Articles on this Page
- 11/09/12--02:28: _Mogadishu – Situati...
- 11/09/12--02:32: _Bari – Situation An...
- 11/09/12--02:39: _Hiraan – Situation ...
- 11/09/12--02:44: _Gedo Region – Situa...
- 11/09/12--04:21: _Pastoralist herder ...
- 11/09/12--04:29: _Somalia: New Team, ...
- 11/09/12--04:45: _Conflict trends (no...
- 11/09/12--05:32: _Sahel Crisis 2012: ...
- 11/09/12--05:33: _Lower Juba – Situat...
- 11/09/12--05:34: _Mudug Region – Situ...
- 11/09/12--05:39: _Nugaal – Situation ...
- 11/09/12--05:40: _Lower Shabelle – Si...
- 11/09/12--05:42: _Sanaag – Situation ...
- 11/09/12--05:51: _Somalia - FSNAU Nut...
- 11/09/12--05:56: _WoqooyI Galbeed – S...
- 11/09/12--05:58: _￼Middle Shabelle – ...
- 11/09/12--06:09: _￼Middle Juba – Situ...
- 11/09/12--07:01: _Un plan d'intervent...
- 11/09/12--10:13: _W. Africa plots mil...
- 11/09/12--10:35: _Preliminary Appeal:...
- 11/09/12--02:28: Mogadishu – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--02:32: Bari – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--02:39: Hiraan – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--02:44: Gedo Region – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--04:21: Pastoralist herder looks to farming as an alternative livelihood
- 11/09/12--04:29: Somalia: New Team, Old Hurdles
- 11/09/12--05:32: Sahel Crisis 2012: Funding Status as of 9 November 2012
- 11/09/12--05:33: Lower Juba – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--05:34: Mudug Region – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--05:39: Nugaal – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--05:40: Lower Shabelle – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--05:42: Sanaag – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--05:51: Somalia - FSNAU Nutrition Update September - October 2012
- 11/09/12--05:56: WoqooyI Galbeed – Situation Analysis, October 2012
- 11/09/12--05:58: ￼Middle Shabelle – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--06:09: ￼Middle Juba – Situation Analysis October 2012
- 11/09/12--07:01: Un plan d'intervention de 5.500 soldats étudié à Abuja
- 11/09/12--10:13: W. Africa plots military force in Islamist north Mali
Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, is also referred to as the Banadir region. The city, governed by a mayor, is divided into 16 districts, each headed by a district commissioner. There are no recently verified population figures for Mogadishu, but UNDP’s 2005 report estimated it at 900,000, while according to the Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia (FGRS), the current population figure is 2.5 million. The October 2011 inter-agency assessment indicates that 184,400 IDPs live in makeshift settlements and abandoned public buildings across the city. Most arrived from the southern and central regions (Lower and Middle Shabelle, Lower and Middle Jubba, Bay and Bakool) during the drought emergency between July to September 2011. Over 40,000 arrived during the military offensive in Afgoyee between February and May 2012. The year conflict in Mogadishu has resulted in huge population displacement into and out of the city. The peak of the conflict was in 2007 when the joint Transitional Federal Government (TFG) / Ethiopian forces fought the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). In subsequent years, TFG/AMISOM forces continued to fight Al-Shabaab (AS), which also led to massive displacements. An estimated 409,000 people left the city, fleeing to the nearby Afgooye corridor in the Lower Shabelle region, during the two decades of conflict. This conflict displaced an estimated 800,000 Somalis from Mogadishu, destroying houses and basic infrastructure services.
Bari region is situated in the northeast of the autonomous state of Puntland in Somalia. It is bordered by Sool region to the southwest, Nugaal region to the south, the Indian Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Aden to the north and the disputed border with Sanaag on the northwestern side. The population is estimated at 367,368; out of which, 179,633 reside in urban areas and 188,005 in rural areas. There are six districts in the region including Alula, Bossaso, Banderbeila, Gardho, Iskushuban and Kandala; each being administered by the district Mayor.
The Governor is the head of the entire administration, with support from Puntland state authorities. However, there is a protracted political deadlock between the district administration of Alula and the Puntland state authorities. Similarly, there is a border dispute between Sanaag (Somaliland) and Puntland authorities; these two stalemates sometimes create insecurity and inaccessibility to the affected districts.
Hiraan Region borders Galgaduud to the east, Middle and Lower Shabelle to the south, Bakool to the west, and Ethiopia to the north. The estimated population is 329,811, with a 79/21 percent rural/urban divide. There are three administrative districts: the population of Belet Weyne (including Matabaan) - 172,049; the population of Bulo Burte (including Maxaas) - 111,038; and the population of Jalalaqsi - 46,724 people (Source: UNDP). The region hosts an estimated 51,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) (UNHCR estimates in September 2012).
