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Research shows link between temperature rise and human influence, says head of UN climate panel

Research shows link between temperature rise and human influence, says head of UN climate panel

Source; UN News Center, 23 March 2017

A girl from the Iñupiat community stands on a ice floe on a shore of the Arctic Ocean in Barrow, Alaska in the United States. The anomalous melting of the Arctic ice is one of the many effects of global warming that has a serious impact on the life of humans and the wildlife. Photo: UNICEF/Vlad Sokhin

23 March 2017 – Speaking today at a United Nations forum to invigorate political momentum on climate change, the head of a major UN panel on climate change underlined that human influence on the climate system cannot be disputed.

“[Research has] demonstrated the link between cumulative past, present and future carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and a given temperature rise,” Hoesung Lee, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stressed in his keynote address at the UN General Assembly High-Level action event today.

“Bigger emissions now mean higher temperature in the future,” he added.

In his address, Mr. Lee drew examples from the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) issued by the IPCC in 2014 and said that since then, warming has continued and global mean temperature rise has reached more than one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels in 2015 and 2016.

Such observed warming led at the centre of the climate model projections assessed in the Report, he explained.

Underscoring that climate change threatened development, impacted economic growth, made poverty eradication efforts all the more difficult and severely underlined food security, Mr. Lee said that rising temperatures also had a very detrimental impact on the environment.

“Oceans are continuing to warm, acidify and lose oxygen,” he said, “Warm water coral reefs are already under pressure and 90 per cent would suffer significant risk from global warming of 1.5 degree Celsius.”

Touching upon the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed with a synthesis report in 2022, said Mr. Lee that it will be ready in good time for the first global stocktaking under the Paris Agreement on climate change the following year.

He also said that scientific research has illustrated that efforts to address climate change and pursuit of sustainable development can support each other, he cited the following example: “If food waste was a country, it would be the world’s third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases [therefore] reducing food waste globally can help fight poverty and hunger while stabilizing the climate.”

He also said that in its subsequent reports, the IPCC seeks to improve its scientific understanding of the economics of addressing climate change, such as of the benefits on health from clean air or the impact on energy security, balance of payments and jobs from energy efficiency.

In his remarks he further mentioned that researchers are on working on new methods to better observe and understand the climate, these will be crucial to help improve weather forecasts and climate projections.

“This science underpins the IPCC’s policy-relevant assessments and is essential for sustainable development planning,” he noted, calling for continued support the vital research.

Concluding his address, Mr. Lee highlighted that the expression “business as usual” is often seen for not taking action on climate.

“Business will be very far from usual in a world of no mitigation, which could see temperatures rise by an average 40 or more over the century,” he said stressing that economic development cannot be pursued by relying on high-carbon technology.

“Actions to limit climate change have a positive impact on the domestic economy and help improve human well-being, and adaptation reduces vulnerability, supporting inclusive and equitable development.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an international body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Turkey to open military base in Mogadishu

Turkey to open military base in Mogadishu

Source: defenceeb, Friday March 24, 2017

The Turkish Army will open its largest foreign military base in the Somali capital Mogadishu next month during a ceremony expected to be attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Army General Staff Chief General Hulusi Akar as well as top Somali government officials.

According to Turkish newspaper ‘Yeni Safak’, soldiers from the Somali National Army (SNA) will be trained in batches of 500 per intake at the base. The 400-hectare property will house three military academies, dormitories and military supply depots.

The facility, under construction since March 2015, is in line with a bilateral agreement signed earlier, which provided for Turkish assistance with military training and equipment.

It also provided for direct funding and material assistance for education, infrastructural development, human resources and skills training.

Speaking during a tour of the facility last week, Somali defence minister General Abdulkadir Ali Dini said his country was grateful the Turkish Army had selected Somalia as host for its largest foreign base.

In a comment posted on his official Twitter account, Somali President Mohammad Abdullah Muhammad Farmajo confirmed the Turkish military
base would be opened soon.

“Turkey’s largest military base in the world is almost complete. Soon the Somali Army will return strongly,” Farmajo said.

Built at an estimated cost of US$50 million, the base will provide Turkey with an opportunity to project its military power into the Maghreb, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR).

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) has announced the deployment of a military medical unit to help the Somali government cope with the humanitarian crisis spawned by years of successive drought.

Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said following cabinet approval of a Somali government request, troops and essential assets will be deployed to Mogadishu shortly as cabinet had approved the Somali government request for help. The unit will deploy from the Saudi capital Riyadh, from where it has been supporting evacuation missions for Malaysian nationals in war-torn Yemen.

“The decision to deploy troops was reached after my meeting with Somalia Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omer Arteh Ghalib. He requested assistance in the provision of aid in terms of food, medicine and expertise of the Armed Forces’ medical unit.

“Three officers and 17 personnel from the Armed Forces Medical Corps will be sent to Somalia. An infantry unit, consisting of an officer and 10 men, will provide security for the Malaysian delegation. Food and medical supplies will be flown to Somalia via a Hercules C-130 aircraft,” Hishammuddin said.

