Latest News Regarding
Horn of Africa
Biden formalizes US support for Finland, Sweden joining NATO
Source: AP, By ZEKE MILLERAugust 9, 2022
1 of 9President Joe Biden signs the Instruments of Ratification for the Accession Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty for the Kingdom of Sweden in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. From left, Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden, Karin Olofsdotter, Sweden’s ambassador to the U.S., and Mikko Hautala, Finland’s ambassador to the U.S. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden formally welcomed Finland and Sweden joining the NATO alliance Tuesday as he signed the instruments of ratification that delivered the U.S.’s formal backing of the Nordic nations entering the mutual defense pact, part of a reshaping of the European security posture after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“In seeking to join NATO, Finland and Sweden are making a sacred commitment that an attack against one is an attack against all,” Biden said at the signing as he called the partnership the “indispensable alliance.”
The U.S. became the 23rd ally to approve NATO membership for the two countries. Biden said he spoke with the heads of both nations before signing the ratification and urged the remaining NATO members to finish their own ratification process “as quickly as possible.”
The Senate last week approved the two, once-non-aligned nations joining the alliance in a rare 95-1 vote that Biden said shows the world that “the United States of America can still do big things” with a sense of political unity.ADVERTISEMENT
The countries sought out NATO membership earlier this year to guarantee their security in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offensive in Ukraine. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s rules require the consent of all of its 30 existing members before Finland and Sweden can officially accede into the alliance, which is expected in the coming months.
Source: The Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute taped on 2 August 2022 an hour long podcast titled “Ethiopia: Is There Hope for an End to the Crisis in Tigray?” with panelists Hank Cohen, Rea Brazeal, and me.
This is a wide ranging discussion of the peace process for Tigray Region, the situation in Tigray, and implications for the wider region.
Labels: Abiy Ahmed, Amhara, AU, cease fire, China, democracy, drones, Eritrea, Ethiopia, food insecurity, humanitarian aid, Kenya, mediation, peace process, Somalia, starvation, Tigray Region, TPLF, US
Source: The Biden administration released its “U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa” on 8 August 2022. This is the first comprehensive Africa policy statement by the Biden administration. The focus is on the development of democracies, pandemic recovery, economic development, climate adaptation, and improvement of security.
Following release of the Africa policy document, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about U.S.-Africa policy at the University of Pretoria in South Africa on 8 August 2020. The title of his speech was “Vital Partners, Shared Priorities: The Biden Administration’s Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy.”
Labels: Africa, Antony Blinken, Biden administration, civil society, climate change, COVID-19, democracy, diaspora, energy, foreign policy, private sector, security, South Africa, sustainable development, trade, US
Sudan accuses Chad of cross-border attack it says killed 18
Source: CAIRO (AP) — Sudan has accused neighboring Chad of a cross-border attack earlier this week that a top commander says killed at least 18 nomads in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
According to Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, armed Chadian assailants crossed into West Darfur province and attacked a group of nomads staying in an open area near the border towns of Beir Saliba and Ardeiba last Thursday.
Apart from those killed, several nomads were also wounded in the attack and their livestock was looted and taken to Chad, the council said Friday.
There was no immediate comment from Chad on the accusations.
A Sudanese outlet, Darfur 24 news, reported a minor clash Friday between Chadian and Sudanese forces in the area, saying three Sudanese troops were wounded.
Senior Sudanese Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the sovereign council, had travelled to Chad before the attack for a previously scheduled meeting Thursday with Chad’s acting president and head of the country’s ruling transitional military council, Mahamat Idriss Deby.ADVERTISEMENT
He then returned to Darfur where he has resided for weeks to help defuse tribal tensions and violence that has rocked the troubled region in recent months.
Dagalo attended the funerals of the slain nomads on Friday and urged tribal leaders and residents in West Darfur for restraint. On Saturday, he met with a Sudanese-Chadian joint committee and held talks with local officials and tribal leaders to prevent a further escalation.
