Somalia + 1 more

UNCT Somalia Monitor 1 - 30 Nov 1999

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
HUMANITARIAN UPDATE
1. WHAT'S NEW?

Security Council Presidential Statement and Ambassadors Meeting

The Security Council issued a Presidential Statement on 12th November, expressing its grave concern at the increasingly evident effects of the lack of a functioning central government in Somalia; supporting the peace efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development; expressing its appreciation of all UN agencies, other organizations and individuals carrying out humanitarian activities in all regions of
Somalia; encouraging the Secretary-General to review the role of the UN in Somalia and taking note of the recommendation that the international community should consider establishing mechanisms which would allow financial assistance to flow in stable and secure areas of Somalia even before a formal central government and other institutions are re-established. (S/PRST/1999/31). On 3rd December, there will be an Ambassadors Meeting at the Security Council concerning Somalia. Mr. David Stephen, the UN Secretary General's Representative to Somalia, and Mr. Randolph Kent, UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator, will attend this meeting.

CAP Launch

The UN humanitarian Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeals 2000 were launched in Geneva on 23rd November. Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed during the occasion that the needs and vulnerability of affected people in Africa are greater than almost anywhere in the world. The donor responses to the CAP should sustain "the hope of millions of forgotten people". The CAP 2000 for Somalia amounts $50.5 million for humanitarian assistance (2.1% and 5.8% of the total amount requested world wide and for African countries, respectively) and another $73.7 million for other priority assistance to respond to post conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation needs in north-east and north-west of Somalia.

The Somalia appeal was presented by Mr. Kent. He stressed that Somalia was emerging from its nightmare. "The Somali people are starting to develop their own future, but they still need help", he said. He described Somalia as a template for the region and emphasised the need for both immediate humanitarian aid and longer term work towards the establishment of a functioning state and national reconciliation. "The International Community must do more than simply respond to crisis", he said, "it must prevent it".

The appeals were reinforced by a "picture show", at which both UN Agencies and individual country offices were able to display their work.

The Somalia stand showed a three minute film entitled "Somalia: from Disaster to Development" and illustrated the programmes of all the UN Agencies in Somalia with appropriate posters, maps and publications.

UN R/HC's visit to Northeast and Northwest.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator traveled to Somaliland and Puntland on 30 October - 2 November and met with government officials. In Puntland, the mission also attended the closing sessions of the War Torn Societies project research findings in Puntland. UNDP will establish a presence in Puntland and Somaliland to monitor and coordinate programme implementations and focus on strengthening the capacity building of the administration and governance.

Diaspora meeting

A meeting to discuss alternative means to economic and social development in Somalia, organised by the Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, was held in Geneva on 22 November. The ultimate aim of the meeting was to consider the role that the Somali diaspora could play in supporting the rehabilitation and development efforts of the Somali people, with assistance from the UN Agencies.

Nine invited members of the Somali Diaspora attended the meeting, representing not only different regions of Somalia but also different fields of expertise. Mr. Kent addressed the meeting, emphasising Somalia's regional role and the importance of the rapidly growing private sector. The meeting was important in bringing together a diverse selection of people and sharing ideas as to how they could work together towards a common goal.

Heads of Agency Workshop

The UN Heads of Agency met for 2 full days (19-20 Nov) in Nairobi to consider practical principles, programmatic and operational issues related to enhancing the role of the United Nations in Somalia. The workshop was, in essence, a follow-up to the Secretary-General's 16 August 1999 report to the Security Council on the General Situation in Somalia (copies available from UNCU on request). It appears likely that there will be a need for enhanced engagement of the UN with Somalia. The agencies looked for new ways to co-ordinate and facilitate their efforts, to strengthen security and to maximise the use of very limited resources.

The workshop established a clearer sense about how the UN should increase its involvement in Somalia. Out of the workshop three interlinked areas of agreement emerged: (i) a set of some 10 practical principles which Heads of Agency agreed form the foundation of interagency collaboration in Somalia e.g. "Unity of Action and Voice" and "Maximise Somali Participation And Ownership"; (ii) major programme implications of the application of each of these principles; and (iii) action required in order to operationalise the application of each principle. These papers are still in draft form being reviewed by UN agency staff in Nairobi and in field offices, for comment and final review by the Heads of Agencies at their last meeting of this millennium, to be held 16 December. The final papers will form the basis for a large part of the UN Country Team work plans for 2000.

