Somalia – Severe drought and food insecurity (25.11.2016)

somaliland-drought

  • The severe drought conditions are worsening in Somaliland and Puntland and also expanding to central and southern regions in Somalia. The rainy season from October to December has so far been poor as with the past five rainy seasons which were all below average or had failed completely. Crop and pasture losses are widespread, water shortages common, and people’s traditional coping mechanisms exhausted.
  • Two out of five Somalis are already acutely food insecure, according to the UN. Almost 1.4 million people are now in an acute food and livelihood crisis or emergency, not able to meet their daily food requirements, while another 3.9 million require livelihood support. Over 320 000 acutely malnourished children are in need of urgent support.
  • Over half of food insecure people (58%) at crisis or emergency level are internally displaced, resulting from the combination of climatic shocks, armed conflict, fragility, lack of governance and basic services prevalent in Somalia.
  • The President of the Federal Government of Somalia issued an appeal to all Somalis and the international community to support drought-stricken communities, joining other recent appeals by the regional authorities of Somaliland, Puntland and Jubaland. However, aid agencies face major funding challenges, curtailing all but the most basic life-saving activities.
  • Drought conditions are expected to intensify even further in the traditional lean season from January to March until the next rainy season expected in April 2017.

Horrendous bleak situation right now in East Africa/Horn of Africa: Genocide Warnings, Army used against Civilians, Opposition harassed and a surge of refugees between the nations (November 14.2016)

East-Africa

That there is civil-war like activity in Ogaden and Amhara regions in Ethiopia, that there continues internal skirmishes between Burundian security forces and civilians, that the Rwandan Opposition are silenced, In the Democratic Republic of Congo as there guerrillas fighting and killing while the FARDC and MONUSCO doesn’t act against civilians in North and South Kivu; As there are internal fighting between Somaliland, Galdumug, Al-Shabaab and AMISOM. This is all happening as we flick between the channels on the telly.

There we are discussing who’s the next racial biased brother Donald J. Trump thinking of hiring to his executive branch staff at the White House. This is happening while there continue bloodbath, there been genocide warnings for Burundi in October 2016 and South Sudan November 2016. South Sudan are skirmishes happening in Yei State, South Kordofan, West Bahr El Ghazal between SPLM/A and SPLM/A-IO, which is President Kiir and former FVP Machar. There are battles still in Darfur as the Khartoum regime under President Omar Al-Bashir are attacking the SPLM-N and other rebels who fight themselves in the past, but has no written an agreement while the Khartoum has said they will continue to fight them.

Rice in Market

These are killings of civilians in with the mind of staying in power. It is happening with bullets that imported and exported from the rich nations, through back-channels that none of us want to discuss, because it implicates the nations of peace are involved in profits of the death of civilians. This is happening as we go to buy bread at the supermarket, markets for selling cassava and rice are blown to bits, water-sources are getting scarce as these nations are hurt by droughts and dire need of secure agricultural productions, but that is not happening while the big-men are explicitly doing what they can to kill each other for POWER.

The innocent is dying at rapid speed. The livelihoods are dwindling away because the Presidents and Government together with rebels are destroying the nations in their reach of staying with titles, businesses and feeding their elites of the donor funds. This is the situation in Ethiopia, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

Adjumani Refugee Camp

We cannot let this happening while the fleeing civilians are going from one bad situation into another. If the Somalis think of fleeing to Ethiopia, they get into new trouble and Kenyan Government are busy deporting them to PoC sites inside Somalia. If you’re fleeing Ethiopia you have to cross the South Sudan and Sudan. Where the battles between the rivals continue and are bloody. The place of refuge right now is Northern Uganda, the war-torn parts that has had a decade of peace, but the locals are not getting land, but the refugees and businessmen. The reality is that the Government doesn’t have funds to allocate the Refugee camps in Adjumani where the UNICEF organization is lacking funds for support.

Together with the issues of Burundian refugees in Rwanda and Tanzania; the Burundian ones are safe in Tanzania, but still the UN operations doesn’t have the sufficient funds as there are more worry of what the Rwandese authorities do, as they want to send them away because the Burundian Authorities are claiming that Rwandese Government are training rebels to coup d’état against President Nkurunziza.