Sudan has called on Chad to find the attackers and return the looted livestock.
EU mission against piracy commanded by Portugal until December
Source: Macau Business
Saturday August 6, 2022
Commodore Marcelo Correia will command the European Union’s Operation Atalanta until December, a naval force which aims to prevent piracy and trafficking in the Somali Basin and has seized about 12 tonnes of drugs since March.
In the 41st rotation of Operation Atalanta, which ends on 2 December, six Portuguese Navy personnel were involved, including Commodore Marcelo Correia, who took command of the mission on Thursday.
In total, the force is composed of 18 soldiers from eight nationalities: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Serbia and Monte Negro, Republic of Korea, Colombia and Djibouti, “with the participation of the latter three resulting from bilateral agreements with the European Union,” said Commodore Marcelo Correia.
Speaking to Lusa, Correia said that the main objectives of “operation Atalanta are the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin,” also contributing “to the increase of maritime security in the region through tasks of monitoring drug trafficking, arms, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and illicit trade in coal.
Since February, he added, there is also the possibility of conducting operations to combat drug trafficking, “with the seizure of about 12 tonnes of narcotics since March this year being noteworthy.”
“No piracy attacks have been recorded since 2019, and this is a clear sign of the effectiveness of the ATALANTA operation, the other forces present in the region and the protection measures adopted by merchant shipping,” he considered.
Another of the objectives of this EU mission is the protection of the ships of the ‘World Food Programme’ [World Food Programme], a humanitarian aid organisation of the United Nations, founded in 1961 and financed through voluntary contributions from governments, institutions, corporations or individual citizens.
“Protection of WFP-chartered vessels can be done in three ways, depending on the vulnerability assessment of each vessel. This can be done by simply monitoring the movements of the ship, a close escort or the boarding of a security team that can integrate the operation for this purpose,” he detailed.
Asked about the main difficulties he anticipates in the coming months at sea, the commodore mentioned the size of the area, “which represents almost twice the area of the EU countries”, the pandemic of covid-19, “requiring permanent measures to mitigate the risk of contagion” or the “volatility and fragility of the security situation in the region, associated with the drought that is being felt in Somalia and the consequent lack of food” which “could promote the resurgence of acts of piracy”.
He also stressed, “the potential impact that the war in Ukraine could have, especially with the possible increase in maritime traffic in the region”, warning that a “false perception of the total eradication of piracy could lead to a reduction in the adoption of protective measures by merchant shipping, increasing its vulnerability”.
The force currently consists of the Spanish frigate Numancia, the flagship, the Italian frigate Fasan and an airborne detachment with a Spanish maritime patrol aircraft operating from Djibouti, the Portuguese commodore said, adding that “at the end of this month, a Spanish special operations task force will join the force.
Somalia reiterates Taiwan as an inalienable part of China’s territory
Source: Hiiraan Online, Saturday August 6, 2022
Mogadishu (HOL) – Somali government reiterated its unwavering support for China’s sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and national unity.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Somalia calls for adherence to relevant United Nations and African Union resolutions.
Federal Government of Somalia declares its full solidarity with the People’s Republic of China in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity while affirming its firm position to respect the one-China policy, considering Taiwan an inalienable part of China’s territory,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement was issued by the outgoing Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff. The federal parliament has not yet confirmed Somalia’s new cabinet, which Prime Minister Hamza Barre nominated earlier this week.
The ministry added that Somalia has long-standing relations with China, where cooperation between the two friendly countries is distinguished in the political, economic and development fields of common benefit and the joint coordination of positions in regional and international forums.
Taiwan has forged close relations with Somaliland, another independent but unrecognized nation seeking independence from Somalia. In February 2022, a high-profile delegation travelled from Hargeisa to Taipei after establishing embassies in 2020 in each other’s territory 2020.