Gedo Region, the second largest region in Somalia, lies on the Somalia borders with Ethiopia and Kenya, and shares borders with four Somali regions of Bay, Bakool and Middle Jubba and Lower Jubba. It has an estimated total population of 328,3781, with a 75/25 rural/urban divide.The region is home to 76,510 IDPs. UNHCR estimates that 16,380 IDPs arrived in Luuq, 30,000 in Doloow, and approximately 18,000 in Belet Xaawo.
Gedo has six administrative districts: Garbaharey, Baardheere (the capital), Ceel Waaq in the south and Belet Xaawo, Doloow, and Luuq in the north. Two major rivers run through the region, the Dawa and the Juba. The Dawa River runs along the border of Ethiopia into Somalia’s Gedo region. The Jubba River starts from Doloow, just north of Luuq district, and flows to Buur Dhuubo and Baardheere.
by Mohamed Uwes
Mr Ahmed Dabatag, aged 68, is a farmer in Wisil village, some 60 km east of Galkayo town in South Somalia. Ahmed, a former pastoralist, settled in the village when he lost all his remaining goats and camels to drought in early 2010. While in the village, Ahmed—a father of fourteen children and married to two wives—used to fetch firewood and sell it in the local market to support his family. During the rainy season he would practice rain-fed farming in the valleys close to Wasil.
In November 2011, Adeso supported 30 farmers—including Ahmed—in Wisil village with farm tools, seeds and skills trainings. Ahmed was among those farmers who later formed the Wisil Farmers’ Association where he benefits from peer exchanges and trainings visits. Now, he grows sorghum, cow peas, watermelon and maize on his three hectare plot. Putting his new knowledge into practice, he has divided his farm into four sections and practices crop rotation every season to reduce pests and diseases.
Ahmed stores part of his harvest for domestic use and sells the surplus to cater for his family’s needs. In a good season, he gets on average income of SoS 25,000,000 (approximately USD 1085) from the sale of his produce. Ahmed explained during a recent Adeso evaluation visit that: “Despite the challenges, I will work hard to conserve and trap rain water by digging a small water pan so I that I can be able to grow some tomatoes, pepper and onions.” A simple intervention like providing seeds and skills training to subsistence farmers has a significant impact on his or her ability to overcome food insecurity. Ahmed and other beneficiaries of Adeso’s support have quickly been able to turn their situations around, and provide food and income for their families.
Andrews Atta-Asamoah, Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Pretoria
Barring any significant opposition in parliament, Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon’s ten nominees for Somalia’s post-transition cabinet could be the ones to promote and sustain the achievements of the just-ended transition in the country. Their nomination has already been greeted with optimism in certain circles, amid public relief that the post-transition government, despite delays, is gradually taking shape. Others regard the inadequacies of the nominees and the imbalances in the proposed cabinet as indicative of the character of the new leadership and of the concessions they will be ready to make in the interests of peace and the development of the country.
Whether the list passes as is or with modifications, reflecting emerging political intrigues, the entire process clearly communicates the thinking of the new crop of leaders in Villa Somalia in steering the country in a direction that breaks with certain aspects of the past and looks to a future sensitive to the political and identity nuances of their constituency. This thinking towards breaking with the past, on one side, and the entrenched realities and challenges on the other, portray a typical case of a new team facing old hurdles. The team in Villa Somalia may be changing but the odds are daunting.
The first of the hurdles is the management of the existing stakeholders’ interests. In politics there are always vested interests, and Somalia is no exception. These interests are entrenched in the many identity poles that have been key to the conflict history of the country, as well as the many stakeholders who have characterised both the push for and sabotage of the quest for peace. The composition of the political leadership is thus a delicate balancing act difficult to master if only ten positions are available. This is even more so if there is no reserve bench to calm the expectations of all the interest groups. Crafting an acceptable cabinet is critical to the task ahead. A failure to map out the various power bases and their associated interest groups will be a ticking time bomb against sustaining recent achievements.
Already, a number of concerns are emerging around the proposed cabinet, centred on its inability to fully satisfy all of the political, regional and identity interests. As a result, notable imbalances are expected to be a bone of contention in parliament in the coming days. Closely related to that is the fact that the proposed cabinet does not reflect the interests of the northern parts of the country, as it is dominated by people from the south-central areas. This could be a recipe for failure in resolving the issues surrounding the secession of Somaliland.
