Somalia + 2 more

UNHCR Somalia: Operational Update (1-30 September 2018)

Situation Report
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The number of refugees and migrants dying while attempting to seek asylum and migrate in an irregular manner to Europe and elsewhere remains high.
At least 1,000 people (including Somalis) have died this year on the Mediterranean Sea alone while thousands more have been rescued at sea.

To raise awareness on the dangers of these journeys, UNHCR in Somalia has launched a campaign dubbed “Telling the Real Story”. The campaign is part of a UNHCR global initiative, which targets a diverse group of people, mainly the youth who may consider embarking on such a journey.

An estimated 63,000 individuals were internally displaced in Somalia in the month of September. The number is an increase compared to August and July.
Overall, 760,000 individuals have been displaced in 2018. These displacements were mainly driven by conflict/ insecurity (78 %).

Main developments

Telling the Real Story (TRS)

In September, UNHCR kicked off a campaign in Hargeisa to raise awareness on the dangers of irregular movements, especially to Europe. Unaware of the risks, young Somalis continue to attempt dangerous journeys to Europe and elsewhere, which is known in local circles as “Tahriib”. The campaign, dubbed “Telling the Real Story” (TRS), targets the youth, returnees, religious/community leaders, government officials as well as the general public.
As part of the campaign, UNHCR held a number of activities in September including an open information event, awareness sessions in learning institutions, dialogue with returnees and discussions with religious as well as community leaders.

• Dialogue with Returnees: UNHCR engaged 27 men who had attempted the journey to Europe, and had recently returned from Libya, and sought to hear their motivations to leave, intended destination as well as the challenges encountered on their journey. The participants were offered the opportunity to watch video testimonies of individuals who had taken “Tahriib” and the major risks associated with it.

• Information event on “Tahriib”: An information event targeting members of the public was held in Hargeisa on 28 September. At least 500 people, mainly the youth, attended the event. Returnees shared their stories on their journey and hazards faced in Libya. Video documentaries were also screened for public viewing.

• Sessions in learning institutions: UNHCR held multiple sessions in several learning institutions; primary and secondary schools as well as at the university. In total 2,950 students were reached with the TRS campaign in primary (1,500) and secondary (650) schools as well as universities (800). Another 120 youths were reached in another youth session held at a hotel. The youth session was also attended by Minister of Youth Affairs in Somaliland.

• Discussions with Religious/Community leaders: At least 40 community/ religious leaders were engaged as they play a significant role in Somali culture. The campaign aims for the leaders to raise the issue during Friday sermons, public gatherings and in, both, Islamic and secular schools.

Mixed migration taskforce meeting

A two day workshop on mixed migration was held on 12 and 13 September in Hargeisa in Somaliland. The Mixed Migration Task Force (MMFT) is a Government of Somaliland led platform of over 15 governmental and non-governmental entities and is chaired by the Ministry of Justice and co-chaired by UNHCR and IOM. The workshop held in Hargeisa brought together different government ministries, NGOs and international organisations in Somaliland that play a role in addressing mixed migration. The objective of the forum was to update the terms of reference and clarify roles and areas of collaboration.

New displacements

  • An estimated 63,000 people were internally displaced in the month of September based on figures from the UNHCR-led Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN). The displacements were mainly driven by conflict/ insecurity (78 percent) as well as drought (17 per cent). September saw a slight increase in the number of people displaced compared to August (57,000) and July (40,000). Overall, 760,000 people were displaced from January to September 2018. The displacements were mainly driven by conflict/insecurity (78 percent).