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OCHA Humanitarian Newsmaker: Vol. 1, Issue 1, March 2007

In this issue:

- Peace-keepers to the Darfur-Chad-CAR triangle?

- Kenya and the Ethiopian asylum seekers

- Turning the Nairobi Pact into law in the Great Lakes Region

- United Nations agencies to protest against rape in war on the eve of International Women's Day

- Acute Watery Diarrhoea spreads in Ethiopia

- USD 64.6 million to East and Central Africa from the Central Emergency Response Fund

- Banana disease threatens livelihoods in East and Central Africa.

- Some Kenyans see progress towards the Millennium Development Goals-but far from all

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UN official expresses optimism towards Somalia's journey to stabilization

Report
UN News Service
Somalia currently is at a "turning point," with the population buoyed by a new Government and hoping to take advantage of the opportunity to bring peace and stability to a country that has had no functioning government since the regime of Muhammad Siad Barre was toppled in 1991, a senior United Nations official said today.

Since the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) routed the Union of the Islamic Courts (UIC) almost three months ago, "the federal Government has a roadmap," UN Humanitarian Coordinator Eric Laroche told a press briefing at UN Headquarters. "They

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First AU peacekeepers arrive in Somalia

MOGADISHU, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - Ugandan military officers on Thursday arrived in Somalia in the first contingent of an African Union peacekeeping force to be deployed in the war-shattered Horn of Africa nation.

It is the first mission since a US-UN peace bid in the mid-1990s ended in failure and a bloody withdrawal, made famous in the movie Black Hawk Down.

Uganda has kept the exact troop deployment date secret, nervous after insurgents involved in almost daily violence in Mogadishu threatened to attack any peacekeepers.

The Ugandan officers landed Thursday

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Somalia/Uganda: AU mission will not impose peace - Museveni

Report
IRIN
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JINJA, 1 March 2007 (IRIN) - The African Union (AU) peace mission due to be deployed in Somalia will not try to disarm armed groups in that country, but will instead train a Somali national army, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni said on Thursday.

"We are not going to disarm the Somali militias because if we empower the Somali people, it will be up to them to decide whether it is necessary to disarm," said Museveni as he bid farewell to the Ugandan army contingent that will serve in the

IRIN:

A selection of IRIN reports are posted on ReliefWeb. Find more IRIN news and analysis at http://www.irinnews.org

Une sélection d'articles d'IRIN sont publiés sur ReliefWeb. Trouvez d'autres articles et analyses d'IRIN sur http://www.irinnews.org

This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. Refer to the IRIN copyright page for conditions of use.

Cet article ne reflète pas nécessairement les vues des Nations Unies. Voir IRIN droits d'auteur pour les conditions d'utilisation.

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Somalia: First AU peacekeepers arrive in country

MOGADISHU, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - Ugandan military officers arrived in Somalia Thursday, the first contingent of an African Union peacekeeping force to be deployed in the war-shattered Horn of Africa nation.

It is the first such venture since Operation Restore Hope, the ill-fated UN-backed, US-led peace mission launched in December 1992. During the first six months of that mission many civilians, 24 Pakistani peacekeepers and 18 from the US were killed as the peacekeepers battled local militia.

Uganda has kept the exact date of the

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Somali reconciliation conference in April: president

BAIDOA, Somalia, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - A Somali national reconciliation conference will start mid-April and last for two months in the violence-torn capital Mogadishu, President Abdullahi Yusuf told parliament Thursday.

"I want to announce that the reconciliation conference will held in Mogadishu on April 16 and will continue for two months," Yusuf told parliament, sitting in the town of Baidoa, about 250 kilometres (155 miles) northwest of the capital Mogadishu.

"There will be 3,000 participants

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Somalia: Preparing for new tides of refugees

For more than a decade Somalia has been in the grip of chaos and anarchy, and the humanitarian situation is disastrous. Over 160,000 refugees are living in camps in Kenya. New waves of refugees from the crisis-ridden country are expected.

As if the misery of war, hunger and a drought in Somalia were not enough: Due to floods, several sections of the Ifo refugee camp in Kenya, near the city of Dadaab in eastern Kenya, had to be relocated. Around 30,000 people needed a new place to live. This was certainly not an easy task, confirms Hans Keller, member of the Swiss

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Burundi + 7 others
Crisis Watch N°43 - 1 Mar 2007

CrisisWatch:

- summarises briefly developments during the previous month in some 70 situations of current or potential conflict,

- listed alphabetically by region, providing references and links to more detailed information sources (all references mentioned are hyperlinked in the electronic version of this bulletin);

- assesses whether the overall situation in each case has, during the previous month, significantly deteriorated, significantly improved, or on balance remained more or less unchanged;

- alerts readers to situations where,

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Somalia + 1 other
Somalia - Preparing for new tides of refugees

For more than a decade Somalia has been in the grip of chaos and anarchy, and the humanitarian situation is disastrous. Over 160,000 refugees are living in camps in Kenya. New waves of refugees from the crisis-ridden country are expected.