After having scuttled the hurdle of balancing interests, the cabinet has yet to face the hurdle of a depleted bureaucracy and institutional base. The years of uncertainty and insecurity have forced the majority of Somalia’s most valuable human resources to leave the country. Worse of all is the lack of equipment and incentive for the few remaining to fully contribute towards sustaining state structures. Government ministries therefore exist without the capacity to operationalise efforts towards delivering on state functions. Consequently, while the expectations of the masses are high, the delivery base is weak. This leaves the new crop of leaders with a will without means and ultimately no deliverables. Without these, relevance and legitimacy will be difficult to create and sustain after more than a year in office. This thus calls for balancing capacity and interests. As much as accommodating stakeholder interests are important for sustaining peace in Somalia, the capacity of the nominees to deliver is also crucial for viability.
Given the context, no Somali leaders can afford the cost of an erosion of legitimacy resulting from the inability to deliver on the expectations of their constituency, whether due to incapacity or to inherited realities. An erosion of delivery capacity invariably undermines relevance and will legitimise forces like al-Shabaab that are waiting to cash in on the weaknesses and inabilities of the new team.
Al-Shabaab may be down but it is certainly not out and, apart from piracy, is the nucleus of the security hurdle that stares the new crop of leaders in the face. As improvised explosive devises (IEDs) and suicide attacks continue to claim lives in the country, it is clear that extending security beyond Mogadishu cannot be over-emphasised. In the midst of the shaky mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), a dwindling funding base and the threat by Uganda to withdraw its troops amid allegations of support for the M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the pressure for Somalis to take ownership of efforts to extend security beyond Mogadishu is considerable. Yet that will take time. Until enough local capacity is built and adequately resourced, an untimely withdrawal of AMISOM forces will be an open invitation for the return of al-Shabaab and lead to the deterioration of the achievements made during the transition period.
The other issue that should be under discussion is whether it is time to make friends with the enemy. Al-Shabaab has lost bargaining power as a result of its combat losses. An outright victory in these circumstances could bring peace, but a negotiated settlement does so as well. In a situation where the driving force behind the mobilisation of saboteurs of the peace is jihadism, talking peace is important since the logic of deterrence through defeat may not wholly apply. Keeping the peace in post-transition Somalia through making friends with the enemy should not be completely discounted.
Another important issue that will have to be dealt with circumspectly involves the management of the Somali pull and the international push. In the past, the inability of some leaders to balance Somali expectations for independence in decision making and local ownership with the role of the international community led to perceptions that certain leaders were the puppets of the international community. The current crop of leaders cannot afford to allow such a perception, since it will erode their legitimacy and create citizen disengagement from existing processes. It is one area that past leaders were not adept at managing and it is one hurdle that the new leaders will have to swiftly confront and surmount. In the midst of these hurdles and high expectations, what is on the minds of many is whether Somalia’s saviours have finally arrived and whether the proposed team (or the modified version) is a winning squad. The answer is the sum of all the above factors and the resolve of the Somali people to make it work this time. While the hurdles are many, resolve could make all the difference.
This month’s Conflict Trends report is the eighth in a series of monthly publications from the Armed Con-flict Location & Event Dataset (ACLED). Each month, realtime data on conflict events is gathered, pub-lished and analysed, and compared with historical patterns in violence levels, locations and agents to provide an insight into conflict change and continu-ity on the continent.
Last month’s issue (available online at acled-data.com) focused on a number of high-profile country cases (DR-Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia and South Africa). Each of these countries experiences extremely high levels of violent conflict events and associated fatalities, though each has a distinct conflict profile which speaks to the different drivers of political violence in each case.
ACLED publishes data and analysis for the entire African continent from 1997 to date: this month is the first in a series of regionally-focused reports, looking at the West African states of Benin, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali and Mauritania. A regional focus allows us to turn our attention to case studies which may experience lower overall levels of violence than high-profile country cases, but whose internal volatility and drivers of violence are significant both regionally and in discerning broader processes in Africa.
This month also sees a continuation of our special focus feature, with attention turned to the activity, role and nature of Nigeria’s Boko Haram group.
This special focus tracks the group’s origins, aims and patterns of violent behavior. Geographic patterns as well as patterns of engagement with civilians and state forces are explored, before turn-ing to potential future developments in the conflict.
Lower Juba borders Middle Juba and Gedo to the north, Kenya to the west, Middle Juba to the northeast and the Indian Ocean to the east. The region has four districts: Kismaayo, Jamaame, Afmadow and Badhaadhe. In mid-2012, AMISOM/Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) and Somalia National Army took control of the town of Kismayo, in addition to the districts of Afmadw and Badhaadhe, which were under their control since the start of 2012. Al-Shabaab still controls Jamaame district. The port of Kismaayo serves an economic hub, and generates revenue from major exports and imports, mainly charcoal. Lower Juba has a total population of approximately 385,790people. The majority of the population consists of agro-pastoralists and riverine communities, while pastoralists live in the northern parts of Afmadow and Badhaadhe districts.