Somalia’s federal government has publicly rebuked Taiwan in the past for interfering in Somalia’s internal affairs and violating its sovereignty. The Somali government declared an oil deal between Somaliland and Taiwan in February 2022 null and void.
Somalia’s Prime Minister appoints 26-member Cabinet
Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday August 2, 2022
Mogadishu (HOL) – Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre unveiled his Council of Ministers on Tuesday, which included Al-Shabab’s former deputy leader Mukhtar Robow Ali Abu Mansoor as the Minister of Religious Affairs and Senator Salah Ahmed Jama as Deputy Prime Minister.
Hamza Abdi, who was appointed to the post by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on 15 June, named 75-member Council of Ministers, which consists of 26 cabinet ministers, 25 deputies, and 24 state ministers.”I am honoured to announce the list of the Council of Ministers that I have chosen to participate in the significant change. This council of ministers will work on matters of importance to the country and the Somali people to achieve a better future together,” the PM tweeted shortly after the ceremony.
Ahmed Molaim Fiqi was appointed Minister of Interior Affairs, while Dr. Mohamed Sheikh Ali (Dodishe) was given the security ministry.
Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management was scrapped, while the Ministry of the Constitution was added to the Ministry of Justice, becoming the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has added a new ministry to the cabinet.
Other appointments included Daud Aweis, a former Voice of America journalist, appointed as the Minister for Information.
The cabinet, which includes members from the parliament, will have to be approved by the federal parliament before they can officially assume their roles.
Read the names of the ministers below:
1- Salah Ahmed Jama, Deputy Prime Minister
2- Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansoor, Minister of Endowment and Religion
3- Hassan Moalim, Minister of Justice and Constitution
4- Ahmed Moali, Fiqi, Minister of Interior and Federal Affairs
5- Dr. Elmi Mohamud Noor, Minister of Finance
6- Abduqadir Mohamed Noor (Jama), Minister of Defense
7- Abshir Omar Huruuse, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
8- Farah Sheikh Abdulqadir, Minister of Education and Higher Education
9- Mohamud Abdirahman Beena Beene, Minister of Planning
10- Jama IlkaJiir, Minister of Ports and Marine Transport
11- Fardowsa Osman Dhore, Minister Transport
12- Jama Hassan Khalif, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications
13- Hassan Hussein Elaay, Minister of Education Livestock
14- Jibril Abdirashid, Minister of Industrial Trade
15- Ismail Sheikh Bashir, Minister of General Works and Housing
16- Khadija Mohamed Diriye, Minister of Women
17- Dr. Abdirizaq Omar Mohamed, Minister of Petroleum and Mining
18- Mohamud Doodishe, Minister of Internal Security
19- Ahmed Madobe Nuunow, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation
20- Ali Haji Adan, Minister of Health
21- Ahmed Hassan Adan, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources
22- Daoud Aweys Minister of Information
23- Bihi Iman Cige. Minister of Labor and Employment
24- Jama Takal, Minister of Electricity and Water
25- Mohamed Barre Mohamud, Minister of Youth and Sports
26- Khadija Al-Makhzoumi, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
US donates military vehicles to AU troops in Somalia
Friday August 5, 2022
MOGADISHU — The United States has donated 24 armored personnel carriers to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, three months after the deadliest attack in years on the U.S.-backed peacekeeping mission.
The handover, attended by U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Larry Andrè and senior officials of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, ATMIS, took place Thursday in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
The 24 armored personnel carriers (APCs), donated by the U.S. government will boost the A.U. forces’ capability to fight militant group al-Shabab.
The specialized vehicles will be used by the A.U. Djiboutian contingent in joint military operations with the Somali National Army (SNA) in and around Beledweyne — the capital of Somalia’s central region of Hiran.
Ambassador Andrè said the APCs will protect troops against roadside bombs.
