Somalia: Floods drive over 650,000 Somalis from their homes in 2020 (07.08.2020)

More than 150,000 Somalis have been forced to flee their homes since late June, including some 23,000 in the last week alone.

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 7, 2020 – This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

More than 150,000 Somalis have been forced to flee their homes since late June, including some 23,000 in the last week alone, due to flash and riverine flooding in the Southern regions of Somalia. Rapid assessments indicate that communities in Hirshabelle and South West States are amongst the worst hit. The year has seen extreme flooding, displacing over 650,000 people across the country since the beginning of the year.

Many of the newly displaced are now living in overcrowded, makeshift shelters constructed from old clothes, plastic bags, cardboard and sticks in already dire IDP sites. Such shelter provides little protection from the harsh weather, and leaves families exposed to increased risk of crimes like robbery and rape.

Food is in short supply and many are going hungry with rising malnutrition in children, leaving them at risk of starvation. In some areas, basic food items, particularly milk and vegetables, have increased in price between 20 and 50 per cent.

Sanitary conditions are poor and access to medical care scarce. Health partners warn of risk of diarrhoea, vector-borne diseases, respiratory-tract infections and other communicable diseases rapidly spreading amongst the displaced population. While there has been no reported major COVID-19 outbreak, testing remains extremely limited and congestion and unsanitary conditions are risks for wide-spread transmission. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has been providing core relief items such as blankets, jerry cans and plastic sheets, as well as shelter and cash to thousands of affected families. Distributions will continue in the coming days and weeks, reaching a total of some 70,000 people facing heightened vulnerabilities, including women, female/child headed households, disabled persons, the elderly and ill, and vulnerable members of the hosting community.

UNHCR’s assistance is reaching some of the worst affected regions across Banaadir, South West, Hirshabelle, Jubbaland, Puntland, Galmaduug. The Federal Government of Somalia has also responded to the floods, including in recent weeks setting aside USD 500,000 to address the floods in South West state. Despite these interventions, however, more humanitarian support is needed to address insecurities in food, water and sanitation, emergency shelter and health services.

More people risk being displaced as flooding is likely to continue in certain regions. According to the latest flood advisory report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Shabelle River’s water levels will continue to rise due to heavy rains.

The latest floods point to a worrying pattern where extreme weather conditions are increasing in frequency and intensity. Prior to June 2020, flash floods and riverine flooding caused by seasonal rains displaced more than 450,000 in the country. With floods in 2018 and 2019 displacing 281,000 and 416,000 persons respectively, the flood-based displacement figures demonstrate a rising year-to-year trend. Somalia’s re-occurring climate related emergencies result in devastating impact on communities who heavily rely on farming and livestock for their livelihood.

The surging flooding and displacement take place against the backdrop of Somalia’s ongoing fight to curtail the spread of Covid-19, which has a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable, including the displaced. The Government of Somalia, UNHCR and humanitarian partners continue to work in IDP settlements across the country to provide displaced communities and vulnerable hosting communities with medical equipment, protective personal equipment (PPE), hygiene and sanitation support, and cash assistance. UNHCR urges landlords in the country to uphold a moratorium on evictions in these extremely challenging circumstances.

Urgent support is needed from the international community to support the relief efforts. UNHCR has so far received just 33 per cent of the USD154.4 million needed for its humanitarian efforts in Somalia, including for an estimated 2.6 million IDPs and 30,000 refugees and asylum seekers being hosted in the country.

Joint AU-IGAD statement on the recent developments in Somalia (25.07.2020)

Opinion: PM Khaire impeached [and electioneering can only take you so far]

The Prime Minister since March 2017 was impeached today in the Lower House of Parliament in Mogadishu, PM Hassan Ali Khaire or Kheire. The Norwegian-Somali former oil executive and humanitarian in Norwegian Refugee Council.

He has no fallen from grace, just like his allies got rid of speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari in 2018. Who knows if the PM was behind the failed impeachment of the President Farmaajo in 2019. Now in 2020 he has himself gotten impeached by the same house, where he celebrated victory two years ago.

Khaire has a mixed review and that is for all the right reasons. It is for the seemingly easy access to licensing oil blocks to former comrades and companies. Also, his friendly relations with other allies. The possible use of networks and working as a satellite.