Mudug region lies between Galgaduud of central and Nugaal of North East (Puntland) regions. It has five districts, and partly lies alongside the Indian Ocean. The population of Mudug region is estimated to be 131,455 (UNDP 2005). The region hosts 84,000 Internally Displaced Population (IDPs), according to UNHCR October Report.
Mudug and Galgaduud regions suffer from increased ongoing political tensions. There are also localized resource-based conflicts in rural settlements. Marine piracy attacks, previously a big menace, have declined in the past six months. The direct and indirect impacts have been human casualties, injuries and population displacement. Furthermore, there has been trade disruptions, a downturn in economic activities and transportation networks. Restrictions on population and livestock movements to key grazing areas and markets are also reported. The threat of sea piracy has also continued to restrict trade/imports and influences increased price levels of commodities. Local cereals are brought from southern Somalia while imported commodities come from Bossaso and Mogadishu.
The security situation in the region is stable but fluid, and humanitarian access remains a major challenge in the region due to political tensions and sporadic clan conflicts. The main humanitarian issues in the region are recurrent drought, lack of adequate sources of livelihood especially for drought-affected pastoralists, rural and urban poor, and hyperinflation affecting the purchasing power of the most vulnerable groups.
The humanitarian challenges in Nugaal fall into two categories: isolated pockets of crises usually predicated on seasonal variations and a protracted problem of displacement due to conflict in south-central. The seasonal issues principally include drought, floods and fire in IDP settlements. The protracted displacement is centered in the main towns of Garowe, Burtinle and Dangaroyo.
The population of Nugaal region is approximately 145,341 (UNDP 2005), of which 90,592 are rural residents and 54,749 are urban population. The main economic sustenance of the population in Nugaal is livestock. However, fishery is another key economic activity for the coastal communities in Eyl and Dangorayo districts.
There are 10,000 IDPs in Garowe (UNHCR October 2012), of which the majority (90 per cent) originates from southern and central Somalia. Additionally there are an estimated 5,000 IDPs, mostly displaced due to drought, in Burtinle and Dangorayo districts of Nugaal. These drought-affected IDPs are not formally registered and or recognized. They are however covered by the clusters in terms of assistance. Most of these IDPs are living in appalling conditions with insufficient shelter, sanitation and unreliable sources of income. In addition, these IDPs are often at risk of fire outbreaks and flooding, especially those living along the river bank of Garowe.
Lower Shabelle region borders Mogadishu, Middle Shabelle, Middle Juba, Bay and the Indian Ocean.
Its estimated population is 850,651 with a rural/urban split of 80/20 per cent. The region has eight administrative districts and six livelihood zones, mainly the riverine, agro-pastoral and coastal pastoral zones.
Lower Shabelle has the largest concentration of IDPs with 496,000 people, including 406,000 in Afgoyee.These IDPs were originally displaced from Mogadishu by a multi-dimensional conflict since 2007, living in the Afgooye corridor. During the conflicts in February and May 2012, over 50,000 IDPs were displaced to Mogadishu and other parts of Lower Shabelle from the Afgooye corridor.
In June 2012, AMISOM/Somali National Army (SNA) took over Afgoye town, ending more than four years of Al-Shabaab rule. In August 2012, Merka, previously under AS, was also taken by AMISOM and SNA. The remaining districts in the region are still under Al-Shabaab control.
Sanaag region is on the north eastern tip of Somaliland and neighbors Sool and Togdheer regions. The population of Sanaag region is estimated at 270,367 (UNDP 2005), with more than 79% living in the rural areas. Some part of Sanaag region is claimed by both Somaliland and Puntland – particularly areas bordering Puntland, whuih are predominantly inhabited by clans who have close kinship affinity with the clans in Puntland. However, Somaliland controls the majority of the districts in the region. The region is divided administratively into four districts of Erigavo, Ceel Afweyn, Badhan and Laas Qoray.
In terms of livelihoods, Sanaag is predominantly pastoral with pockets of agro-pastoral areas.
Cultivation of frankincense is a livelihood activity for small number of people in the region. The region, like most of the neighboring regions, experienced recurrent droughts for many years which severely depleted livestock herds and resulted in urban migration. For better protection, displaced people from drought-affected regions moved to areas where their sub-clans reside and where humanitarian assistance and other public services are available. The exact number of people displaced by these droughts is unknown because most have integrated into host communities.