“The expression of our support, amongst other ways, is the donation of these vehicles to help protect African Union forces–in this case Djibouti’s military contingent–as they travel the roads of Somalia which too often will be trapped by dangerous explosive devices put there to harm those who only seek to help Somalia,” he said.
A top African Union official, Fiona Lortan, said the military hardware had arrived at an opportune time as the mission is reconfiguring its troops and equipment.
“On behalf of the African Union, its membership, and all the ATMIS troop contributing countries, including Djibouti and all the others since ATMIS is a collective effort of solidarity and support to the Somalia people, I would like to thank the government and the people of the United States for the generosity and steadfastness in supporting our presence in Somalia,” said Lortan.
Al-Qaida affiliated al-Shabab has been fighting Somalia’s government and A.U. peacekeepers in Somalia for 15 years, seeking to install a strict Islamist state like the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In May, the group attacked an ATMIS base in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region, using suicide bombers detonating three cars filled with explosives.
Islamist fighters then pounded the facility with heavy gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades, killing several dozen African Union peacekeepers from Burundi.
The military support by the U.S. comes as Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, announced that he is determined to wage war against al-Shabab militarily, as well as on economic and ideological grounds.
The Somali military said it conducted an operation against al-Shabab in Somalia’s central Hiran region this week, killing 30 al-Shabab fighters.
In May, U.S. President Joe Biden authorized re-deployment of U.S. troops to Somalia to help fight the militants. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, pulled around 700 American troops from the east African country during the final month of his presidency.
Source: Aljazeera, Friday August 5, 2022
Mukhtar Robow, formerly a leader of the rebel group, has been appointed as a minister.
Former al-Shabab group co-founder and spokesperson Mukhtar Robow sits among colleagues after he was named the minister in charge of religion by Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre in Mogadishu, Somalia August 2, 2022 [Feisal Omar/Reuters]
Somalia’s appointment of a former al-Shabab leader to the cabinet is fuelling debate.
While some are critical of Hamza Abdi Barre’s administration for naming Mukhtar Robow as the minister in charge of religious affairs, others laud the move as a step towards reconciliation and smart way to battle against the group.
The once-feared man – an al-Shabab co-founder, its former spokesperson and deputy leader – had been in a hideout for years before surrendering to the government in August 2017. He split with al-Shabab in 2013.
After intense negotiations with the state, Robow was delisted from the US terror list and denounced al-Shabab publicly.
However, regardless of his dramatic U-turn, his journey from house arrest – which he had been under for the past three years – to high-ranking minister was far from expected.
Some analysts believe the appointment could play a significant role in the fight against al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group formed in 2007, which wants to overthrow Somalia’s internationally recognised government and impose strict Islamic law.
“I think the reason why he was brought from house arrest to the cabinet minister is to create and come up with a counter-narrative to that of al-Shabab since he deeply understands their philosophy and their tactics,” Zakaria Yusuf, a researcher on Somalia at the International Crisis Group, told Al Jazeera.
“He may also have influence within the militant [group] and could attract more fighters from the group [to the government’s way of thinking.]
“I believe he can successfully run this docket given his background and experience in endowment affairs.”
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia’s president since May this year, has promised to fight al-Shabab militarily, financially and ideologically.
‘He understands al-Shabab’s tactics’
Robow, 52, once had a $5m United States reward on his head.
He is not the only high-ranking al-Shabab leader to have defected from the group, but remains the only one to have been handed a top ministerial role.
Abdirahman Turyare, the Somali government spy chief between 2014 and 2016, said Robow’s appointment signals the government’s commitment to battling the group.
“Given his involvement for years, I believe he understands al-Shabab’s tactics, strategies and how they operate their fight against the government. He also has a huge following in his native Bay and Bakool regions, where the group holds substantial amounts of territory,” said Turyare, who initiated talks with Robow in 2014. “He could easily convince them to defect from the group.
“His appointment will help the government not only militarily but also ideologically, and would encourage those within al-Shabab that they can defect to the government and can be welcomed, and even pardoned, if they denounce.”
