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Somalia: Humanitarians launch US$864 million appeal to reach 3.9 million People (17.01.2017)

 

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The Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia for 2017 plan was launched today in Mogadishu with calls to the international community for timely support to help bolster humanitarian operations and meet urgent humanitarian needs.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 17, 2017 -The humanitarian community in Somalia is seeking US$864 million to reach 3.9 million people with urgent life-saving humanitarian assistance. The Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia for 2017 plan was launched today in Mogadishu with calls to the international community for timely support to help bolster humanitarian operations and meet urgent humanitarian needs.

“The humanitarian situation remains grim for millions of Somalis. We are faced with a slight but steady increase in the number of people in need, and most recently with a significant risk of further deterioration to famine,” said Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.

The launch of the HRP comes against a backdrop of a worsening humanitarian situation in Somalia. Expanding drought conditions have left hundreds of thousands of Somalis facing severe food and water shortages. Overall, some 5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. About 320,000 children under the age of 5 years are acutely malnourished and in need of urgent nutrition support. Of these, 50,000 children are severely malnourished and far more vulnerable than any other group.

Protection violations remain at the centre of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and widespread human rights violations, instability and insecurity drive displacement and weaken the resilience of the most vulnerable. At least 1.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable people are exposed to protection risks. Some 3.3 million people lack access to emergency health services and require improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Giving birth is one of the greatest risks to a Somali woman’s life. The maternal mortality ratio for Somalia is among the highest in the world at 732 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Around 3 million school-age children are still out of school with numbers increasing and placing children at greater risk as the impacts of shocks deepen.

“Immediate support is required to prevent a significant deterioration of the humanitarian situation. Given the early warning provided by the humanitarian community and the Federal Government on the drought situation, early action is the only way to demonstrate that we have learnt the lessons from the past to avert another catastrophe,” added de Clercq.

The response plan seeks to strengthen emergency response preparedness measures, in collaboration with federal and local authorities, to mitigate the impact of predictable shocks and continue to build stronger linkages between life-saving and development-based durable solutions. It provides an opportunity for humanitarian and development actors to strengthen collaboration in addressing both life-saving and long term durable solutions to address underlying causes of vulnerability.

The 2017 plan is part of a three-year strategy (2016-2018), which recognizes that the drivers of risk and vulnerability in Somalia are largely cyclical and long-running, and cannot be resolved in a single year. Enhancing communities’ ability to cope with shocks through the long-term sustainable livelihood support and basic services, including durable solutions, in a community-based approach, will be vital in addressing underlying causes of vulnerabilities.

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International community expresses concern over developments in Galmudug (12.01.2017)

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The United Nations, African Union, European Union, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States are concerned about the unfolding dispute within the Galmudug regional assembly and between members of the assembly and President Abdikarim Guled.

The dispute, which has led to a vote to remove the President from office, with the President and the Speaker of the assembly rejecting the vote as illegal, is potentially destabilizing.

The international partners call on all the stakeholders in Galmudug, in particular members of the regional assembly, the Speaker of the assembly and the President, to resolve the underlying issues through dialogue and refrain from resorting to any acts of violence.

The international partners call on all Somalis, including the security forces, to now focus on consolidating and building on the gains from the electoral and state-building processes and make every effort to avoid actions that could undermine the progress that is unfolding in the country.

Incumbent Speaker of Somalia’s House of the People re-elected (11.01.2017)

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Mogadishu, 11 January 2017 – The incumbent Speaker of the federal parliament’s House of the People, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, was re-elected to another four-year term during voting that was held today in the Somali capital.

Mr. Jawari received 141 votes to defeat three other candidates for the key legislative post.
In his victory speech, Mr. Jawari appealed to his fellow members of parliament (MPs) to put aside their political differences for the sake of their constituents. “Today there is no winner or loser. It is the Somali people who have won,” he said.

The runner-up in the voting for the Speaker’s post was Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig, who garnered 97 votes, followed by Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim Geesey and Idriss Abdi Dhaqtar, who received 17 votes and two votes, respectively. Two ballots were spoilt.

“It was an honour for me to contest for the seat of Speaker of Parliament. Speaker Jawari is my friend and I congratulate him for the win,” said Mr. Hidig, who pledged to explore other avenues for serving the Somali people.

Members of parliament expressed confidence in Mr. Jawari’s leadership. “I look forward to his leadership, seeing him set up parliamentary structures. We have high expectations of him because he has the experience,” said Mariam Haji Abdi Gedi, an MP from Galmudug state.

Two hundred and fifty-nine members of the House of the People voted in the landmark election that was witnessed by representatives of the international community, key stakeholders and senior federal government officials.

Mr. Jawari was elected Speaker of the country’s ninth federal Parliament in 2012, after having previously served as a cabinet minister in the Siad Barre regime.

As Speaker of the House of the People, he will preside over the election of two deputy speakers later this week. Mr. Jawari will then join his counterpart as speaker of the Upper House in overseeing the upcoming presidential election in both houses of the federal parliament.

Somalia: Madaxweynaha Dowlad Goboleedka Galmou – “Galmudug president declares a regional state of emergency following overwhelmingly losing a vote of confidence in parliament” (09.01.2017)

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UNSOM: Somalia’s electoral process most discussed topic in public places (04.01.2017)

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MOGADISHU, SOMALIA – Somalia’s landmark electoral process has dominated discussions in public places across the Horn of Africa country over the past few months, as Somalis examine the democratic progress the country has made after years of civil war.

