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Somalia: Humanitarian impact of withdrawal of armed forces (28.10.2016)

AMISOM 32

The withdrawals have raised serious concerns among humanitarian organizations operating in the affected areas.

ABUJA, Nigeria, October 28, 2016 –

Situation overview

Since July 2016, non-state armed actors have taken control of eight locations in Bakool, Galgaduug and Hiraan regions of Somalia following the departure of international troops.
The takeover by non-state armed groups has exposed civilians to significant protection risks and further reduced humanitarian access in areas that are already hard to reach.
The locations include Rab Dhuure, Bur Dhuxelne, Garas Weyne and Tayeeglow in Bakool region; Budbud and Galcad in Galgaduud region; Moqokori, Ceel Cali and Halgan in Hiraan region.

The takeover by non-state armed actors has triggered displacements of thousands of people, including some who were already displaced. Civilians remaining in these locations have reportedly been subjected to retribution attacks, including apprehension, torture, killings and forced recruitments.

Humanitarian impact and needs

The withdrawals have raised serious concerns among humanitarian organizations operating in the affected areas. In Tayeeglow in Bakool region which previously hosted 7,200 internally displaced people, humanitarian partners have temporarily suspended operations due to concerns over staff safety and assets. Similar troop withdrawals in early 2013 resulted in some 5,000 to 10,000 civilians fleeing to Ceel Barde, some 90 kilometers north of Tayeeglow along the Somali-Ethiopian border.

The withdrawals from locations in Galgaduud and Hiraan regions have resulted in the displacement of over 4,000 people, including to the three locations in Bakool region, as civilians flee to avoid retribution by non-state armed actors. Further potential withdrawals from Bakool region could result in significantly more displacements. Humanitarian partners continue to monitor the situation in Xudur and Wajid which combined host more than 10,000 internally displaced people.

Humanitarian partners continue to advocate for protection of and sustained access to people in need, in accordance with International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law. When troop realignment and reconfiguration entail troop withdrawals with minimal or no advance warning, it leaves the local population and humanitarian organizations vulnerable as militias move in and occupy the vacated locations. Disruption of humanitarian projects often leaves people in the affected locations with no alternative means to meet their needs.

Suspension, disruption and relocation of humanitarian programmes and withdrawal of humanitarian personnel linked to troop withdrawals and subsequent assumption of control of the respective areas by armed groups in Somalia has been ongoing in recent years. Most recently, incidents were recorded in Bakool, Gedo, Hiraan, Juba Hoose and Shabelle Hoose regions in 2015, the first quarter of 2016 and June and July 2016.

Somalia: Some 1.1 million people are unable to meet their daily food requirements (07.10.2016)

Somalia Draught Quotes

Five million Somalis – more than 40 per cent of the country’s population – are food insecure, up by 300,000 from February 2016, according to the latest assessment by the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET). Among them are 300,000 children under age 5 who are acutely malnourished and over 50,000 severely malnourished children.

The assessment indicates that the food and nutrition situation is not showing signs of abating. More than 1.1 million Somalis are unable to meet their daily food requirements, while another 3.9 million require livelihood support. An estimated 1.1 million internally displaced persons are among the most vulnerable groups. Nearly 58 per cent of acutely food insecure people are internally displaced people.

Poor Gu (April to June) rains, floods and trade disruption, coupled with displacements, contributed to a worsening of the food security situation. The 2016 Gu rains started late and ended earlier than usual in most regions. The flooding that affected riverine livelihoods and adjacent urban areas in parts of southern and central Somalia (Hiraan, Juba and Jowhar District of Middle Shabelle) during the Gu season, exacerbated the deterioration of food security in these areas, according to the FSNAU.

Efforts to reduce levels of vulnerabilities continue to be undermined by irregular weather patterns. However, cereal production has been good in some parts of Somaliland, particularly the western regions which has brought relief in crop growing areas that were affected by drought. Drought conditions continue in pastoral areas of Somaliland and Puntland. Poor rainfall in southern and central Somalia, the breadbasket of the country, has led to a reduction in cereal production by nearly half, compared to the long-term average, according to the FSNAU. Conflict and access constraints, including increased refugee returns have also compounded the situation in Somalia. Humanitarian partners continue to deliver assistance to save lives and strengthen resilience of Somalis.

Authorities appeal for urgent assistance for drought-affected people

Authorities in Lower Juba on 28 September appealed for urgent humanitarian intervention in areas near Afmadow, Badhadhe and Kismayo districts. These areas have limited humanitarian presence and have experienced poor Gu rains. Water and food were among priority needs highlighted by authorities. And in Puntland, authorities on 5 October declared a drought emergency and appealed for urgent humanitarian assistance due to worsening drought conditions.

Press release by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

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