Further, he said the Saudi-based unit was chosen for the Somali mission because through the Yemeni operations, it had gained local experience and expertise and adapted to the operating environment in the Gulf of Aden, the same as that prevailing in the Horn of Africa region.

South Sudan Peace Process and the AU

South Sudan Peace Process and the AU

Source: The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Posted: 23 Mar 2017 03:39 AM PDT

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) published on 22 March 2017 a study titled “Democratise or Disintegrate: How the AU Can Help South Sudan” by Amanda Lucey and Liezelle Kumalo, both with ISS.

Southern Sudanese are divided on the legitimacy of the peace process, which is stalled in any event. The report looks at ways the African Union can enhance the prospects for peace in South Sudan.

Security Council and region must ‘speak with one voice,’ end suffering in South Sudan – UN chief

Security Council and region must ‘speak with one voice,’ end suffering in South Sudan – UN chief

Source: UN News Center, 23 March 2017 

Women wait with their children to be examined and possibly give supplementary food at a mobile clinic run by UNICEF in the village of Rubkuai, Unity State, South Sudan. February 2017. Photo: UNICEF/Modola

23 March 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today stressed the need for the leadership of South Sudan to achieve an immediate cessation of hostilities, restore the peace process and ensure unrestricted humanitarian access in order to pull the world’s youngest country back from the abyss, and back from a widening famine.

“All the optimism that accompanied the birth of South Sudan has been shattered by internal divisions, rivalries and the irresponsible behaviour of some of its leaders,” Mr. Guterres said during a Security Council briefing.

“As a result, a country that had seen a brief glimmer of hope for a better future has plunged back into darkness. We have to do everything in our power to change this,” he stressed.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 but a political face-off between President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar plunged the country into full blown conflict in December 2013.

Providing a detailed overview, Mr. Guterres said civilians continue to be subjected to horrendous attacks, including rape and the recruitment of children. More than 1.9 million people are displaced internally, more than 220,000 of whom are seeking safety in protection sites of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Some 1.6 million people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

“The humanitarian crisis continues to deepen. One hundred thousand people are enduring famine, one million are on the verge of that fate, and 5.5 million may be severely food insecure by this summer,” he explained.

Moreover at least 7.5 million people across South Sudan – almost two thirds of the population – need humanitarian assistance. Three years of conflict have eroded livelihoods and disrupted farming, including in the Equatorias, the country’s breadbasket.

The UN chief also said that violence has spread to include previously stable areas of northern Jonglei.

Noting that the peace process remains at a standstill, Mr. Guterres said that Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, who returned yesterday from a trip to South Sudan, emphasized the critical importance of an inclusive political process in ensuring the well-being of the country’s people.

Mr. Guterres warned that despite the alarm sounded by the UN and the international community over this crisis, the Government has yet to express any meaningful concern or take any tangible steps to address the plight of its people.

“On the contrary, what we hear most often are denials – a refusal by the leadership to even acknowledge the crisis or to fulfil its responsibility to end it,” he said.

Mr. Guterres underscored the need to ensure unrestricted humanitarian access, including freedom of movement for UNMISS and a future Regional Protection Force, which was authorized by the Security Council in August 2016.

“But no such force, and no amount of diplomacy, can substitute for the lack of political will among those who govern the country,” emphasized Mr. Guterres, noting that there is a strong consensus that South Sudanese leaders need to do more to demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of the country’s people, who are among the poorest in the world.

“If there is to be any hope of those leaders changing their current calculations, greater pressure is needed. This means first and foremost that the region and the Security Council must speak with one voice,” he stated.

He also warned that the dangers of South Sudan’s trajectory should not be underestimated. “Atrocity crimes have occurred with impunity, and the potential for serious deterioration remains very real. Credible mechanisms for accountability are a must,” he said

Direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu to be relaunched

Direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu to be relaunched

Source: Daily Nation, Kenya, Thursday March 23, 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed at State House, Nairobi on March 23, 2017. PHOTO | PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed held a meeting at Statehouse Nairobi and discussed a wide range of issues touching on security, trade and investment, civil aviation and other issues affecting the two countries.

The two Heads of State also talked about the need to reinvigorate efforts to scale up collaboration in mutual areas of interest identified during the inaugural session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation that was held in Nairobi in July 2015.

They include education, agriculture, resources sharing and development, livestock development, fisheries, tourism, immigration, labour and health.

In his maiden visit as the President of Somalia, Mr Mohammed was received at Statehouse Nairobi in a colourful ceremony on Thursday morning, and was accorded full honours complete with a 21-gun salute

Mr Mohammed inspected his first guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Kenya Army while the national anthems of both countries were played by the military band.

Last month, President Kenyatta attended the inauguration of President Mohamed in Mogadishu and pledged Kenya’s continued support to the Horn of Africa country.

The Kenyan leader assured the new Somali President that Kenya would remain steadfast in supporting efforts that would bring peace and stability in Somalia.