Targeting workshop

From 29 November to 4 December 1999, WFP South Sudan and Somalia held a workshop at the Nyamura River Lodge, Kenya focusing on the problems of targeting and distribution to selected beneficiaries in a complex political emergency. It is anticipated that the findings and recommendations of the workshop will be used to strengthen targeting practices in South Sudan and Somalia.

Djibouti Round Table Meeting on Rehabilitation and Reintegration

IGAD delegates, UNDP Somalia and Ethiopia, delegations of Somaliland and Ethiopia, UNHCR and donor representatives attended a Round Table meeting in Djibouti on 23rd November. Topics of discussion were project proposals concerning the rehabilitation of refugee infected areas in Ethiopia as well as areas of return in Somaliland and reintegration projects on the Somaliland side. Donors showed interest in the projects however, some changes, like including a de-mining component, need to be made.

Repatriation of Somali refugees

UNHCR is planning the repatriation of Somali refugees from 2 Kenyan camps on 6-9 december. About 900 Somali refugees are expected to return to several areas within Somaliland and Puntland.

RAINFALL

First dekad

Light rains fell over parts of southern Somali during the first dekad of November. Most of Bakool region received some rains, as did the northern parts of Bay and Gedo regions. Light rains also fell over parts of Lower and Middle Juba and southern areas of Gedo region. Central and nothern Somalia remained dry during the dekad. Overall, the rainfall during the first ten days of November was slightly less than normal for this time of year. Northern Shabelle and Juba rivers levels have dropped to below normal levels. Further downstream, levels are normal.

Second dekad

Rainfall during the second dekad of November was largely limited to the southern regions of Somalia. Heavy rains in Lower Juba were somewhat to much more than normal, while rainfall in southern Gedo and Middle Juba regions was slightly more than normal. The rainfall in the rest of southern Somalia, and the crop producing coastal belt of Galgadud and Mudug, is below normal for this time of year.

Third dekad

The agricultural areas of Lower and Middle Shabelle, Lower and Middle Juba, Bay and Gedo and coastal areas of Mogadishu have received heavy localized rainfall. Intensity and frequency of rainfall differed across Southern Somalia. No substantial rainfall was received in the Hiran and Bakool regions. Waterlevels of Shabelle and Juba rivers are declining.
In the northwest, above normal rains were reported from parts of Sanag and Togdheer regions. Other districts recorded normal rainfall.

FOOD SECURITY

The FSAU crop establishment assessment and detailed food security analysis will take place in mid December.

Puntland

In north-eastern Somalia an estimated 50,000 displaced and vulnerable people are in need of urgent food assistance. In particular, pastoralists in Mudug region are likely to suffer food insecurity due to very little reproduction of livestock this deyr, limited availability and high prices of milk for either consumption or sale, shortage of livestock in good saleable condition and high prices for imported staple goods. Food aid until mid-December for pastoralists is recommended, as is continued monitoring during and after the end of the deyr rains.

Somaliland

FSAU reports that most food economy groups in Somaliland are becoming less vulnerable due to improving economic and climatic conditions and the food aid and agricultural assistance delivered to this region. The 1999 cereal production in the main agricultural regions is estimated at 21,800 MT. This compares favorably to last years total production, but compared to pre-war production average it is still down by more than 50%.

Pockets of food insecurity still exist. In Haud areas of Sool and Togdheer in particular, an estimate of 40-60,000 poor pastoralists suffer from chronic vulnerability. In these areas, vegetation is on the decline.

South and Central

FAO expresses its serious concern about the food supply situation in southern Somalia, following an upsurge in inter-clan fighting. Roadblocks and obstruction of airways have exacerbated the food crisis. Nearly 1,6 million people in Mogadishu, Lower and Middle Juba, parts of Gedo and Lower Shabelle are not accessible to humanitarian agencies.

