits and vaccines for routine immunization of children and pregnant/lactating women.
For more information, please contact
Dr. Samir Hadjiabduli IOM Hargeisa, Somaliland Tel: +252 634 163 636 Email: email@example.com