During the meeting, Kenya and Somalia opened a new charter of cooperation by announcing plans to open two border posts and a re-launch of direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said Kenya and Somalia have agreed to revitalize their engagement in all areas of mutual interests within the context of a reactivated joint commission of cooperation.

“In particular, we agreed to take the following actions: Within the shortest possible time, open two border posts in Dhobley-Liboi, and Mandera-Bulahawa. And to facilitate the movement of people, goods and services,” President Kenyatta said.

Deputy President William Ruto, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed (foreign affairs), Joseph Nkaissery (security), Raychelle Omamo (defence), James Macharia (transport), Cleopa Mailu (health), Willy Bett (agriculture), Mwangi Kiunjuri (devolution) and Dan Kazungu (mining) attended the bilateral talks.

President Kenyatta said the two neighbouring countries have resolved that forthwith there will be no visa requirement for diplomatic and service passport holders from both countries.

“We also agreed to meet regularly to monitor the progress of our bilateral relations,” President Kenyatta said, terming President Mohamed’s visit a fresh start to the two countries’ close ties.

President Mohamed lauded Kenya as one of Somalia’s strongest ally and partners in East Africa, hosting the largest number of Somali refugees for decades and contributing to the peace and stability of Somalia through the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

“Our cooperation is indeed critical to our historic relations and our continuous efforts to fight insecurity and poverty,” said President Mohamed.

Somalia: A moment of hope amid tragedy, says UN envoy

Somalia: A moment of hope amid tragedy, says UN envoy


Source: UN News Center, Friday March 24, 2017

Noting that Somalia faces a number of “daunting difficulties” after decades of conflict, a senior United Nations official today highlighted that there is also a new momentum in the country for fresh political engagement amongst its people with the recent electoral process.

“The new Government and Parliament now have an opportunity to use the goodwill to reboot efforts to build a functional and inclusive Federal State,” Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia and the head of the UN Mission in the country (UNSOM), told the UN Security Council.

The results of the electoral process, accepted as legitimate by all stakeholders, as well as a smooth and peaceful transfer of power, also made efforts to respond to the ongoing drought and the looming spectre of famine much easier, he noted.

“Somalis, including politicians, business people, civil society and members of the diaspora, are taking responsibility for [the] response, distinguishing Somalia from other countries facing humanitarian catastrophe,” added Mr. Keating.

In his briefing, the UN official pointed out that eliminating the scourge of terrorism in the country remained another pressing issue and said that a multi-pronged approach, embedded in a political strategy, was needed to degrade and dismantle the Al-Shabaab militant group.

He also noted that building a trusted security apparatus that are acceptable to all Somalis is essential and added that doing so also offered a major opportunity to build and consolidate the Federal State.

“[This] needs to be approached as such, not just as a military undertaking,” he noted.

He also spoke about the need to advance the constitutional process and to strengthen conflict resolution efforts through the inclusion of all sections of society, including women, youth, minorities and business, in the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Work was also need to improve the human rights situation in the country, said Mr. Keating.

“I am particularly concerned about attacks on journalists and the increase in sexual violence against internally-displaced women and members of minority clans,” he said, underlining the need to strengthen the human rights protection capacity in the country as well as fully implementing the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.

Concluding his briefing, Mr. Keating urged the 15-member Security Council to continue to support the Somalia’s new leadership, new President, and new Prime Minister, to address the challenges the country is confronting.
Also today, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution in which it extended the UNSOM’s mandate until 16 June 2017.

Also the resolution, the Security Council said that that it looked forward to the report of the review of the UN presence in Somalia which had earlier been deferred until the conclusion of the electoral process.






Wastewater should be recognized as a valuable resource, UN says on World Water Day

Wastewater should be recognized as a valuable resource, UN says on World Water Day

Source: UN News Center, 22 March 2017

A wastewater treatment facility in Manila, the Philippines. Photo: Danilo Pinzon / World Bank

22 March 2017 – In a world where the demand for water continues to grow and the resource is finite, a new United Nations report argues that wastewater, discarded into the environment every day, once treated, can help meet the needs for freshwater as well as for raw materials for energy and agriculture.

Needless to mention, treating wastewater and removing pollutants can also remarkably reduce the impact on the environment as well as on health.

“Improved wastewater management is as much about reducing pollution at the source, as removing contaminants from wastewater flows, reusing reclaimed water and recovering useful by-products [as it is about increasing] social acceptance of the use of wastewater,” noted Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General in her foreword to the World Water Development Report 2017 – Wastewater: An untapped resource.

The report, launched today in Durban, South Africa, on the occasion of World Water Day, also highlights that improved management of wastewater is essential in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“It’s all about carefully managing and recycling the water that runs through our homes, factories, farms and cities,” said Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Chair of UN-Water, urging for reducing and safely reusing more wastewater.

“Everyone can do their bit to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase safe water reuse by 2030.”

Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) has specific targets on halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally (target 6.3) as well as supporting countries in wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies (target 6.a).