FSAU estimates that almost 600,000 people in 9 regions of southern and central Somalia will require about 18,000 MT of emergency food aid during the period of September-December. If emergency food aid distributions proceed according to plan, estimated requirements will be met in Bay, Bakol. Lower Juba and Gedo regions. However, planned distribution covers only 55% of estimated needs in Galgadud region and neither WFP and CARE are currently planning to distribute emergency food aid in Hiran, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle and Middle Juba. This leaves a potentially unfilled gap of over 3,000 MT in these regions.

Galgaduud region, which has suffered severely from prolonged drought, has seen crop failure, poor pasture and low prices of livestock and poor purchasing power. Insecurity has compounded the situation and the poor accessibility of the supply routes from Mogadishu has resulted in a precarious food security situation and the exhaustion of coping mechanisms.

The RRA leader Colonel Mohamed Hassan Nur "Shatigudud" stated that a minimum of 240 people have died from starvation and related diseases in Bay and Bakol regions in the past two months.

WFP and CARE have coordinated food aid distribution plans in Gedo, Bay and Bakol regions. Distributions are proceeding fairly well in Bay and Bakol regions. Civil insecurity constrained humanitarian efforts in Gedo region. WFP distributed 2,155 MT of food commodities to Somalia during the month of October. Of this, 79% was distributed to the south and central regions (including 660 MT of food commodities to over 60,000 people in the central region of Galgaduud), 19% to the northeast and 2% to the northwest. This brings the total distribution from January to October to some 19,000 MT.

Vegetative conditions remained below normal in most parts of southern and central Somalia, but improved in most areas compared to the first dekad of November, notably in southern Gedo, western Middle Juba, Bay and Bakool regions.

HEALTH AND EDUCATION

HIV/AIDS

World AIDS Day was held on 1st December. The 1999 World AIDS Campaign "Listen, Learn, Live!" focused on communication with children and young people. WHO has developed an information package for the Eastern Meditteranean. There are no statistics on AIDS for Somalia. WHO, however, took 1145 blood samples in Somaliland in an HIV-prevalence study and undertook a study on knowledge, attitude and behavior concerning HIV/AIDS. The preliminary findings of this study will be presented during a seminar on 7th December in Hargeisa. This seminar will be organized by UNICEF, in collaboration with local authorities, WHO and ICD and will aim develop a draft plan of action concerning
HIV/AIDS and other STDs.

National Immunization Days - Polio

The first round of NIDs was held from 24 to 26 October in 12 regions. 497,000 children under five and 17,146 above five years of age were immunized. The second round was held from 28-30 November.

Cholera

The cholera outbreak in Bosaso is past the emergency phase. From 2nd August until 12th November 1346 cases were identified, of which 72 died.

Reproductive Health

UNICEF conducted a two-day meeting on reproductive health with some 30 participants from Somaliland and Somalia. The objective of the workshop was to exchange ideas and share views about reproductive health problems in Somalia. In addition, 12 staff members from maternity clinics in Hargeisa were trained on breastfeeding management and promotion.

Education Kits for Somaliland

A workshop with the objectives to train regional supervisors and TOTs on the newly produced education kits, school registers and school improvement initiatives was conducted by UNICEF in Hargeisa. Besides training, the workshop produced a plan for training and distribution of education kits. Currently, distribution of education kits and training of teachers is being implemented in Togdheer region. These activities will most likely be expanded to Sannag region soon.

OPERATING ENVIRONMENT

MSF Kismayo

MSF has temporarily suspended activities in Kismayo as from November 30th. The deteriorated security situation in Kismayo does not longer allow MSF's expatriate presence. Over 2,000 people demonstrated against the insecurity that led MSF to withdraw, while militia leaders promised to guarantee security for humanitarian agencies in Kismayo.

Lootings

The World Vision compound in Salagle (Middle Juba) was looted on 30th October by armed youth, after which all WV activities in the area were suspended.

MSF-Holland has suspended operations in Galcaiyo due to invasion and looting of their compound in that city.