In December 2018, Robow made it known he had political ambitions and wanted to vie for Somalia’s South-West State regional presidency.
Ultimately, however, he did not participate in the race and was put under house arrest.
According to Afyare Elmi, head of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies, a think-tank in Mogadishu, Robow’s appointment signals what new governments want to do about al-Shabab “and encourages the militant leaders that they can negotiate with them”.
He told Al Jazeera by phone: “It also shows that they want to either fight or face them ideologically. There is a general idea that he can influence many sectors – maybe among those within al-Shabab who might be interested in joining the government.”
On concerns that the government’s embrace of a former al-Shabab leader symbolises impunity, Elmi said: “That is true, but we have to remember that there has never been accountability for all the people who were involved in the civil war, whether they’re warlords or past military leaders. So I think it’s not only for Robow, but there are many other individuals who are accused of crimes against humanity, and they are either in parliament or other levels of government.”
In a first, Somalia-based al-Shabab is attacking in Ethiopia
Source: AP, Friday August 5, 2022
By Omar Faruk
Ethiopian military tanks sit in position on the outskirts of the town of Baidoa in Somalia, Feb. 29, 2012. The al-Shabab extremist group has exploited Ethiopia’s internal turmoil to cross the border from neighboring Somalia in unprecedented attacks in July 2022 that a top U.S. military commander has warned could continue. (AP Photo, File)
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The al-Shabab extremist group has exploited Ethiopia’s internal turmoil to cross the border from neighboring Somalia in unprecedented attacks in recent weeks that a top U.S. military commander has warned could continue.
The deadly incursions into Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and long seen as an anchor of security in the Horn of Africa, are the latest sign of how deeply the recent war in the northern Tigray region and other ethnic fighting have made the country more vulnerable.
Ethiopia has long resisted such cross-border attacks by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, in part by deploying troops inside Somalia, where the extremist group controls large rural parts of the country’s southern and central regions. But the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and its security forces have struggled with unrest at home especially since the Tigray conflict began in late 2020.
Experts say al-Shabab, also emboldened by instability under Somalia’s previous administration, is seizing the chance to expand its footprint and claim the killing of scores of Ethiopian security forces. But the group is also feeling the pressure of a renewed push by Somalia’s new government and the return of U.S. forces to the country after their withdrawal by former President Donald Trump.
The turn to Ethiopia is a significant strategic shift by al-Shabab, Matt Bryden, a security analyst with the Sahan Foundation think tank, told The Associated Press. The extremist group had never been able to conduct major operations inside Ethiopia.
“The reports of clashes along the Ethiopia-Somalia border are just a fraction of the overall picture,” Bryden said. “We understand that planning for this offensive began more than one year ago, when the Ethiopian government appeared to be on the verge of collapse” as rival Tigray forces pushed toward the capital, Addis Ababa. Those forces later retreated, and both sides are edging toward peace talks.
Al-Shabab has trained several thousand fighters for its Ethiopian “command,” mainly ethnic Somalis and Oromos inside Ethiopia, Bryden asserted. Ethiopia’s federal government has said it fears al-Shabab will link up with the Oromo Liberation Army, which it has designated a terror organization, though other security experts have called that unlikely.
Hundreds of al-Shabab fighters were able to slip into Ethiopia last week alone and their presence has been detected near multiple communities such as El Kari, Jaraati, and Imey, Bryden said. The incursions began in late July.
“There are also credible reports of al-Shabab units deploying in the direction of Moyale,” the main border post between Ethiopia and Kenya, he said.
Somalia’s previous president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, avoided any major confrontation with al-Shabab. But new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has said his government will take the offensive against the group’s thousands of fighters, with the backing of returning U.S. forces.
“Al-Shabab therefore faces a much greater military challenge in Somalia than before and has therefore embarked on this Ethiopian campaign in order to preserve some of its forces and establish strategic depth,” Bryden said.