Health and environmental dimension – particularly stark for low-income countries

The report also revealed that low-income countries are particularly impacted by the release of waste water into the environment without being either treated or collected, where, on average, only 8 per cent of domestic and industrial wastewater is treated, compared to 70 per cent in high-income countries.

As a result, in many regions of the world, water contaminated by bacteria, nitrates, phosphates and solvents is discharged into rivers and lakes ending up in the oceans, with negative consequences for the environment and public health.

For instance, in Latin America, Asia and Africa, pollution from pathogens from human and animal excreta affects almost one third of rivers, endangering the lives of millions of people.

Furthermore, growing awareness on the presence of hormones, antibiotics, steroids and endocrine disruptors in wastewater poses a new set of complexities as their impact on the environment and health have yet to be fully understood.

These set of challenges underscore the need for urgent action on collection, treatment and safe use of wastewater.

Wastewater as a source of raw materials

In addition to providing a safe alternative source for freshwater, wastewater is also a potential source of raw materials, noted the report.

Owing to developments in treatment techniques, certain nutrients, like phosphorus and nitrates, can now be recovered from sewage and sludge and turned into fertilizer. It is estimated that nearly 22 per cent of the global demand for phosphorus (a depleting mineral resource) can be met by treating human urine and excrement.

Use of treated wastewater has long been practised by astronauts, such as those on the International Space Station who have been reusing the same recycled water for over 16 years

Similarly, organic substances contained in wastewater can be used to produce biogas, which could power wastewater treatment facilities as well as contribute to energy needs of local communities.

In addition, use of treated wastewater is growing for agricultural irrigation. At least 50 countries around the globe are now using treated wastewater for this purpose, accounting for an estimated 10 per cent of all irrigated land.

Lastly, the report also mentioned that treated wastewater can augment drinking water supplies, although this is still a marginal practice. Cities such as Singapore, San Diego (United States), and Windhoek (Namibia) have been treating wastewater to supplement drinking water reserves.

A great example is use of treated wastewater, long practised by astronauts, such as those on the International Space Station who have been reusing the same recycled water for over 16 years.

Time Short to Avert Starvation in Yemen and Somalia, Red Cross Says

Time Short to Avert Starvation in Yemen and Somalia, Red Cross Says

Source: Reuters, Thursday March 23, 2017

GENEVA — The world has only three to four months to save millions of people in Yemen and Somalia from starvation, as war and drought wreck crops and block deliveries of food and medical care, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Wednesday.

The aid agency still needs $300 million to deliver emergency assistance to a total of five million people in Yemen, Somalia and northeast Nigeria as well as areas of South Sudan, where famine has already been declared.

“We have probably a window of three to four months to avoid a worst-case scenario,” Dominik Stillhart, the Red Cross’s director of operations worldwide, said at a news briefing in Geneva. “We have kind of a perfect storm now where protracted conflict is overlapped or exacerbated by natural hazard, drought in particular, in the Horn of Africa, which is leading to the situation we are facing now,” he said.

More than 20 million people are facing famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and northeast Nigeria, aid agencies say. Cholera is on the rise in Somalia, where drought is driving people to flee in search of water, said Bruce Orina, the Red Cross’s deputy regional director for Africa. At least 300,000 malnourished children are trapped by fighting in Nigeria.

The Red Cross has received $100 million toward the $400 million needed for its operations in the four countries this year. The United Nations has appealed for about $5.6 billion, bringing total funding needs to $6 billion, Mr. Stillhart said.

The United States, whose average contribution funds about a quarter of Red Cross field operations, has yet to donate, he said. “In 2011 the response was too slow and too late, leading to the starvation of 260,000 people in Somalia alone,” he warned

Concerns about Revival of Somali Piracy

Concerns about Revival of Somali Piracy

Source:Reuters, Posted: 16 Mar 2017 02:05 PM PDT

Reuters published on 15 March 2017 an article titled “Weapons Buildup, Anger Fuel Threat of Renewal of Somali Piracy” by Abdiqani Hassan.

The first successful hijacking since 2012 of a large commercial vessel off Somalia has raised new concerns about the return of Somali piracy. Somalis are blaming the resumption of foreign fishing in their waters. Some of the fishing vessels have obtained licenses from the Puntland government. Others reportedly are fishing illegally. The captured ship, however, was not a fishing vessel but a fuel tanker. There has also been an uptick in the importation of small arms to the region.

Pirates demand ransom for tanker seized off Somalia -EU Naval Force

Pirates demand ransom for tanker seized off Somalia -EU Naval Force

Source: REUTERS, Wednesday March 15, 2017

The Aris 13 oil tanker, pictured here in Australia, which was hijacked by pirates on Monday. Photograph: Kevin Finnigan/AP

Pirates off the coast of Somalia, who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, are demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel, the EU Naval Force said.

The pirates seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 tanker on Monday, the first such hijacking in the region since 2012, and took it to the port of Alula in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland.

“The EU Naval Force … has received positive confirmation from the master of … Aris 13, that his ship and crew are currently being held captive by a number of suspected armed pirates in an anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, close to Alula,” the force said in a statement late on Tuesday.