POLITICAL UPDATE

Kenyan - Somali consultations

A group of Somali leaders, including Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Osman Hassan Ali "Atto" and General Mohamed Omar Haji, consulted Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi during the first week of November on bilateral issues. At the same time, President Moi was said to view this as an opportunity to listen to a wide range of Somali leaders prior to the IGAD Summit.

IGAD Summit

During the 7th IGAD Summit on 26th November, the Heads of State and Government expressed their full support to the peace initiative for Somalia, as it was proposed by Djibouti President Ismael Omar Guelleh. The Heads of State and Government called on the international community as a whole to co-operate more effectively with IGAD with the view to enhancing the role of Civil Society in Somalia. They stressed the need for the international community to be forthcoming in providing assistance to make the peace divident appraoch viable and to promote reconstruction efforts. In this regard, they called for early
realization of the UN Trust Fund for Somalia.

Eritrea and Uganda did not attend the summit.

In what it perceives to be a well orchestrated action to impose an IGAD endorsed political design on the peoples of Somaliland and Somalia, the central committee of SNM urged the Djibouti government "to refrain from any acts that may harm the interests and legitimate aspirations of the people of the Republic of Somaliland." Somaliland Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Mr. Mohamoud Salah Nur, however, indicated that Somaliland fully supports and participates in the Somali reconciliation meeting in Djibouti.

SECURITY UPDATE

(Please note that the security update covers the past week - 27 November - 3 December)

General

An UNCAS flight was challenged by Ethiopian Air Control and then impounded upon landing in Addis Ababa last month. Some irregularities were found in the landing clearance request, and possibly the flight plan. A US$ 5,000 fine was paid to the Ethiopian government by UNDP on the behalf of UNCAS.

Kismayo Special Zone

Tension remains high in an environment which can be essentially described as anarchy. MSF Belgium has not returned to the city due to the security situation.

South Zone

(Delayed) On 25 November, unconfirmed information indicated that the Ethiopian troops concentrated at Dinsoor and Wajid were on the move. There are reports of sightings at Yaaq Brava (100 km SW of Qoreoley) and Yaaq Buro Weyne, 10 km west of Bale Dogle. As of 2 December, there were no reports of contact between Habir Gedir militia and these forces.

Central Zone

Shari'a militia continue to occupy Merka, Brava and Qoreoley, and impose law and order over the coast road in that area as well as in the cities themselves.

On 27 November an all-Somali NIDS vaccination team was ambushed by bandits between Kurtunwarey and Bulto Warbo in Lower Shabelle (50 km SW of Merka). One vacinator was slightly wounded in the leg, but the NIDS vehicle escaped the fusillade and the clutches of the ambush team. The wounded vacinator has returned to work. ZSO Central took this incident
to the shari'a militia for resolution, but they informed him that they had "no influence" in that area.

On 30 November 1999, an international staff FSAU worker received a written communication from a group in Merka accusing him of fiscal malfeasance. After some personal investigation, the FSAU worker claims that a number of the names on the letter of allegation are forged. The document has been forwarded to ZSO Central, and he will investigate the incident together with the shari'a militia.

Uncontrolled militia at Afgoi denied NIDS team (a Somali Red Crescent group) access to immunization drugs in storage on 29 November. Ransom money was demanded by the militia, and there was an armed standoff for a period of four hours. Eventually, elders interceded, and the team was allowed access to the drugs.

Mogadishu Special Zone

Random banditry continues to pose a major security problem in Mogadishu Northeast Zone UNICEF reports that on 29 November, a UNICEF water engineer was stopped and abused by militia in the vicinity of Ri'ig Omane near Galcaiyo. A
water pump generator scheduled for rehabilitation was looted from him. The officer was roughed up, but unharmed. The DCSA will investigate.

Northwest Zone

"Somaliland" closed the border to Djibouti on 28 November for undisclosed reasons.

(Delayed) On 19 November, a truck being used by a locally directed mining team from Danish Demining struck an anti-tank landmine near Adale. Fortunately, there were no serious casualties although the vehicle was completely destroyed.

SECURITY AND TRAVEL ADVISORIES

Specific Security Alerts:

1. Travel to Mogadishu and the Benadir Region remains restricted on the basis of UN Phase 5 status. Travel to the above area requires approval of both the UN Designated Official and UNSECOORD.