He warned that if al-Shabab establishes a stronghold in southeastern Ethiopia, “the consequences for peace and security in the region could be very serious indeed.” The fighters would be well-positioned to strike deeper into Ethiopia, into Kenya and even as far as Uganda to the west. Al-Shabab has carried out several high-profile deadly attacks inside Kenya over the years.
The outgoing head of the U.S. Africa Command, Gen. Stephen Townsend, last month warned that al-Shabab’s activities inside Ethiopia were not a “one-off” and said the fighters made it as far as 150 kilometers into the country.
Al-Shabab has long regarded Ethiopia an enemy for its long military presence inside Somalia countering the fighters. Via its Radio Andalus media arm, the extremist group has claimed killing at least 187 Ethiopian regional forces and seizing military equipment in its attacks.
Ethiopian officials have expressed alarm. On Tuesday, the country’s Somali regional president, Mustefa Omer, told a regional assembly that more than 600 al-Shabab fighters have been killed.
The region is in a lengthy war with the extremists, not just a one-time clash, he said, and “the Ethiopian federal army is currently involved in the fight against the terrorists … and we will also work with Somalia.”
He said the goal is to create a security buffer inside Somalia to guard against further incursions. “We should not wait for the enemy to invade,” he said.
Also on Tuesday, the Somali region announced that Ethiopian military officials had arrived in Somalia’s town of Beledweyne to discuss strategies to counter al-Shabab’s incursion. The statement said Ethiopia’s soldiers in the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia will be deployed against the extremists.
Residents of the Somali town of Yeed near the Ethiopian border told the AP they witnessed losses suffered by al-Shabab fighters in an Ethiopian attack last week. They spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution.
And a resident of Somalia’s Bakool region, Isak Yarow, said Ethiopian military planes have carried out airstrikes in Garasweyne village in an area where Ethiopian and al-Shabab fighters have clashed.
Ethiopia’s military has claimed the killing of three prominent al-Shabab figures including its propaganda chief, but the extremist group has denied it.
While Al-Shabab’s ultimate aims inside Ethiopia are yet to be determined, its new actions signal its “growing ambition, regional capabilities, and opportunism to exploit regional geopolitics, especially as the Abiy Ahmed government struggles to contain the various insurgencies inside Ethiopia,” security analysts Caleb Weiss and Ryan O’Farrell wrote late last month.
Security analyst Ismail Osman, a former deputy of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency, told the AP that “President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s immediate priority is to eradicate al-Shabab” and warned that regional tensions could worsen amid this new instability.
An Associated Press writer reported from Nairobi, Kenya.
UN provides 9.5 mln USD for famine prevention in Somalia
Source: Xinhuanet, Thursday August 4, 2022
The United Nations humanitarian agency has provided 9.5 million U.S. dollars to provide immediate assistance to communities in areas at the highest risk of famine in Somalia.
Adam Abdelmoula, the deputy special representative of the Secretary-General and also UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said the new allocation from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) will be crucial in ramping up life-saving responses to the needs of worst-affected communities in the Bay and Bakool regions in the South West State of Somalia.
Abdelmoula said in a statement released in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Wednesday that the risk of famine and the number of people getting displaced has alarmingly increased.
“Somalia is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, yet the funding needed to respond to rapidly growing needs remains vastly insufficient to avert the worst outcomes,” he said.
According to the UN, the risk of famine in Somalia has intensified following a historic fourth failed rainy season, and now catastrophic hunger looms. It said the escalating drought conditions have affected more than 7 million people and displaced over 900,000 more people from their homes in search of water, food, and pasture, with the majority being women and children.
According to the UN, hunger is rising with about 45 percent of the population being classified as acutely food insecure, while 213,000 others are facing catastrophic food insecurity.