EU Navfor said as soon as it received an alert on the ship’s seizure, it sent patrol aircraft from its Djibouti base to try to make radio contact and late on Tuesday its headquarters in London managed to contact the vessel’s master by phone.

“The master confirmed that armed men were on board his ship and they were demanding a ransom for the ship’s release. The EU Naval Force has now passed the information regarding the incident to the ship’s owners,” EU Navfor said.

It gave no details on the size of the ransom.

The 1,800 deadweight tonne tanker is owned by Armi Shipping, a company registered in Panama, and managed by Aurora Ship Management in the United Arab Emirates, according to the French transport ministry’s Equasis shipping data website.

Experts said ship owners were becoming lax after a long period of calm, and that the vessel was an easy target because it was low, slow and close to the coast.

Aid group Oceans Beyond Piracy said in a statement late on Tuesday the ship was carrying gas and fuel and was not registered with the Maritime Security Center for the Horn of Africa, which registers and tracks vessels in the region.

The group said the Aris 13 was preparing to go through a route known as the Socotra Gap, between Somalia and Socotra Island which vessels often use, regardless of the piracy risks, to save time and cost.”This attack reinforces the need for vessels to follow shipping industry Best Management Practices (BMP) within the BMP specified High Risk Area,” Oceans Beyond Piracy said.

There was no immediate comment from the ship’s owners and managers.

In their prime in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks off Somalia’s coast, data from the International Maritime Bureau showed, and held hundreds of hostages.

That year, Oceans Beyond Piracy estimated the global cost of piracy at about $7 billion. The shipping industry bore roughly 80 percent of those costs, the group’s analysis shows.

However, attacks fell off sharply after ship owners tightened security and vessels stayed further away from the Somali coast.

(Reporting by George Obulutsa and Katharine Houreld; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Somalis consider piracy again, blaming illegal fishing trade

Somalis consider piracy again, blaming illegal fishing trade


Source: AP, Wednesday March 15, 2017

In this photo taken Tuesday, March 7, 2017, fishermen set out for their day’s work in the Indian Ocean shortly after dawn in the former pirate village of Eyl, in Somalia’s semiautonomous northeastern state of Puntland. The recent hijacking of an oil tanker has surprised the international shipping community, as many Somali pirates had quit and turned to fishing as anti-piracy patrols increased, but local officials have warned that rampant fishing by foreign trawlers is destroying the fishermen’s livelihoods and stoking fears of a return of piracy as a way to make money. Photo: Ben Curtis, AP

EYL, Somalia (AP) — Struggling to push his small fishing boat out to sea, Hassan Yasin grumbles over what he and other coastal Somalis call a threat to their way of life: harassment by illegal fishermen and attacks by large foreign trawlers.

“They will either shoot us on sight or destroy our boats,” the skinny 27-year-old said, yanking on a rope to start the engine groaning. Along the seashore are sand-filled boats that fishermen say belong to colleagues who abandoned the work because of the dangers involved.

Monday’s hijacking of an oil tanker off Somalia’s northern coast surprised the international shipping community after several years without a pirate attack on a large commercial vessel there. Naval patrols by NATO members and other countries like China had calmed the crucial global trade route that once saw hundreds of attacks.

But people in this sleepy village saw something like this coming.

Some are former pirates themselves who quit in recent years as the international pressure grew and armed guards appeared on cargo ships. They turned to fishing but now say they’re the ones being targeted at sea.

In recent years, local officials have warned that rampant fishing by foreign trawlers was destroying the livelihoods of coastal communities, stoking fears of a return of piracy as a way to make money. They have blamed Yemeni, Chinese, Indian, Iranian and Djibouti-flagged fishing boats and trawlers.

“The illegal fishing is a very serious problem. Fishing has declined, equipment was confiscated and they destroyed our livelihoods and properties,” said Aisha Ahmed, a fish dealer. The chairman of the fishermen’s association, Mohamed Saeed, said frustrations are growing. “They have no choice now but to fight,” he said.

The hijacked oil tanker was anchored Tuesday off the town of Alula, local elder Salad Nur told The Associated Press. He said young fishermen, including former pirates, had gone searching for a foreign ship to seize out of frustration.

“Foreign fishermen destroyed their livelihoods and deprived them of proper fishing,” he said.

The armed men were demanding a ransom for the ship’s release and were holding the crew captive, the European Union anti-piracy operation off Somalia said late Tuesday after making contact with the ship’s master.

Illegal fishing needs addressing, said John Steed, the director of Oceans Beyond Piracy. “It’s an aggressive business and in some cases international fleets pressure, even attack, local fisherman, which breeds resentment,” he wrote in an email.

“We have a famine and food is short. Fish is one answer,” he said, referring to the drought that Somalia recently declared a national disaster. “Fishing communities are angry and out-of-work fishermen have become — and are — pirates.”

