Somalia Humanitarian Overview Vol. 1 Issue 10 - Oct 2008

Situation Report
Originally published


Main Developments

- October was another devastating month for aid workers in Somalia. On 29 October, the UN Compound in Hargeysa, Somaliland, was attacked by a suicide car bomb, killing two United Nations' staff members and injuring six others in part of a larger, well-coordinated series of attacks in which 26 people perished. Earlier in October, two other UN staff members, one NGO staff and one peace activist were killed.

- Unfortunately, November started off on an equally sad note with the killing of the chairperson of a women's organisation in Baidoa on 3 November and the abduction of four aid workers and two pilots from an airstrip near the town of Dhuusamarreeb, Galgaduud region, on 5 November.

- The NGOs CARE and International Medical Corps (IMC) suspended activities in South Central Somalia following a statement issued on 3 October by Al Shabaab calling for the two organizations to cease operations in areas under its control. The suspension of CARE activities has aff ected nearly 1 million Somalis in need of food aid.

- While the security situation continued to deteriorate country-wide, the humanitarian needs continued to increase. According to UNHCR, since 1 August until fi rst week of November nearly 108,000 people have been displaced from Mogadishu due to fi ghting. It is now estimated that 1.3 million Somalis have been rendered homeless and are scattered throughout Somalia.

- Despite timely Deyr rains (October-December), the food security situation remained critical for urban poor, displaced and pastoralists, FEWS NET Somalia reported.

- The UN Security Council on 7 October unanimously adopted a resolution urging States to deploy naval vessels and military aircraft to actively join the fi ght against rampant piracy off the coast of Somalia. On 23 October the Dutch government took over the escort of WFP food shipments from the Canadian frigate which ended its mission on 22 October.

- On 25-26 October, the third round of Djibouti peace talks took place. The meetings resulted in two accords signed between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS). The two delegations agreed that a ceasefi re would become eff ective on 5 November.

- The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) concluded its special meeting on Somalia in Nairobi on 30 October, with the leaders recommending, among other things, the TFG to constitute a new cabinet, including the ARS faction, within 15 days.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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