Humanitarian access and security remain a huge challenge to the overall humanitarian effort in Sanaag due to the political dispute of administrative ownership of the region between Puntland and Somaliland. The main humanitarian issues in the region include lack of adequate livelihood sources, especially among drought-affected pastoralists and urban poor; and hyperinflation, which affects the purchasing power of the most vulnerable groups.
Nutrition situation improves in West Golis, Nugal Valley and Hawd Livelihood Zones of Northwest Regions but remains unchanged in the rest of the country
The normal to above normal rains received in September-October 2012 have resulted in slight improvements in food security across the country. There is increased availability of water and pasture which has contributed to milk availability, improved livestock body conditions, and income access following livestock demand at the time of the Hajj festivity.
In farming areas, there is increased cultivation and related labor opportunities for the poor resulting in better access to income. Positive food security outcomes across the country are likely to translate to improved dietary intake and nutrition. This is consistent with the FSNAU post Gu 2012 food security projection.
Unfortunately in Beletweyne, the rains have resulted in floods in the riverine areas. “Following the floods in Beletweyne, the number of reported suspected cholera cases remained stable, with a cumulative daily reporting range of 17-22 cases from 4 MCHs in the district. Beletweyne remains an area of concern after the recent floods and WHO, UNICEF and health partners are closely monitoring trends”. (WHO Somalia Emergency Weekly Health Update , Oct 13-19, 2012). WHO further indicates outbreaks of suspected cholera across Somalia as stable for the season, except for Bay where the numbers are elevated (12 cases reported in 1 week). Seasonal outbreaks of acute watery diarrhea and suspected cholera are likely to aggravate the currently precarious situation in the south, especially in Beletweyne District and Bay Region.
Despite the improvements in food security indicators, the two of the three areas of concern based on the Gu 2012 seasonal analysis findings still show concern:
• West Golis’ health facilities continue to show a high proportion (>20%) but fluctuating trends of acutely malnourished children.
• In Nugal Valley, >10% of children visiting health facilities are malnourished (sustained since the Gu 2012).
In the Hawd of Northwest, health facility data indicates a low (<10%) proportion of acutely malnourished children in July-September 2012, a decrease from >15% in the Gu 2012.
Woqooyi Galbeed1 is located between Awdal region to the west, and Togdheer region to the east. It also borders Ethiopia to the south and the Gulf of Aden to the north. The region has an estimated population of 700,345 with a 70/30 urban/rural ratio (UNDP 2005). Somaliland’s capital city Hargeisa and the northern port town of Berbera are found in the region. The region consists of three districts: Berbera, Hargeisa, and Gabiley. There are four livelihoods zones in the region, namely: Guban pastoral zone (tending sheep, goats, camels) which runs along the northern coast; the west Golis pastoral zone (rearing sheep, goats, camels) running from east to west below Guban, the largest zone in the region; north-west agro-pastoral zone (cultivating sorghum, raising cattle) extending from east to west below west Golis; and Hawd pastoral zone (tending sheep, goats, camels) along the southern border with Ethiopia.
Most parts of the region received near normal to normal Gu rains that replenished water levels and regenerated pastures. The region was not affected by the drought that hit the Golis/Guban coastal areas inJune-August 2012.
Hargeisa, which is the main city in Woqooyi Galbeed, is home to the highest concentration of IDPs in Somaliland, which according to UNHCR estimates, numbers at 45,000 people. There are a number of IDP settlements in Hargeisa, including in the city centre, such as State House, Stadium, Daami, Ayaha, and Mohamed Mooge. The majority of the IDPs in the region have resided in settlements for years. Many fled the early 1990’s civil war in Somalia and returned to Somaliland from Ethiopia. There are more arrivals in recent years due to drought. This includes the 2011 drought that resulted in an increase in the number of IDPs in Mohamed Mooge camp by over 2,000 households.
In 2012, the Somaliland Government authorities recently began relocating IDPs from some urban settlements to outlying newly-established settlements. Over 500 IDPs were already relocated to Ayaha III settlement, and the Government is planning to relocate 2,700 households from Mohamed Mooge settlement to a new unspecified area. The IDPs were given small parcels of land for permanent settlement as the government disputes their right to settle in their current locations.
Hargeisa also hosts tens of thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from Ethiopia. At the start of 2012, the Somaliland government announced that it will deport all unregistered refugees and asylumseekers.
The government’s move was denounced by Amnesty International. The UN has also voiced its concerns. In August 2012, the authorities forcibly deported about 100 Ethiopian asylum-seekers, following violent confrontations with Somaliland Police. The confrontation reportedly started after the asylumseekers refused to vacate a plot of privately-owned land. There were no more deportations after this incident.