While the pulling out of ICC happens from Burundi, the Kenyan pulling troops from the UMISS, Ugandan negotiations in dialogue between the parties in Burundi and South Sudan; while the shallow relationships is to see how they all can grind monies out of the international community. The African Union complains to the European Union on payments for the soldiers, while the Ugandan and Burundian government eats of these funds, while the soldiers themselves thieving ammunition and gas to supply themselves with needed salaries.

All of this is happening while the Ethiopian Government has pulled out battalions out of certain areas in Somalia, as Kenyan have a strong force and feeling the pinch for being involved in the internal squabbles between Al-Shabaab, Government and Local-Government in war-torn nation. As Djibouti tries to live in peace, but get trained guerrillas from Eritrea and has built a railroad from Ethiopia so that the coastal state has giant ally on the Horn of Africa.

south-sudan-army-pic

So the civil wars, the skirmishes from governments towards civilians shouldn’t be happening without anyone doing something about it. The Ethiopian, Burundian, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and South Sudan are now all involved in similar business. The Troika of South Sudan is inactive and like a donor-friendly buddy to Kiir Government, but not certainly acting upon the violence and crimes against humanity. The Sudan government might be under sanctions and has issues with ICC charged President Bashir. Still, they are able to continue to fight civilians in the Darfur Region. The Somali Government feels more powerless as they are donor-friendly and need foreign support for basic operations, while the Al-Shabaab takes stake in every other region, as the Puntland, Galdumug and Somaliland has become more independent and making agreement on their own. As Somaliland have signed giant port-agreement to secure funding of the Civilian Government; also so they can function as nation on their own, though not respected as one from the international community.

This is just the beginning, and it’s not wonderful, it’s bleak… the warnings of GENOCIDE should worry the world in Burundi and South Sudan. But, the current silence, the mediocre attention and no-worries attitude. Is making me shiver and making me worried about the state of affairs in our time!

IGAD Plus

That there are such current state of affairs, the diplomatic works must be in tatters, the African Union is pointless, the East African Community is a Men’s Club for the Presidents, European Union are stooges for big-business, IGAD are Ethiopian skeleton for peaceful operations and the United Nations are powerless with no-mandate or real army to act upon the human rights violations or crimes against humanity if they are occurring.

It’s a reason why these nations want to withdraw from the Roman Statute if they can and still get donor-aid because the armies, laws and regulations of the civilians are massive breaches of international laws. The Geneva Conventions, the UN Charters and the other ones these Nations have signed into.

While the worst is having knowledge of the dying civilians in South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi and Somalia as we speak, the silence and indifference… time to act; time for change and time get it on the agenda. Peace.

President appeals for aid in the drought-stricken parts of Somalia (14.11.2016)

somaliland-drought

The president announced that the drought situation is very critical due to the delayed seasonal rains, drought has struck parts of Somalia, worst affected are Puntland and north western Somalia of Somaliland.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, November 14, 2016 –  HE Hassan Sheik Mohamud, the president of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), has appealed to Somali pubic and the international community to urgently help Somali people affected by the drought in parts of the country.

“I appeal to the Somali people, wherever they are all over the world to help and stand shoulder to shoulder with their suffering Somali people who lack food and water due to the drought in the country. The government will also take an important part. The Gu’ season has passed without rains with earlier rainy seasons failing. So, the Somali people need to help one another and help their brothers and sisterswith food and water.” said the president of the FGS, HE Hassan Sheik Mohamud.

The president has also appealed to the international community to aid the situation urgently as it is time for action.

“I also appeal to the international community to immediately come to the aid of the Somali people in the affected areas before the situation gets worsened, it is time that an actual interference is made and aid is delivered very urgently in particular drought stricken areas of the country.” The president has appealed.

The president said that the drought has widely affected the country, but some areas are worse than others. “the drought is everywhere but in particular the drought hardly hitthe north western and North Eastern regions of Somalia of Somaliland and Puntland, where many livestock have already been lost, with people starting dying, in both areas the drought is very critical” said HE Hassan Sheik Mohamud, the president the FGS.