“We are racing against the clock to reach the most vulnerable and to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods. I urge everyone to step up our collective efforts to help the people of Somalia,” Abdelmoula said.
The UN agency said the risk of famine is the highest in the Bay and Bakool regions and particularly in the Bay where for the first time since 2017, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification has confirmed pockets of catastrophic food insecurity.
It said the allocation will promote an integrated response to prevent the worst outcomes through cash for food, emergency livelihood inputs, provision of essential health, nutrition, and water as well as sanitation services.
The SHF is a multi-donor country-based pooled mechanism that allocates funding for the most urgent life-saving.
Source: UN, 1 August 2022 Global
As geopolitical tensions reach new highs, and some governments are spending billions on nuclear weapons in a false bid for peace and security, countries must uphold the nearly 80-year norm against their use, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in New York on Monday.
Source: CBS did a brief interview titled “Grandpa Was an Emperor” with Yeshi Kassa, granddaughter of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and now a New York banker, concerning an upcoming documentary about Haile Selassie. The details of the documentary are still being worked out, but based on this interview it sounds like it will be worth the wait.
Source: Agence France Presse published on 31 July 2022 an article titled “US Envoy Urges Progress on Ethiopia Peace Talks, Aid.”
US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa recently visited Ethiopia where he urged the central government and Tigrayans to move forward with the peace process. He also discussed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen.
Africa lays out goals ahead of UN climate summit 27
Source: Hiiraan, Wednesday August 3, 2022
By WANJOHI KABUKURU
African officials outlined their priorities for the upcoming U.N. climate summit, including a push to make heavily polluting rich nations compensate poor countries for the environmental damage done to them
FILE – Residents wade through flood water around their homes after heavy rain in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Jan. 19, 2022. Alexander Joe/ AP
MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — African officials outlined their priorities for the upcoming U.N. climate summit, including a push to make heavily polluting rich nations compensate poor countries for the environmental damage done to them.
The continent will also focus on how countries can adapt to global warming and how the continent can best halt further climate-related disasters. Africa has seen debilitating droughts in the east and Horn of Africa and deadly cyclones in the south.
Other key areas for discussion include moving from high-carbon energy sources like oil and gas to renewables, and “carbon credit” schemes, where foreign governments and companies pay for tree planting in exchange for producing greenhouse gases.
advertisementsThe U.N. climate conference, known as COP27, will be held in Egypt in November.
How much funding Africa gets is the biggest factor for how prepared it will be for a hotter future, said Harsen Nyambe, the director of sustainable environment at the African Union Commission.
“We recall the $100 billion that was promised has never been fulfilled and current assessments show that even that amount is not enough,” Nyambe said, referring to a 12-year-old pledge by rich nations to provide climate funding for poorer nations.
“Africa must be given adequate time to transition and transform its energy infrastructure. We cannot transform abruptly. We need resources, capacity, technology transfer and finance to power our development,” he added.
A commitment made in the previous international summit in Glasgow to spend half of climate funds on helping developing nations adapt to the effects of a warming world by having infrastructure and agriculture that’s resilient to more volatile weather systems, must be followed through, said Jean-Paul Adam, director of climate change for the U.N.’s Economic Commission for Africa.
He added the continent only received about 7.5% of its promised $70 billion in climate funding between 2014 and 2018.
Africa needs around $3 trillion to fulfill its self-determined emissions targets, known as nationally determined contributions, that each country is required to submit as part of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate, according to U.N. and Africa Development Bank estimates.
More meetings between the continent’s climate leaders are set to follow ahead of COP27.
Source:, The National Interest published on 28 July 2022 an article titled “USAID Rushes Aid to Drought-Stricken Horn of Africa” by Trevor Filseth.
USAID announced it is sending $488 million in humanitarian aid to Ethiopia to respond to the country’s four-year drought that is impacting 7.4 million people. This announcement follows a similar $476 million humanitarian aid package for Somalia. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the food deficit situation in the Horn of Africa.
