UNHCR Somalia Operational Highlights 17-24th March 2013
1) Political and Security
Following the Ethiopian Defence Force’s (EDF) withdrawal from Xudur town, Bakool district, Al-Shabaab (AS) militants seized control of the town. A large number of EDF as well as families/relations of Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) residing in Xudur also followed suit. As of 21st March 2013, approximately 2,500 people (mostly adolescent and adult males) have been displaced to Ceel Barde. The people who fled first primarily consisted of members of the local administration, government sympathizers, local NGOs, health workers, and their families who fear AS persecution. Further displacement of civilians may occur.
The Representative and UNHCR Mogadishu team had a series of meetings with the Technical Assessment Mission (TAM) Team as well as high level delegations/donor missions (a Norwegian delegation, and a donor mission (ECHO, USAID, DfID and AusAID). Discussions with the donors centered on IDP relocation and IDP returns and the relevant durable solutions for the returning populations. The prospect of a tripartite agreement between the governments of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia (regional strategy) on refugee returns and ongoing discussions around durable solutions planning and IDP policy in Somalia were also discussed.
The security situation in the Jubas remains stable with no major incidents reported. The negotiations of the community stakeholders on the establishment of a federal state of “Jubaland” are ongoing and the conference is expected to resume this week in Kismayo.