The president announced that the drought situation is very critical due to the delayed seasonal rains, drought has struck parts of Somalia, worst affected are Puntland and north western Somalia of Somaliland.

Somali people all over the world had previously taken part in collecting donations to help Somali people affected by droughts and the Somali president expects the same donations by Somali people reaching out to their Somali brothers and sisters worst affected by droughts repeatedly hitting Somalia due to lack of seasonal rains. In addition, the international community should also take their part. The government will make every effort to ensure it contributes to the aid.

EU support helps Somalis share experience on Post-War School Curriculum (25.10.2016)

somalia-25-10-2016

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

Press Release: DP World Wins 30-Year concession for Port of Berbera in Somaliland (05.09.2016)

Berbera 05.09.2016 P1Berbera 05.09.2016 P2

Puntland Traditional Elders Forum – A Position paper on the electoral model for 2016 (08.02.2016)

Puntland P1Puntland P2

Press release: Drought in Somaliland (17.09.15)

somali-map1

September 17, 2015: More than 240,000 people in Somaliland are severely food insecure due to a continuing drought in the region.

Somaliland is currently experiencing an acute drought that has affected more than 240,000 people (40,000 Households) due to the shortfall of the Gu (April-June) rains in 2014 and 2015. The most affected regions are Awdal, Maroodijeeh, and Gebiley, which are traditionally the main food producing regions. Other regions affected include Selel and Sahil.

Press Freedom in the East African nations with ratings of the environment in 2014 (+ reports that the Ugandan regime turned off the transmitter of the Radio Baba in Jinja yesterday)

Dr. Kizza Besigye Jinja Iganga-Jinja Rallies 21.07.2015

Yesterday on the 21.07.2015 the NRM regime cut off the radio transmitter for the “Baba Radio” or as it’s really named 87.7 Basogo Baino FM in Jinja after Dr. Kizza Besigye had a great rally earlier in the day in Iganga and Jinja. Therefore it made me go through the report on ‘Press Freedom in 2014 – Harsh Laws and Violence Drive Global Decline’ that is coming from the NGO Freedom house. Today on 22.07.2015 Mr. Innocent Anyole is sacked from his job after trying to interview Dr. Kizza Besigye this sacking happen by Radio Director Hon. Moses Grace Balyeku, the NRM Chairman of Jinja and MP for Jinja West Constituency. He sure followed party line and broke the wing of the man who introduced FDC man Dr. Kizza Besigye. Well, let me introduce the Press Freedom in East Africa according to the global rankings of the Freedom House and their report on how it was in 2014.

This report has three important levels of how the media is and which place in society it has:

  1. Free
  2. Partly Free
  3. Not Free

The difference between them comes to how great power the countries government controls the media or let them be. How the laws and treatment of journalist and media institutions is and how the events surrounding them have been in the recent year.

I will focus on the East African Countries and those in the “area” around how the quote and place this countries in the report. Because I write about the South Sudan, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. These are the countries that will be taken. Not the whole world but the basic places that I usually cover in my blog somehow. So it shouldn’t be surprise to anyone.

Before addressing the numbers and rankings of the nations, let me take the quotes on some of the nations from the report as well:

“Ethiopian authorities stepped up arrests of independent journalists, including the Zone 9 bloggers, leading more than 30 to flee the country during the year, according to CPJ” (…) “In Kenya contained several vaguely worded clauses curtailing press freedom, including the threat of three years in prison for journalists who fail to obtain police permission before reporting on terrorism investigations or operations, or for coverage “likely to cause public alarm, incitement to violence, or disturb public peace” (…) “Somalia’s score improved from 82 to 79 due to the increased ability of private actors to open media outlets and the greater distribution of media, especially radio, throughout the south-central part of the country” (…) “South Sudan’s score declined from 62 to 68 due to the government’s near-complete disregard for constitutional and legal protections for freedom of the press in 2014, as well as the lack of such protections in rebel-held areas; a marked increase in restrictions imposed on journalists by the security forces; and heightened censorship, self-censorship, and retaliatory attacks on journalists”.