Middle Shabelle region borders Mogadishu to the south, Lower Shabelle to the southwest, Hiraan and Galgaduud regions to the north, and the Indian Ocean to the east. Its population is estimated at 514,901 with 80 per cent living in the rural areas. The region has four main administrative districts; Adanyabaal with 62,917 people, Balcad/Warsheikh with 136,007 people, Cadaale with 46,720 people, and Jowhar/ Mahaday with 269,257people1. Jowhar is the region’s administrative capital while Adanyabal, Adale and Balad are the main towns. The region hosts an estimated 51,960 internally displaced people (IDPs)2.
Middle Shabelle is divided into five main livelihood zones. In central regions, agro-pastoralists produce cowpeas and graze sheep, goats, camels and cattle. In the coastal Deeh, rearing sheep is the predominant livelihood; while the agro-pastoral irrigated livelihood zones grow maize/sorghum and rear cattle. The agro-pastoral rain zone produces maize, cowpeas and sesame and rear cattle; the Shabelle riverine zone produces maize, fruits and vegetables.
The River Shabelle flows through the south western part of Middle Shabelle from the Hiraan region. The River is the lifeline for agriculture however it also brings devastation during flooding seasons. According to weather forecasts, the El Niño (September 2012 through early next year) is likely to affect some 113,000 people in Jowhar and Balcad districts due to increased rains in the Ethiopian highlands.
The food security situation in the Middle Shabelle region has shown significant improvements since Deyr season. Gu 2012 harvest is 26 per cent above the Post-War Average (PWA). Livestock is in good condition, and terms of trade combined with stable food prices contributed to improved food security. The coastal belt has received poor rains and the food security situation remained in emergency phase. A nutrition survey could not take place for the Gu cycle, however, the situation is believed to be in critical phase following a bumper Deyr harvest and an above average Gu Post War Average (1995-2011) crop.3
The region is still under Al-Shabaab (AS) control except for Balcad district. Insecurity remains a serious challenge in Balcad due to frequent AS hit-and-run attacks. Key humanitarian agencies are banned, however some 20 partners, mainly local NGOs, are engaged in a variety of cluster interventions.
Middle Juba borders with Bay region to the north, Gedo to the west and northwest, Lower Shebelle to the northeast and Lower Juba to the south. The region has three districts, namely Sakow, Salagle and Jilib. The region has a total population of approximately 239,000 people1. All of the districts in the region are fully controlled by Al-Shabaab (AS). MSF Holland is the only international NGO with access to the area. There is no UN presence in the region. However, local NGOs have access to the region.
According to FSNAU, food availability has improved in the rain-fed area of the region in the last Deyr season; however, poor GU rains performance has resulted in below average crop production. The region has also experienced floods in the last Deyr season causing crop failure in Buale, Jilib and Sakow districts that resulted a below average harvest.
11/09/2012 21:17 GMT
Par Ola Awoniyi
ABUJA (Nigeria), 09 nov 2012 (AFP) - Les ministres ouest-africains de la Défense et des Affaires étrangères ont débattu vendredi à Abuja d'un plan d'intervention armée dans le nord du Mali, prévoyant le déploiement de 5.500 soldats dont une partie ne viendrait pas de l'Afrique de l'Ouest, a indiqué une source interne à la Cédéao, en marge de la réunion.
Ces ministres des 15 pays membres de la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao) devaient entériner un projet élaboré par leurs chefs d'état-major et devant être soumis, dimanche, aux chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement ouest-africains, au cours d'un sommet à Abuja.
Leurs discussions à huis-clos se poursuivaient vendredi en fin de journée.
"Les chefs d'état-major de la Cédéao ont proposé de changer la composition des troupes qui seraient déployées" pour la reconquête du nord du Mali, occupé par des groupes islamistes armés, a déclaré la source interne à la Cédéao, sous couvert de l'anonymat.
"Ils recommandent que 5.500 soldats soient déployés, au lieu des 3.200 prévus dans la proposition initiale de la Cédéao", a ajouté cette source, et les troupes supplémentaires viendraient "d'Etats hors Cédéao".
"C'est la raison pour laquelle l'Afrique du Sud, la Mauritanie, le Maroc, la Libye, l'Algérie et le Tchad sont invités à participer au sommet de dimanche", a-t-il précisé, ne citant que des pays du continent africain.
Cette source n'a pas précisé s'il était envisagé d'envoyer au Mali des militaires non africains. Elle n'a pas non plus indiqué si ces troupes supplémentaires seraient destinées à combattre ou non.
Une fois adopté, ce plan sera transmis aux Nations Unies via l'Union Africaine (UA), selon le président de la Commission de la Cédéao, Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo.