In this photo taken Tuesday, March 7, 2017, fishermen push their boats into the Indian Ocean shortly after dawn in the former pirate village of Eyl, in Somalia’s semiautonomous northeastern state of Puntland. The recent hijacking of an oil tanker has surprised the international shipping community, as many Somali pirates had quit and turned to fishing as anti-piracy patrols increased, but local officials have warned that rampant fishing by foreign trawlers is destroying the fishermen’s livelihoods and stoking fears of a return of piracy as a way to make money. Photo: Ben Curtis, AP

But illegal fishing is no excuse for piracy, Steed said. He called Monday’s hijacking an “opportunity target.”

The United Nations warned in October that the situation was fragile and that Somali pirates “possess the intent and capability to resume attacks.”

Steed indicated that some in the region had let down their guard as the number of pirate attacks decreased in recent years. And in December, NATO ended its anti-piracy mission off Somalia’s waters.

Abdirizak Mohamed Ahmed, the director of the Anti-Piracy Agency in northern Somalia’s semiautonomous state of Puntland, said he wasn’t surprised by Monday’s hijacking.

Ahmed said fake fishing licenses issued to foreign fishermen and lenient enforcement of regulations by local authorities are major factors in the increase of illegal fishing.

Fishermen have reported several cases of attacks by illegal fishermen, including close-ramming of their boats by trawlers. One fisherman died and another was seriously injured after a trawler ran over a small skiff off the coast early this month, Ahmed said.

Local fishermen also have reported incidents of foreign fishermen opening fire at them or robbing them of their catches before being chased away.

“It’s matter of life and death. Now we have to fight at any cost,” Bile Hussein, a Somali pirate commander, said Tuesday, after the new hijacking was reported. He said he was in contact with the armed men on the seized oil tanker and that they had not yet decided on how much ransom to demand.

Boris Johnson lands in Somalia for surprise visit amid looming famine

Boris Johnson lands in Somalia for surprise visit amid looming famine

 Source: Hiiraan Online
Wednesday March 15, 2017

Mogadishu (HOL) – British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrived in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday on a surprise visit.

Mr. Johnson met with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to discuss the worsening drought amid warnings from aid groups that Somalia is at risk of slipping into a famine.

Roughly 6 million people in the Horn of Africa nation – or half the population are facing serious food insecurity.

An overwhelmed and underfunded UN is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis as Sudan is in the midst of a full-blown famine and three other nations, including Somalia, Yemen and Northeast Nigeria are at a a credible risk of slipping into a famine.

In late February Britian pledged £100 million each in UK aid to  Somalia and South Sudan.

Just two days ago, The UK Government announced it will fund a £16 million programme to help avert famine in Somalia over the coming months. The emeregency funding will support more than 450 000 people with life-saving interventions and particularly food and water support.

Britain also announced on Wednesday that it would match “pound for pound” the first £5 million donated by the public to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s new East Africa Crisis Appeal.

After a recent visit to Somalia, UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said 2.9 million people in Somalia are at risk of famine and require immediate help “to save or sustain their lives”.

Djibouti’s Free Trade Zone (French and English)

Djibouti’s Free Trade Zone (French and English)

Source: The Exford Bussiness Group, Posted: 14 Mar 2017 05:51 AM PDT

The Oxford Business Group published on 13 March 2017 an article titled “Djibouti Moves to Galvanise Trade Development.” Djibouti’s new $540 million port is being developed by China Merchants Holding and the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority. The free trade zone is expected to be fully operational by 2018.

Analysis of Post-election Somalia

Analysis of Post-Election Somalia

Source: CDRC Digest, Ethiopia, Posted: 10 Mar 2017 08:43 PM PST

The February 2017 issue of the CDRC Digest contains a lengthy analysis of the new government in Somalia titled “Somalia Elects a New President: Implications for Peace and Stability in Somalia and the Sub-region.”

The Centre for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation (CDRC) is an independent, non-profit Ethiopia-based policy institute. Its analysis of the post-election situation in Somalia is generally positive and underscores the need for Somalia to develop cordial ties with its neighbors.

UN chief urges global action as starvation, famine loom for 20 million across four countries

UN aid chief urges global action as starvation, famine loom for 20 million across four countries

Source: UN News Center, 10 March 2017

Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien (second right) visiting Ganyiel, Unity state, South Sudan, on 4 March 2017, is briefed on the ongoing humanitarian response to famine in the region. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Connell

10 March 2017 – Just back from Kenya, Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia – countries that are facing or are at risk of famine – the top United Nations humanitarian official today urged the international community for comprehensive action to save people from simply “starving to death.”

“We stand at a critical point in history. Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN,” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council today.

Without collective and coordinated global efforts, he warned, people risk starving to death and succumbing to disease, stunted children and lost futures, and mass displacements and reversed development gains.

“The appeal for action by the Secretary-General can thus not be understated. It was right to sound the alarm early, not wait for the pictures of emaciated dying children […] to mobilize a reaction and the funds,” Mr. O’Brien underscored, calling for accelerated global efforts to support UN humanitarian action on the ground.

Turning to the countries he visited, the senior UN official said that, about two-thirds of the population (more than 18 million people) in Yemen needed assistance, including more than seven million severely food insecure, and the fighting continued to worsen the crisis.

