Report of the scenario development and humanitarian analysis workshop for countries of the Horn of Africa - Nov 2005

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 30 Nov 2005
The Regional Scenario Development workshop for the Greater Horn of Africa region took place on 2-3 November in the Ballroom of the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi. Regional representations from UN, INGOs, and donors joined their respective colleagues from countries in the region to provide a fairly comprehensive and complementary perspective and analysis of recent and forecasted regional events.
In addition to its objective to give primary focus to events with regional or cross border significance, this workshop also made a more concerted attempt to work out the basic elements of a regional contingency plan. The contextual presentations were made, this time, from a cross border perspective rather than single country one. Five border clusters covering the nine countries (including Chad and Central African Republic for the first time) were examined: 1) Sudan-Chad-Eritrea, 2) Ethiopia-Eritrea-Djibouti, 3) Somalia-Kenya-Ethiopia, 4) Sudan-Uganda-Kenya and 5) Chad-Central African Republic. This clustering of countries was used throughout the workshop as the central element for scenario development, for identifying cross-border vulnerabilities and to develop a basic framework of a response plan to a simulated scenario based on the worst case situation. During this simulation exercise, participants were required to elaborate planning assumptions, identify the main consequences and needs for affected populations and develop a response at both country and regional levels. Challenges to the implementation of the response were also considered.

Intense discussions centred on the rapidly evolving situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia and the implications for other countries in the region. The violence in Addis Ababa and troop movements to the border areas from both sides provided greater impetus for the preparation of emergency response plans even as the worst case scenario being elaborated steadily moved into the realm of the most likely. Djibouti, as a country sandwiched between these two larger neighbours, was largely expected to be the recipient of any impact of a border conflict, especially given the importance of its port to Ethiopia. The inter-clan conflicts along the Kenya-Somalia-Ethiopia borders were examined as were those in the Karamojong Cluster (Kenya-Uganda-Sudan). The current relationship between northern Uganda and southern Sudan were discussed as well especially given the increase in LRA attacks in the area and the ongoing humanitarian emergency in both border areas. The Darfur crisis and the cross border links with Chad formed the focus of another cluster and included in that was the relationship between Darfur and Eritrea. Chad and the Central African Republic as newcomers to the workshop benefited from cross border analysis of political events within the two countries and how these impact on population movements and increasing vulnerabilities especially along the borders.

The workshop also presented the opportunity for presentations by external resource persons on issues that could impact on the countries of the region. Dr. Gerard Prunier led a plenary discussion on the inter-linkages between the countries in the Horn of Africa and gave his analysis of certain recent and historical events. A presentation on humanitarian needs in the Kassala region of eastern Sudan was given by Sorcha O'Callaghan of the Sudan Advocacy Coalition with a view to stimulating a harmonized advocacy approach for that area. Health risks in the region also formed a focus and this was enhanced by a thought-provoking presentation by Dr. Enric Freixa of ECHO on the threat posed by the Avian Flu and simple preparedness measures that could be undertaken now and in the future. To assist with the development of cross border response plans, Dr. Nick Haan of the Somalia FSAU presented the strategic response framework matrix for food security analysis.

The workshop provided the forum for cross-sectoral discussion between partners working for and in the various countries of the region and allowed for the development of the basic framework of a response plan across borders. Several preoccupying crises in the region were examined integrally and regional impacts of internal events were scrutinized. The resulting report provides a tool that can assist in-country and regional level analysis and preparedness and it is hoped that in this way, contingency planning at all levels can be enhanced.

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