"Le besoin urgent de stopper les pratiques mafieuses et criminelles des groupes terroristes et les atrocités commises dans l'impunité par les extrémistes justifie une forte mobilisation aux côtés du Mali", a déclaré M. Ouedraogo en ouverture de la réunion, qu'il a qualifiée de "tournant décisif" dans la recherche d'une sortie à la crise malienne.
Le secrétaire d'Etat nigérian aux Affaires étrangères, Nurudeen Mohammed, a estimé que si l'insécurité dans la région du Sahel n'était pas contenue, elle représenterait "un danger énorme pour le continent africain et pour le reste du monde".
Le 12 octobre, le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies avait donné 45 jours à la Cédéao pour préciser ses plans de reconquête du nord du Mali, contrôlé totalement par trois groupes islamistes depuis fin juin.
Le plan adopté à l'issue du sommet doit préciser la composition de la force, soutenue sur le plan logistique par des pays occidentaux, le niveau de participation des différents pays africains, le financement et les moyens militaires dont la force devra disposer.
poursuivre le dialogue politique
M. Ouedraogo a répété que la Cédéao devrait continuer à avoir une double approche dans la résolution de cette crise, avec d'un côté la poursuite des tentatives de "dialogue politique" et de l'autre une "pression militaire" sur les groupes islamistes armés.
Le ministre ivoirien des Affaires étrangères Daniel Kablan Dunkan a rappelé dans son discours que le conseil de médiation et de sécurité de la Cédéao avait "invité" Bamako à créer un "comité de négociation" pour faciliter le dialogue.
Ansar Dine (Défenseurs de l'islam), un des trois groupes armés islamistes qui occupent le nord du Mali, a accepté de discuter avec le président burkinabé Blaise Compaoré, médiateur de la Cédéao, et s'est dit prêt au "dialogue" avec Bamako.
L'envoyé spécial du secrétaire général de l'Onu pour le Sahel, Romano Prodi, avait déclaré jeudi, après un entretien avec le président algérien Abdelaziz Bouteflika, qu'une intervention militaire au Mali n'interviendrait qu'en "dernier ressort".
L'Algérie, qui pourrait jouer un rôle clé dans le cas d'une opération armée, grâce à l'importance des ses moyens militaires et la compétence de ses services secrets, a exprimé jusqu'à présent sa préférence pour une sortie de crise par le dialogue. Le pays a une frontière commune de 1.400 kilomètres avec le Mali.
La France, ancienne puissance coloniale au Mali, a toujours dit qu'elle n'interviendrait qu'en soutien logistique à une intervention entérinée par le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU.
Selon le ministère français de la Défense, une mission européenne d'entraînement des forces africaines au Mali, qui pourrait mobiliser 200 militaires, sera discutée par les ministres de la Défense et des Affaires étrangères de cinq pays européens le 15 novembre à Paris.
Vendredi soir, le responsable d'une milice d'auto-défense du nord du Mali, Seydou Cissé, a proposé des renforts, affirmant depuis Niamey que 2.000 de ses hommes étaient "prêts"à combattre aux côtés des troupes ouest-africaines.
M. Cissé , Malien d'ethnie peul et responsable de la milice Ganda-Isoa, qui avait été défaite comme l'armée malienne par les groupes islamistes, a dit être en contact "avec les autorités nigériennes et maliennes", "afin que (ses) hommes puissent se positionner le long de la frontière avec le Niger et devancer les forces ouest-africaines".
Trois groupes islamistes armés occupent totalement le nord du Mali depuis fin juin: Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi), Ansar Dine et le Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Mujao).
Ils y imposent la charia (loi islamique) de manière rigoriste : lapidations de couples non mariés, amputations de présumés voleurs, coups de fouets au buveurs d'alcool et aux fumeurs. Ils y commettent aussi de nombreuses exactions.
Cette occupation, combinée aux pénuries alimentaires et à l'effondrement des structures de l'Etat dans cette région, a placé dans une situation "tragique" quelque 500.000 personnes, a estimé Peter Maurer, président du Comité international de la Croix Rouge.
© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse
11/09/2012 17:29 GMT
by Ola Awoniyi
ABUJA, Nov 09, 2012 (AFP) - West African nations on Friday plotted military force against "terrorist groups" in Islamist-occupied northern Mali as ministers met on a strategy to win back the vast territory.
The foreign and defence ministers from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States were to forward a plan aimed at returning Mali's north to government control to a summit of the bloc's leaders on Sunday, also in Abuja.
The plan would eventually be sent for approval at the UN Security Council, which on October 12 set a 45-day timeframe for a blueprint. It would be delivered through the African Union's Peace and Security Council, ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo said.