“I continue to reiterate the same message to all: only a political solution will ultimately end human suffering and bring stability to the region,” he said, noting that with access and funding, humanitarians will do more, but cautioned that relief-workers were “not the long-term solution to the growing crisis.”

In South Sudan, where a famine was recently declared, more than 7.5 million people are in need of assistance, including some 3.4 million displaced. The figure rose by 1.4 million since last year.

“The famine in the country is man-made. Parties to the conflict are parties to the famine – as are those not intervening to make the violence stop,” stressed Mr. O’Brien, calling on the South Sudanese authorities to translate their assurances of unconditional access into “action on the ground.”

Similarly, more than half the population of Somalia (6.2 million people) is need aid, 2.9 million of whom require immediate assistance. Extremely worrying is that more than one million children under the age of five are at the risk of acute malnourishment.

“The current indicators mirror the tragic picture of 2011, when Somalia last suffered a famine,” recalled the UN official, but expressed hope that a famine can be averted with strong national leadership and immediate and concerted support by the international community.

Concerning Kenya, he mentioned that more than 2.7 million people were food insecure, and that this number could reach four million by April.

“In collaboration with the Government [of Kenya], the UN will soon launch an appeal of $200 million to provide timely life-saving assistance and protection,” he informed.

Further in his briefing, Mr. O’Brien informed the Council of the outcomes of the Oslo Conference on the Lake Chad Basin where 14 donors pledged a total of $672 million, of which $458 million is for humanitarian action in 2017.

“This is very good news, and I commend those who made such generous pledges,” he said but noted that more was needed to fully fund the $1.5 billion required to provide the assistance needed across the region.

On the UN response in these locations, Mr. O’Brien highlighted that strategic, coordinated and prioritized plans are in place and dedicated teams on the ground are closely working with partners to ensure that immediate life-saving support reaches those in need.

“Now we need the international community and this Council to act,” he highlighted, urging prompt action to tackle the factors causing famine; committing sufficient and timely financial support; and ensuring that fighting stops.

In particular, he underscored the need to ensure that humanitarians have safe, full and unimpeded access and that parties to the conflict in the affected countries respect humanitarian law and called on those with influence over the parties to the conflict to “exert that influence now.”

“It is possible to avert this crisis, to avert these famines, to avert these looming human catastrophes,” he concluded. “It is all preventable.”

A mother’s agony – which child to feed?

A mother’s agony – which child to feed?

Source: Reuaters, Sunday March 12, 2017

Mogadishu – Somali mothers are facing an agonising choice over how to divide their shrinking food supply among their hungry children as a devastating drought kills off livestock and leaves the Horn of Africa nation facing the possibility of famine.

“If there’s a very small amount of food, we give it to those who need it the most – the youngest,” said Fatuma Abdille, who arrived in the capital Mogadishu two weeks ago with her seven children after the family’s herd of goats died of starvation.

The drought has shrivelled grass and dried up water holes. In Bay, a key agricultural region, the UN says the harvest has dropped by more than 40%.

Now the UN is warning that the country risks a repeat of the 2011 famine that killed about 260 000 people.

Aid workers are asking for $825m (R11bn) to provide aid to 6.2 million Somalis, about half the country’s population.

The appeal comes after US President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order suspending travel to the US from six mainly Muslim nations, including Somalia.

Trump has justified the measure on national security grounds. He also said he would slash budgets for US aid and diplomacy.

This move could reduce support for the new UN-backed government, which is fighting to overcome an Islamist insurgency. Somalia had been plagued by civil war for more than a quarter of a century.

Insecurity prevents aid workers from accessing parts of the country, so, in many parts of Somalia, families from rural areas are flooding into cities in search of food.

As water sources evaporate, many families are forced to drink water infected with deadly cholera bacteria. The outbreak has affected nearly 8 000 people and has killed more than 180 so far.

Mohamed Ali, 50, came to the central city of Baidoa with his seven children. He said he and his wife were getting weaker as they gave the children their share of what little food they had.

“We let the children eat first and then we follow, but most of the time there’s nothing left because the food is not enough,” he said from a makeshift camp, where families had stretched material over sticks and wire to create shelters.

Golaha Guurtida oo muddo kordhin u samaysay xukuumaddda Somaliland

Golaha Guurtida oo muddo kordhin u samaysay xukuumaddda Somaliland
Source: Barkhad-ladiif M. Cumar, Hiiraan Online, 6 March 2017

 Isniin, Maarso, 06, 2017 (HOL) – Golaha Guurtida Somaliland, ayaa maanta u kordhiyey xukuumadda sagaal bilood oo ka bilaabmaysa dhamaadka muddo xileedkooda oo ah March, 2017.

Sidoo kale waxay u kordhiyeen golaha Wakiiladda iyo guurtidda oo iyana sanado kala dambayn doono wakhtiga doorashadda loo qorsheeyey.