Kenya exports Sh220 million ($1.86 million) worth of miraa to Somalia in four days
Source: Nation, By Gerald Andae
Monday August 1, 2022
PHOTO | FILE Vans transporting miraa from Meru to Nairobi. Farmers in the region say a ban on sale of the crop will affect their livelihoods.
Kenya exported miraa (khat) worth Sh221 million ($1.86 million) in four days since the resumption of the Somalia market, highlighting the significant role that the commodity is playing in the economy.
Head of Miraa Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops Felix Mutwiri said the country has exported 81.4 tonnes of the stimulant to Mogadishu since the market opened up last weekend.
Mr Mutwiri said 19 traders out of the 22 that had applied for export permits had been cleared even as more traders have sought clearance to get the licences.
“We have so far exported 81.4 tonnes in the last four days and we expect the volumes to grow in the next coming days as more people are cleared to ship out the commodity,” said Mr Mutwiri.
The directorate started issuing export licences to miraa traders last week after they were cleared under the new regulations.
advertisementsAnyone who exports miraa without registration and a licence is liable for a sentence of up to three years or a fine of up to Sh5 million.
A kilo of miraa to Somalia is now going for $23 (Sh2,734), which is still lower when compared with the $25 (Sh2,972) that it fetched before the market was stopped.
Kenya is facing competition at the market from Ethiopia which has been supplying the market with miraa after Nairobi was locked out.
Nyambene Miraa Trade Association (Nyamita) chairman Kimathi Munjuri said there is enough crop in the farms to meet the market.
“We have a lot of miraa right now in the farmers and we can meet the market demand in Somalia,” said Mr Munjuri.
Traders have been relying on local market in the last three years after Khartoum banned export of the stimulant following a diplomatic row between the two countries.
The move saw Kenya embark on scouting for a new market in Djibouti to save farmers who rely on the crop as their main economic mainstay.
Djibouti is getting most of its khat supply from Ethiopia, however, there is a huge deficit for the stimulant as Addis Ababa is unable to meet the country’s total demand.
The directorate said that even with the resumption of the Somalia market exports, they are still targeting European countries, which in 2014 banned the crop after it was classified as a drug.
Somalia gets $470M from US as ‘ravaging drought’ wreaks havoc
Source: AA, Magdalene Mukami
Monday July 25, 2022
Somalia will receive $470 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help in efforts to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the drought-stricken country.
The commitment was made by USAID chief Samantha Powers during a meeting with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Somalia on Sunday.
advertisementsDuring their discussions, Mohamud emphasized his government’s determination to tackle the “ongoing humanitarian and drought crisis, intensify the fight against terrorist groups and prioritize political stability, democratization and reconciliation,” according to Somali National Television.
Powers “promised $470 million to support aid and development projects,” the report said.
Abdirahman Abdishakur, Somalia’s special presidential envoy for drought response, welcomed the new US funding.
It “comes at a time of unprecedented suffering in our country due to the ravaging drought,” he said on Twitter, adding that USAID remains Somalia’s “largest humanitarian donor.”
According to UNICEF estimates, 7.1 million Somalis, or half the population, will face severe food insecurity by the end of 2022.
Some 1.5 million children in Somalia under five years of age will be severely malnourished, its latest situation report said, a figure that amounts to around 45% of all kids in Somalia.
Powers is visiting countries in East Africa where an “unprecedented drought is pushing millions to the brink of starvation and food insecurity is being further exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” according to a USAID statement.
During her stop in Kenya, she announced “nearly $255 million in additional emergency food and other critical humanitarian and development assistance.”
In Kenya, the “historically unprecedented” drought has pushed more than 4 million people to the edge of starvation, said a USAID statement earlier this week.
Source: The White House issued a statement on 20 July 2022 that President Biden will host in Washington on 13-15 December the US-Africa Leaders Summit. The last one took place in 2014.