Scores of political analysts gather daily to debate and share views about the ongoing process, which will culminate in presidential elections later this month. Conversations are animated and go on for hours, with breaks only for meals or refreshments.

At a popular hotel in Mogadishu recently, newly elected member of the House of the People, Sadik Warfa, of Puntland state, expressed his thoughts on the electoral process to a group of colleagues.

Warfa described the delegates system, adopted by the National Leadership Forum to guide the electoral process, as an illustration of the country’s evolution towards representative governance.

“We have passed the era when elders picked MPs. I see it as a step in the right direction for the Somali people,” Warfa said.

The MP voiced his optimism about the post election period and looks forward to debate in parliament.

“When the House of the People holds its first sitting, the priority will be to hold the government accountable. It should have oversight responsibility to represent the views of the Somali people, ” Warfa told a keen audience, gathered around his table.

At another table, Liban Abdi Ali, a political analyst and former journalist, delved deeper into the issue of local media coverage of the electoral process.

“In my view, they (media) were focusing on conflict, like a candidate’s clan, which group he belongs to and such issues; although they are supposed to focus on each candidate’s experience, knowledge, achievements and political agenda,” Liban said.

He expressed disappointment at the media’s inability to organize political debates prior to the elections.

At the far end of the restaurant, author and political analyst Abukar Sheikh Ahmed questions the decision to push back universal suffrage until 2020, saying there was no public voting or campaign.

“Most of the candidates knew their target (delegates) and they were campaigning in parliament and within their clans,” Abukar argues.

Somalia’s electoral process, which is currently in its final stages, has seen voting taking place in five federal states and Mogadishu. At the conclusion of the electoral exercise, two hundred and seventy five members of the House of the People will have been elected from South West, Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubbaland and Somaliland states; and Banaadir region.

A further 54 members of the Upper House will also have been elected.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Somalia (29.12.2016)

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NEW YORK, United States of America, December 29, 2016 –  The Secretary-General welcomes the inauguration of the new Federal Parliament of Somalia on 27 December 2016 and warmly congratulates the people of Somalia on this historic achievement in their quest for universal suffrage by 2020.

The Secretary-General urges the new Parliament to now maintain the momentum by moving swiftly to complete the electoral process, with the election of the Speakers of both houses and the Federal President. The Parliament should tackle urgent legislative priorities, including establishing a permanent Constitution of Somalia, in the larger interest of the people of Somalia.

The Secretary-General calls on the authorities to fill all remaining vacant seats in the Parliament expeditiously, while fulfilling their obligation to ensure that the seats reserved for women are filled by women. He emphasizes that any irregularity, abuse, or malpractice reported by the federal and state electoral bodies should be fully addressed to preserve the credibility of the process.

The Secretary-General commends the hard work of the Somali security forces and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in providing a secure environment for the 2016 electoral process in Mogadishu and in the regional capitals. The successful inauguration of the Parliament marks further progress in ensuring political stability and security in Somalia.

Somalia: International Community Gravely Concerned Over Decisions Of National Leadership Forum On Electoral Process (27.12.2016)

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The United Nations, African Union, European Union, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States are gravely concerned over a number of decisions announced by the National Leadership Forum (NLF) in its communiqué dated 24 December 2016.

Today’s inauguration of the Federal Parliament represents a step forward in the electoral process. However, international partners wish to see the electoral process go forward with the existing 54 seats in the Upper House as stipulated under Somalia’s Provisional Constitution. Any further expansion of the Upper House should only be contemplated after the presidential vote has been held in the new federal parliament and implemented through a proper constitutional process.

International partners acknowledge the NLF’s communiqué of 26 December 2016 that designates five seats in the House of the People for undergoing a fresh round of voting. But this fails to address a number of other egregious cases of abuse of the electoral process, including seats reserved for women candidates only that were ultimately taken by male candidates.

The NLF’s decision to revoke all disqualifications of candidates made by the country’s electoral bodies for allegedly committing abuses and malpractices represents a blanket amnesty for some of the most blatant irregularities witnessed during this electoral process. It also contravenes the Federal Government’s solemn commitment to respect the rule of law.

If these candidates are allowed to take their seats in Somalia’s tenth parliament, it will bring into question the NLF’s expressed commitment to the principles of accountability and credibility that underpin the entire process. It will also undermine the electoral code of conduct signed by all parliamentary candidates in the spirit of leveling the playing field and ensuring the delivery of a credible process.

International partners strongly believe that elections must be re-run for seats where the voting outcomes were clearly distorted by violence, corruption, intimidation, the unauthorized substitution of electoral college delegates and a failure to set aside one of every three seats for exclusively female candidates. 

International partners call on the federal parliament to issue as soon as possible a timeline for the completion of the process in order to elect the Speakers and Deputy Speakers of the new federal parliament and the Federal President. This timeline should be strictly enforced to avoid yet another postponement in an electoral process that was supposed to have finished earlier this year. There is a particular need to conclude the process swiftly in light of the UN Security Council’s upcoming meeting on Somalia that is scheduled for 19 January 2017.

International partners believe that the integrity of the 2016 electoral process hangs in the balance. More delays and a failure to hold accountable those parties who have committed serious abuses and malpractices will compromise the international community’s ability and willingness to engage with Somalia’s next federal government.

Somalia: Joint Press Statement issued by 6 strong presidential candidates against the constitutional coup by NLF (27.12.2016)

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UNSOM SG Michael Keating on the Somalia Election (16.12.2016)

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Somalia: ASWJ says it will not recognise election results alleging a wide spread election conspiracy by President HSM’s Party (14.12.2016)

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