Kalfadhigan golaha Guurtida waxa shirgudoominayey gudoomiyaha golahaasi Saleebaan Maxamud Aadan, waxaana golaha usoo jeediyey inay dhagaystaan guddidii ka soo tallo bixinta mudadda ku haboon ee loo kordhin karo xukuumadda,isla markaana doorashaddu ku dhici karto.

Guddida ka soo tallo bixinta ayaa soo jeediyey in xukuumadda loo kordhiyo sagaal bilood, isla markaana doorashaddu dhacdo December, 13, 2017, waxaanay laba bilood oo qudha ku dareen wakhtigii ay saddexda xisbi, guddida doorashooyinka iyo madaxweynuhu isku afgarteen oo ahaa inay doorashaddu dhacdo OCtobar 10,2017.

 Waxanay golaha guurtiddu u codeeyeen in doorasahdda golaha Wakiiladdu qabsoonto December 13,2017, isla markaana sagaal bilood lagu daro muddo xileedka xukuumadda oo ku eegeed markii hore March,2017.

Sidoo kale waxa golaha Wakiilada Somaliland u qorsheeyeen inay doorashaddu dhacdo April, 28,2019, halka golaha deegaanka mar wada dhici doonaan, sidoo kale golaha Guuritda waxa iyaguna u qorsheeyeen inay doorashaddoodu dhacdo 28-04-2020.

Sidaasna waxa u codeeyey 74 xildhibaan oo ka mid ah 82 xildhibaan ee golaha Guurtiddu ka kooban tahay, sidaas ayaan lagu meel mariyey.

Saddexda xisbi ayaa soo dhoweeyey, inkastoo ay golaha guurtidda ku dhaliileen inay gees mareen wakhtigii ay hore iskugu afgarteen oo ay ku dareen laba bilood, haseyeeshee waxa xisbiyadda ka walaacsanaayeen in muddo kordhinta ka dhigaan laba sanno taas oo maalmihii u dambeeyey ay xisbiyaddu ka ololaynayeen in wakhti badan loo kordhiyo.

Barkhad-ladiif M. Cumar, Hiiraan Online

Hargeysa, Somaliland.

Drought threatens to drive famine in Somalia as hunger kills more than 100

Drought threatens to drive famine in Somalia as hunger kills more than 100

Source: npr, Monday March 6, 2017

A 5-year-old child cries as a nurse struggles to find a vein for an injection at a health clinic last month in Shada, Somalia. The child’s family lost all their animals to drought and traveled more than 100 miles in search of a better situation. Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

At least 6.2 million people in Somalia — or just about half the country — are grappling with the prospect of an acute food shortage due to deepening drought. And on Saturday, Somalia’s prime minister made it clear that the conditions are exacting a stark human cost.

Over a two-day span, at least 110 people died of hunger in just a single region, Hassan Ali Khaire said Saturday during a meeting with the Somali National Drought Committee.

“I can confirm that Bay region in the south and other parts of Somalia are deteriorating rapidly,” Khaire said, “and my estimation is that half of the country’s population has felt the impact of this drought.”

As NPR’s Eyder Peralta notes for our Newscast unit, the country already declared the drought a national disaster on Tuesday. As Somalia has dried up, Khaire says the lack of clean water has increased the risks of waterborne diseases, while the ability of malnourished people to fight off those diseases has plummeted.

“It is a difficult situation for the pastoralists and their livestock. Some people have been hit by [hunger] and diarrhoea at the same time,” Khaire’s office said in a statement. “The Somali government will do its best, and we urge all Somalis, wherever they are, to help and save the dying Somalis.”

The United Nations is putting out urgent calls for aid, saying as many as 5 million people need aid in the shadow of a looming famine, according to The Associated Press.

“Thousands have been streaming into Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in search of food aid, overwhelming local and international aid agencies,” the news service reports. “Over 7,000 internally displaced people checked into one feeding center recently.”

If a full-blown famine should descend on Somalia, the World Health Organization says it would be the country’s third famine in a quarter-century — and the second in less than a decade.

Citing a joint report by the U.N. and the United States Agency for International Development, CNN reports that famine killed about 258,000 people in Somalia between 2010 and 2012.

But famine is not yet a foregone conclusion.

The AP reports the U.N. is currently appealing for $864 million in humanitarian aid, while “the U.N. World Food Program recently requested an additional $26 million plan to respond to the drought.”

Horn of Africa: External Debt Stock

Horn of Africa: External Debt Stock

Source: The World Bank, Posted: 19 Feb 2017 02:04 AM PST

The World Bank has just released its International Debt Statistics 2017, an annual book that provides statistics and analysis on the external debt and financial flows for the world’s economies for 2015.

In the Horn of Africa, external debt from 2000 until 2015 increased significantly for Djibouti and Ethiopia, modestly for Eritrea and Sudan and hardly at all for Somalia. South Sudan was not included. The change in external debt in millions of dollars from 2000 to 2015 is as follows:

Djibouti: $298 million to $1,222 million
Eritrea: $330 million to $873 million
Ethiopia: $5,516 million to $20,414 million
Somalia: $2,529 million to $2,892 million
Sudan: $16,076 million to $21,406 million