2. UNSECOORD lifted the UN Phase 5 status of Bay and Baikool Regions, and changed status to Phase 4. Travel to these areas still require a standard clearance from Chief Security Adviser.

3. The security phase in W. Galbeed region in the Northwest Zone is now Phase 3 status.

4. The security phase in Awdal region in the Northwest Zone is now Phase 3 status.

5. All international travel to Kismayo is suspended (Phase 4 NO - GO), and travel to other parts of Lower and Middle Juba Regions should be specially cleared through the Chief Security Officer. Travel to Southern Gedo will require security officer escort, while travel to the northern 3 districts of the Region will be permitted without security officer escort.

6. Selected national staff travel to Kismayo will be permitted on a case by case basis as determined by the CSA or DCSA.

7. Bardera and the immediate area is now cleared for travel. Overland travel between Baidoa and Bardera is cleared, but on the Qansedere road only. The Dinsoor area and road are off-limits to international staff.

8. Ground travel between Belet Weyne and Jowhar; and between Jowhar and Mogadishu is prohibited until security review has been conducted.

9. In Lower Shabelle, clearance for staff travel to the Kurtunwarey and Bulo Warbo is suspended until further notice.

10. In the Mudug region, clearance for travel to Ri'ig Omane is suspended until further notice.

11. UN international staff road travel to Las Anod and Erigavo is not permitted; air travel is permitted. Due to the presence of mines, road travel in the vicinity of Adale is not permitted without the express permission of ZSO Northwest Zone or his deputy.

12. Travel to coastal area around Eyl in the Northeast Zone is not permitted.

General Security Alerts:

1. All travel to Somalia by UN international staff requires prior security clearance from the Designated Official. This includes Phase 3 areas.

2. All UN international staff should report to the zone security officer or security warden upon arrival in Somalia.

3. Any agency renting vehicles must ensure the mechanical condition is good. The senior person in the vehicle is responsible in ensuring the driver of the vehicle drives at a safe speed and manner. Also, safety belts should be worn.

4. All missions out of UN bases in Somalia must carry some form of long range communications, either HF radio, or satellite telephone.

5. The two car vehicle rule is mandated for out-of-base travel unless the ZSO approves single vehicle travel.

6. All vehicles must carry some form of medical kit, if vehicle is rented then someone on the mission should carry a medical kit.

7. Local security clearance from the ZSO must be obtained before the missions leave for in-zone travel.

8. No road movements out of built-up areas should be carried after dark in any zone.

9. The two person rule is in effect for international staff at all bases in Somalia. That is, there will be no fewer than two international staff persons at each base. No international staff member should live alone in a residence - there should be at least 2 international staff in each residence.

10. Each new international staff must have a security briefing prior to deployment to Somalia.

11. Upon deployment to Somalia, each international staff member must have in his/her possession a working VHF hand held radio programmed for the area(s) they intend to visit.

12. All staff must process a request for a visa prior to travel to the Northwest or Northeast Zones.

13. Ethiopia is a nation at war. As demonstrated in the past, they will fire on suspicious aircraft. ALL UNCAS flights using Ethiopian airspace must file for clearance through ICAO channels, and fly the EXACT plan requested. In addition, ALL landings in Ethiopia will require prior clearance through ICAO channels.

=A7 ATTENTION: THE POLITICAL AND SECURITY UPDATES ARE STRICTLY FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION AND NOT FOR THE PRESS OR PUBLIC RELEASE UNLESS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY THE UNITED NATIONS POLITICAL OFFICE FOR SOMALIA (UNPOS) AND UN DESIGNATED OFFICIAL (DO) RESPECTIVELY.

Prepared by the United Nations Coordination Unit (UNCU), in collaboration with the Chief Security Advisor.

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) Somalia Monitor is issued out of various reports received from the field. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the United Nations. Queries and submissions should be forwarded to the UNCU, Facsimile No: (254-2) 448439 and Telephone No: (254-2) 448433/4, E-mail: undpsocu@form-net.com