In 2019, there was reports that the PM had bought a Ahlu-Suna Wa Jamaa (ASWJ) militia of 4000 based in Galmuudug. Also, that he was using his proceeds to ensure loyalty of commanders with the Somali National Army (SNA) and NISA. Who knows if this all true, but if it is. Then, he has more power to himself, even after the fall from grace.

We cannot know at this stages. There been battles between the President and the PM on which model that was supposed to be used in the up-coming election. Also, if the PM wanted the Parliamentary model and not the one-to-one, which the President preferred. There been meetings done with states, which the President haven’t approved off and some said the PM crossed swords by doing this. Therefore, he had to be impeached and the Lower House would comply with that wish. As it has been a place of automatic approval of the will of the President since the impeachment of Jawari.

Clearly, Khaire has made his own bed. He has organized a lot of this and it backfired. He was trying to fix an easy access to the thrown post-Farmaajo. Hoping his allies and the ones behind him wouldn’t budge. However, that hit left-field and he lost today.

Some is saying his the best PM the Federal Republic ever had. With time and when his full record is exposed. We might know more. There will be allegations and alleged actions made. Also, if he was pocketed through Qatari backers or not. Who knows if the most vital part was to license the oil for Soma Oil and other partners.

Farmaajo may have won today, but he has to appoint someone who will get the same acceptance and ability to lead ahead of the elections. It will only be rocky from here. Khaire will still be in the wind. He will be around and mock every move. The real opposition ahead.

There is too much money at stake. To many business deals and obligations in the hands of the former PM. To just back-down and give way. Yes, he doesn’t have the title. The Lower House went against him. His allies turned on him as well. The PM must have thought he had enough support to win by Parliamentary Elections alone. However, that wasn’t true, they are all there to do the bidding of the President.

If the President appoint the wrong PM now. That will not only hurt his chances in 2021, but also deteriorate the political stability ahead of elections. As the Lower House might impeach him to again and this time succeed. As they accepted the President will to get rid of Khaire, but not having a good successor.

I don’t know, but this here is shady. The Famaajo and Khaire team-up is no history. Three years of work together down the drain. The President might look like a winner today, but down the line. He might regret this. His former campaigner and ally will turn against him now.

The PM who has fallen. Have now the opportunity to run all on his own accord. He can push his way as he wants and doesn’t have to consider the President at all. Some might say his fallen, but will only be proven by the next up-coming election and what he does then.

Because, the final is not here today. Yes, others has gone silent after they lost their title. However, I doubt Khaire is that type. Just await, there is a storm brewing. Who knows who will be hit by this in the future. The President or the MPs as well. If the move of President to impeach the PM wouldn’t create a ripple effect.

Khaire lost today, Famaajo might loose tomorrow and who knows when the MPs of the Lower House will loose too. Time will tell, but God knows what this might do to the Republic ahead of its elections. Peace.

Coronavirus – Somalia: Frontline resilience in Somalia (19.07.2020)

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 19, 2020 – One hundred thousand households in Somaliland in northwest Somalia have better access to water, protecting them not just from the ravages of climate change but also against the spread of COVID-19, thanks to a project supported by the UN Development Programme.

Some 70 per cent of Somalis live from agriculture and pastoralism but changing weather patterns have meant many cannot access the water to sustain these traditional activities.

Many younger people have left for cities and towns to live in slum settlements where access to facilities is limited, but now a number of dams, dykes and storage tanks built in Somaliland by UNDP and its partners are encouraging people to carry on with their traditional livelihoods by providing stability in the form of a reliable and consistent supply of water.

And as the virus which causes COVID-19 continues to spread across Africa, the new water sources are also key to slowing the spread of the disease by making it easier for people to wash hands and clean household items.

Somalia: Gurmad Party – Press Release on the Statement Released by the National Independent Electoral Commission (28.06.2020)

Somalia: Wadajir Party – Press Statement on withdrawal of confidence from National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) – (28.06.2020)

Djibouti: Communique of the Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee on Somalia-Somaliland Talks (22.06.2020)

Forum for National Parties: FNP Statement on the presence of Non-AMISOM troops in Somalia (15.06.2020)

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM): Joint Statement on Fostering Consensus and Reconciliation (15.06.2020)

Djibouti: Communique – On the consultative meeting between Somaliland and Somalia in Djibouti (14.06.2020)