Mogadishu 07 September 2019 – Female soldiers serving in the Kenyan contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have launched an initiative to support families affected by drought in southern Somalia.
On Friday the troops distributed rice, sugar, beans, biscuits, fruit and other food items to about 150 households. Most of the beneficiaries were widows, orphans, and the elderly.
The commander of the AMISOM Kenyan contingent, Brig. Gen. Dickson Ruto oversaw the distribution. Brig. Gen. Ruto said that his contingent would partner with community-based organisations to deliver food and medical services to families in need.
He added that the AMISOM female troops would jointly implement the initiative with their female counterparts in the Somali National Army (SNA) and Jubbaland state security forces.
“There is a serious drought across Somalia. It is important that we focus on the less privileged, particularly widows, orphans, and internally displaced persons who don’t have enough food at this very critical moment,” said Brig. Gen. Ruto.
The Administrator of Dhobley Town, Siyad Mohamed Hassan was grateful for the initiative, and called for more cooperation between AMISOM and local authorities in order to secure and help develop the area.
“We request that such efforts should not stop here. We should collaborate and participate in other areas such as public health and sanitation, sports, education, and rehabilitation of our roads,” added Siyad.
Nimo Abdi Bule, a member of the Daryeel Women’s Group in Dhobley and herself a beneficiary, said, “We are thankful to Allah, and appreciate the assistance from AMISOM.”
Capt. Lynette Rachi, who commanded the females within the AMISOM Kenyan contingent said the food donation would offer relief to vulnerable families, especially mothers, affected by the drought conditions.
“At the end of the day, all that a mother needs is to put food on the table for her children. So, the little we were able to get from the AMISOM headquarters, we were happy to share and have a great day together,” said Capt. Rachi.
Mogadishu, 05 September – Troop and police contributing countries to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) met to discuss the status of equipment used by AMISOM.
The two-day meeting which ended yesterday, took place in Mogadishu and was attended by AMISOM military officers from the contingents of Burundi, Kenya, and Uganda, which receive equipment from international partners.
Among other matters, the meeting discussed challenges faced concerning servicing of partner-owned equipment used by the AMISOM contingents, particularly the high rate of equipment wear and tear due to the harsh operating environment.
Bilateral partners such as the United States and the United Kingdom provide AMISOM with armoured personnel carriers and engineering equipment. UNSOS is mandated under UN Security Council Resolution 2245 of 2015, to ensure that the equipment is well maintained.
Maj. Gen. Lakara the AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Plans observed that there are documented challenges with maintaining such equipment.
“Lack of spare parts remains the biggest challenge to servicing of partner-owned equipment. This I say from the various reports that I have read,” noted Maj. Gen. Lakara who officiated at the closure of the meeting.
Maj. Gen. Lakara hailed international partners that provide support in the form of equipment donations to enhance the capabilities of AMISOM contingents to carry out anti-insurgent operations.
“Much of the achievements today would not have been possible without the provision of such equipment by our partners,” Maj. Gen. Lakara noted.
UNSOS Senior Logistics Officer, Service Delivery, Mike Collins said UNSOS has a responsibility to keep the partner-owned equipment at about 75 percent serviceability. However, Collins noted that there was a shortfall in ensuring serviceability of equipment due to delivery challenges.
“This was a crucial meeting because we face challenges in maintenance of our partner-owned equipment,” said Collins, adding, “with better communication, we can achieve more.”
Mogadishu, 20 June– On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Somalia pays tribute to the millions of people forcibly displaced all over the world.
World Refugee Day is marked on 20 June each year to highlight the courage and resilience of millions of people forced to flee war, conflict and persecution. The day is also an opportunity to express gratitude to governments and host populations that offer asylum, support and protection to refugees.
The theme for 2019 is “inclusion; inclusion of refugees, IDPs and stateless people”. This year, UNHCR is also rallying people around the world to honour the resilience and determination of displaced people in a global movement dubbed, “Step With Refugees”. The campaign invites people to step in solidarity with refugees by either walking, running, dancing, swimming or cycling. Regional organizations are also taking note of the crisis. The African Union declared 2019 as the year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs).
Globally, the displacement crisis in recent years has been unprecedented. At least one person is forcibly uprooted from their homes around the world every two seconds. In total, 70.8 million have been forced to flee their homes globally – among them 25.9 million refugees.
“We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record; and host countries need to ensure the active inclusion of refugees and other displaced families in their countries’ development agenda. Refugees and others in similar situations bring with them great skills and can make meaningful contributions in their communities. Giving them equal opportunities to use their skills also promotes self-reliance and empowerment.” said Takeshi Moriyama, UNHCR Acting Representative.
Somalia is at the epicentre of the refugee and displacement crisis. The country remains one of the top five refugee producing countries in the world with most of its nationals seeking asylum in neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya and Yemen. More than 2.6 people are also internally displaced mainly due to conflict, drought, floods and evictions. The majority of the internally displaced are located in Banadir, Bay, Sool, and Gedo and Bari regions.
Despite its own internal challenges, Somalia is generously hosting over 34,000 refugees and asylum seekers largely from Ethiopia and Yemen. They mainly live in Woqooyi Galbeed, Bari and Banadir regions. Somali nationals have also been returning home spontaneously from countries of asylum as well as through the UNHCR supported Voluntary Repatriation (Volrep) and the Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) Programs. UNHCR has received more than 126,000 returnees from 12 countries including Kenya, Yemen, Djibouti, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, Tunisia, Angola, Gambia, Pakistan and Cambodia.