At the same time, attempts at dialogue are ongoing to resolve the crisis, which analysts have warned poses potential problems to other countries in West Africa at risk of violence from Islamist extremists.
"The urgent need to halt the mafia and criminal practices of terrorist groups and the atrocities committed with impunity by the extremists requires a strong mobilisation on behalf of Mali," Ouedraogo said.
He said ECOWAS should pursue a dual approach of dialogue and military pressure allowing it to "stand by Mali ... and help her regain her territorial integrity (and) dismantle terrorist networks."
Nigerian junior foreign minister Nurudeen Mohammed warned that failing to contain insecurity in the Sahel region "portends a great danger to the African continent and the whole world at large."
"It is evidently clear that these outlaws lost all overtures made for dialogue and have gone wild by attacking ... the UN heritage sites," he said.
He also accused them of conscripting children into militias and kidnappings along with arms, drugs and human trafficking, "and the dispersal of armed groups across borders."
The ministers retreated behind closed doors for discussions after an opening ceremony, and no details had emerged from the talks by the end of the afternoon.
Facing a potentially violent ouster, one of the extremist groups in Mali, Ansar Dine, which has occupied key cities such as Timbuktu for seven months, has called for dialogue.
On Thursday, the UN special envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, the former Italian prime minister and ex-president of the European Commission, said every effort would be made to avoid military intervention.
Prodi made the comments after meeting Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Mali. Algeria is seen as important to any military operation, but it has been hesitant to get involved, preferring a negotiated solution.
While not a member of ECOWAS, Algeria is seen as key due to its superior military capabilities, intelligence services and experience battling Islamist extremism. Algeria also shares a 1,400-kilometre (875-mile) border with Mali.
The ECOWAS military strategy being presented to the ministers on Friday was drawn up with the help of experts from the European Union, African Union, UN and the region, and adopted by regional army chiefs this week.
The details of the plan have not been made public, but army sources say more than 4,000 troops could be sent into Mali.
The French defence ministry said foreign and defence ministers from five European countries -- Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy and France -- will meet on November 15 to discuss a European mission aimed at training Malian troops.
The mission could include 200 soldiers and begin in January, an aide of French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
Mali, once one of the region's most stable democracies, rapidly imploded after a coup in March allowed Tuareg desert nomads, who had relaunched a decades-old rebellion for independence, to seize the main towns in the north with the help of Islamist allies.
The secular separatists were quickly sidelined by the Islamists, who had little interest in their aspirations for an independent homeland and set about implementing their version of strict sharia law.
© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse
Preliminary Appeal Target: US$ 5,839,033
Geneva, 9 November 2012
Following the Horn of Africa drought in 2011, the 2012 weather conditions have been seemingly better.
However, the damage from recurrent droughts, and decades of conflict, has had negative effects on people’s lives and livelihoods. The below-normal and uneven April to June Gu rains, pest infestations, and other factors, led to a significantly below-average 2012 Gu harvest. This has left more than 2 million Somali people in need of humanitarian assistance.
Areas most affected include: •the agro-pastoral areas in southern Somalia, notably Bay, Bakool, Hiran, Gedo, Lower and Middle Juba regions. • The agro pastoral and pastoral areas of northern Somalia, notably Awdal and Sahil regions.
The food insecurity continues to cause hunger and displacement, resulting in increased pressure on already crowded IDP settlements around Mogadishu, and in urban areas of Somaliland.
While there are efforts to provide basic services to the refugee population in Dadaab refugee camps (451, 500 people)- 35,000 vulnerable refugees and 25,000 refugee children in Kambioos camp are in need of life-sustaining assistance.
ACT Somalia Forum has been implementing emergency and early recovery actions since August 2011 within ACT appeal, SOM111. The response reached approximately 250,000 Somali people in South Central Somalia, Mogadishu and the Dadaab refugee camps.
The support provided by ACT members included psychosocial support, WASH, protection of refugees, food assistance, provision of non-food items (NFIs), emergency shelter, emergency education and livelihood recovery interventions. Continued efforts are needed in 2012- 2013 to meet immediate lifesaving needs, protect livelihoods, and build the resilience of vulnerable households.
Continued donor support for humanitarian response will also sustain the development gains already made and will also enable ACT members to utilise the opportunity created by the relative peace in the country, to implement more effective projects due to improved access.
The planned ACT response will aim at making stronger connections between life-saving emergency response and efforts to build people’s resilience to further shocks, as recommended by the ACT Horn of Africa Evaluation. The total number of people targeted is 591,283 people in localities of Somaliland, Puntland, Gedo region, Dadaab and Mogadishu region where ACT members are currently working.