As if the misery of war, hunger and a drought in Somalia were not enough: Due to floods, several sections of the Ifo refugee camp in Kenya, near the city of Dadaab in eastern Kenya, had to be relocated. Around 30,000 people needed a new place to live. This was certainly not an easy task, confirms Hans Keller, member of the Swiss

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Kenya + 1 other
Kenya: Humanitarian update - Feb 2007


This report is based on information received from the UN agencies in Kenya, international NGOs, Kenya Red Cross Society and other Humanitarian agencies in the country.

1.0 General Overview:

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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Humanitarian situation in Somalia: Monthly analysis, Feb 2007

This report was written in cooperation with the UN Agencies in Somalia

HIGHLIGHTS

During February 2007, Mogadishu experienced escalating violence and insecurity with a stark increase in mortar attacks on strategic locations as well as indiscriminate shelling that resulted in dozens of civilian casualties. As a result of the unrest, according to UNHCR, over 40,000 people fled the capital in the course of the month, moving to the regions of Lower and Middle Shabelle, Bay, Gedo, and as far as Hiran and Somaliland. The information is based on field reports, which

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UNICEF Somalia Monthly Review Feb 2007

Political and security developments

During the reporting period, the security situation in Mogadishu continued to be tense. Attacks were staged against Ethiopian troops and individuals. The targets included Ethiopian troops stationed at the former Somalia Ministry of Defence complex. Most of the victims in these incidents have been children and women some hurt when those under fire counterattack. The intermittent clashes have led to an exodus of people from Mogadishu to other locations in Central/Southern Somalia including Baidoa and Bardera. Various other incidents of insecurity

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Afghanistan + 10 others
Nutrition information in crisis situations - Report number 12

Highlights

Ethiopia - Food security improvement - A bumper 2006/2007 meher season has been forecast with an estimated cereal and pulse production of 20.1 million tonnes. This is about 50% above the average of previous five years. The number of people in need of emergency assistance in 2007 is, therefore, lower than in recent years and is estimated at 1.36 million, compared to 2.6 in 2006. Moreover, around 7.3 million chronically food-insecure people will be entitled to the Productive Safety Net Program.

Kenya - Food insecurity persists -

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Chad + 17 others
Africa: Confronting complex threats

Coping with Crisis
Working Paper Series Feb 2007

Kwesi Aning

Introduction

Africa is grappling with several difficult security challenges.These difficulties result not only from the magnitude of these challenges,but also from the lack of capacity of African states and organizations to respond quickly and effectively to them.While wide swathes of Africa are compelled to deal with problems in an ad hoc manner,there are indications that some states, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the African Union (AU) are undertaking promising steps to respond.

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Burundi + 15 others
Africa: Weather hazards assessment for 1 - 7 Mar 2007

Weekly Introduction: Favio strikes Mozambique, conditions worsen in the Maize Triangle

1) Abundant to excessive rains fell across the Greater Horn during the 2006 short season. In the pastoral areas of Somalia, Kenya, southern and eastern Ethiopia, abundant rains favored the rejuvenation of pastures degraded by previous years' droughts and overgrazing. The abundant rains also replenished water supplies and allowed cropping in areas typically too dry for cultivations during a typical short season. In the grain producing areas of Kenya, northern Tanzania and Uganda, abundant

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Burundi to send 1,700 peacekeepers to Somalia

BUJUMBURA, Feb 28, 2007 (AFP) - Burundi on Wednesday said it will send 1,700 peacekeepers to Somalia as part of an 8,000-strong African Union force, while the first Ugandan contingent prepared to leave for the war-torn nation.

"The government of Burundi has accepted an AU request to send a brigade of 1,700 soldiers to Somalia," Burundi's deputy army chief Godefroid Niyombare told AFP.

He said the troops will form part of a second phase of deployment to be in Somalia by April.

"We have more than one month to

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Somalia: OCHA Somalia Sub-offices Location (as of 27 Feb 2007)

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Somalia: OCHA Offices Location (as of 27 Feb 2007)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.

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Somalia: Authorities arrest four men but WFP food aid ship still hijacked

The United Nations World Food Programme said today that Puntland authorities this morning arrested four men whom they say were part of a group that hijacked a WFP-contracted ship off the north eastern coast of Somalia. The men were arrested when they went ashore to buy supplies in the town of Bargal. However some four hijackers remain in control of the MV Rozen.

"The arrest is welcome news, but the safe release of the crew and the vessel remains our chief concern. We very much hope this ordeal will finish soon," said WFP Somalia's Country Director Peter Goossens.

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Somalia + 1 other
Ugandan president pleads for peacekeepers in Somalia

KAMPALA, Feb 26, 2007 (AFP) - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who plans to send troops to the African Union peace mission in Somalia, on Tuesday pleaded with the country's insurgents to spare the force designed to help in the restoration of peace.

Museveni said Ugandan forces will take precautionary measures while in Somalia, where insurgents have vowed to kill peacekeepers when they deploy to bolster the fragile government of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.

"The militia have no good reason to fear us because we are there to help them rebuild their country,"

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