From here I will address the rankings of the East African nations coming when it comes to press freedom and the numbers that they have gotten from the expert committees that gone through reports and the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). The stories this numbers are telling and the situation that the media has on the ground is staggering. Therefore it’s a story that has to be told. Now will explain the criteria of the global ranking that is made of scoring process, the value of the levels and what they mean for each country and last the main groups of questions that the researchers and analyst in cooperation with IFEX. That has crunched the numbers with the questions and reports from sources from the whole world.

Criteria:

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”

Scoring Process:

“The research and scoring process involves more than 90 analysts—including outside consultants and members of the core research team headquartered in New York—who prepare the draft ratings and country reports” (…) “the other members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) network for providing detailed and timely analyses of press freedom violations in a variety of countries worldwide, on which we rely to make our judgments”.

Scale Point for the levels:

“A country’s final score (from 0 to 100) represents the total of the scores allotted for each question. A total score of 0 to 30 results in a press freedom status of Free; 31 to 60 a status of Partly Free; and 61 to 100 a status of Not Free”.

Questions that makes the score:

The scores are put into three categories: Legal Environment (0-30points), Political Environment (0-40points) and Economical Environment (0-30points).

daily-nation-east-african-newspapers

Placing of the East African nations: 

Rank Country Score Status
164 Burundi 74 Not Free
172 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 79 Not Free
180 Ethiopia 83 Not Free
124 Kenya 57 Partly Free
172 Rwanda 79 Not Free
172 Somalia* 79 Not Free
152 South Sudan 68 Not Free
115 Tanzania 54 Partly Free
123 Uganda 56 Partly Free

*Somaliland got ranked 115 – Score of 54 and was set to be ‘Partly Free’

What this means:

This tells something about the environment that the press in the East African nations goes through. Of the eight nations three is ‘Partly Free’: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This means that certain levels of freedom is on the media, but has certain levels of strings on the press. It’s worse in the rest of the nations because they are on the level of ‘Not Free’: Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Somalia and South Sudan. And they did make Somalialand as a separate territory as a ‘Party Free’ whiles the country as a whole is set as ‘Not Free’. Therefore in that setting certain areas of Somalia federation has more freedom then the rest.

What that is shocking for me is how low scores countries of Uganda has compared to Ethiopia. Ethiopia has been strict on media and journalist. Especially to those who are abiding opposition in the country. Uganda has many outlets, still the big ones has over time been disorganized by the regime like the Daily Monitor. That has not happen with similar media in Kenya. Though the laws for media there is isn’t similar reports on shut downs of radio station and papers when the regime disagrees. Rwanda I am sure that the government is strict on the media, because the news from there is usually in the mood of the regime. Burundi if it wasn’t for protests and deflectors, there would be less news and information on the regime of Pierre Nkuruziza. DRC and Kabila haven’t put this into motions after all the issues that have been in the last decades. The regime has control and want to be sure of the information that is put out. Therefore when you hear something negative it’s from the UN bodies or MONUSCO but not the press of the DRC or journalists. Tanzania has its freedom but also strangles on the media. The party has been running the country since independence so the feelings is that their intertwined and feel like they are together, instead of actually being critical of the politicians and society. But it should be worried that the different countries and how big the difference between the top and bottom of the scale in the East African. From Tanzania who got 54 points and the worst was Ethiopia got 83 points – the close competition was Rwanda, Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo got all 79 points on the scale. 60 Points scale is the max for the ‘Partly Fee’ media nations. So that the environment is on a far level from partly and even longer way to being free. The thing that is worrying is that it’s less than 5 points from ‘Partly Free’ to ‘Not Free’ with Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. It’s just small tweaks and harassment of the media and in 2016 report will degrade this nations and how the media has a place in these countries. Though it doesn’t look to good, but hopefully I and others can be surprised. Until then let hope that the media get into a place where they can actually monitor their areas and speak their minds without fear or legal repercussions. Peace.

Reference:

Dunham, Jennifer, Nelson, Bret & Ahekyan, Elen – ‘Press Freedom in 2014 – Harsh Laws and Violence Drive Global Decline’ – April 2015 – Freedom House