Latest News Regarding

Horn of Africa


South Sudan’s president calls on refugees to return home

South Sudan’s president calls on refugees to return home

Source: AP, By DENG MACHOLtoday

File - After walking for days, a refugee family arrives in Yida, South Sudan, Feb. 20, 2018. South Sudan's president on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, urged the country's more than 2 million refugees to return home in his first meeting with displaced people since civil war erupted almost a decade ago. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick, file)

File – After walking for days, a refugee family arrives in Yida, South Sudan, Feb. 20, 2018. South Sudan’s president on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, urged the country’s more than 2 million refugees to return home in his first meeting with displaced people since civil war erupted almost a decade ago. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick, file)

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan’s president has urged the country’s more than 2 million refugees to return home in his first meeting with displaced people since civil war erupted almost a decade ago.

President Salva Kiir’s appeal on Wednesday came as the country prepares to hold its first elections since gaining independence from Sudan in 2011. South Sudan’s delayed elections are set to take place in December 2024.

South Sudan is still recovering from the five-year civil war that erupted in late 2013, killed hundreds of thousands of people and ended with a peace agreement in 2018. For a while, fleeing South Sudanese formed the world’s largest refugee camp in neighboring Uganda.

The president’s meeting came two weeks after the visiting Pope Francis met with displaced South Sudanese in the capital, Juba, and appealed for lasting peace.

“With peace implementation moving towards the final phase where elections will end the transitional period, repatriating our people from the camps in neighboring countries should top our agenda,” Kiir said.


Horn of Africa drought trends said worse than in 2011 famine

Horn of Africa drought trends said worse than in 2011 famine

Source: AP, Thursday February 23, 2023

By Cara Anna

Saito Ene Ruka, right, who said he has lost 100 cows due to drought, and his neighbour Kesoi Ole Tingoe, left, who said she lost 40 cows, walk past animal carcasses at Ilangeruani village, near Lake Magadi, in Kenya, on Nov. 9, 2022. Trends in a historic Horn of Africa drought are now worse than they were during a the 2011 drought in which at least a quarter-million people died, a climate center said Wednesday. The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center said below-normal rainfall is expected in the rainy season over the next three months.  BRIAN INGANGA, FILE / AP PHOTO

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Trends in a historic Horn of Africa drought are now worse than they were during the 2011 drought in which at least a quarter-million people died, a climate center said Wednesday.

The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center said below-normal rainfall is expected in the rainy season over the next three months.

“This could be the sixth failed consecutive rainfall season” in the region that includes Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, the center said

The drought, the longest on record in Somalia, has lasted almost three years, and tens of thousands of people are said to have died. More than 1 million people have been displaced in Somalia alone, according to the United Nations.

Last month, the U.N. resident coordinator in Somalia warned that excess deaths in Somalia will “almost certainly” surpass those of the famine declared in the country in 2011.

Close to 23 million people are thought to be highly food insecure in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, according to a food security working group chaired by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

Already, 11 million livestock that are essential to many families’ health and wealth have died, Wednesday’s statement said. Many people affected across the region are pastoralists or farmers who have watched crops wither and water sources run dry.

The war in Ukraine has affected the humanitarian response as traditional donors in Europe divert funding to the crisis closer to home. The head of IGAD, Workneh Gebeyehu, urged governments and partners to act “before it’s too late.”

The IGAD climate center is a designated regional climate center by the World Meteorological Organization.

UAE, Somalia leaders discuss ways to bolster bilateral ties at IDE

UAE, Somalia leaders discuss ways to bolster bilateral ties at IDEX

Source: WAM, Thursday February 23, 2023

Sheikh Mohamed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud hold talks on the sidelines of IDEX 2023 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on Wednesday. WAM

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Wednesday met Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The two leaders discussed ongoing relations between the two nations and areas for further cooperation, especially with regard to enhancing development and stability in Somalia.

The meeting took place at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2023), which is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Sheikh Mohamed welcomed the visit of the Somali president and reaffirmed the UAE’s keenness to support efforts aimed at ensuring peace and prosperity for Somalia and its people.

Following the meeting, the UAE President toured a number of pavilions of national and international companies participating at IDEX and was briefed on some of the latest innovations and technology in the defence industry.

During the tour, President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed was accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohamed Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs in the Presidential Court; and Staff Lt. General Engineer Issa Saif Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces.

Security council members urge Somalia to take action on women’s safety amidst political instability

Security council members urge Somalia to take action on women’s safety amidst political instability

Source: Hiiraan Online, Thursday February 23, 2023

 “We are deeply alarmed by the increases in sexual and gender-based violence”


Mogadishu (HOL) – Representatives from Malta, Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Japan, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom made a bold commitment on Wednesday to prioritize Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) principles. 

The ten nations joined forces to put the WPS agenda at the forefront during their terms on the Security Council. This commitment comes as the council met to discuss the dire situation in Somalia, where Al-Shabaab wreaks havoc amidst a backdrop of drought and political instability. The group noted that 80% of the country’s displaced population is women and children, and they face increased violence and inequality risks

The joint statement urged Somalia to take action to create a safe environment for women and girls and a more gender-inclusive humanitarian response. They also call for sexual and gender-based violence prevention to be integrated into Somalia’s drought response and famine prevention plan.

The Security Council members are deeply concerned about the surge in sexual and gender-based violence in Somalia and are calling for swift action against all perpetrators. They also emphasize the importance of women’s participation in formal decision-making forums and political processes to achieve lasting peace and stability.

Despite some encouraging signs, such as the election of Sadiya Yasin Haji Samatar as the first woman to hold the post of First Deputy Speaker, women in political positions still face harassment and violence. The representatives are urging women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation and representation in all areas of society.

The signatories welcome the launch of the Somalia Action Plan to implement the Somali Women’s Charter, the National Action Plan on Security Council Resolution 1325, and the Ministry of Defence’s human rights policy. They are encouraging the Federal Government of Somalia to ratify and implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and strengthen the legislative framework to protect women and girls against sexual and gender-based violence.

US embassy delegation meets with Somaliland officials on Las Anod violence and elections

US embassy delegation meets with Somaliland officials on Las Anod violence and elections.

Source: Hiiraan Online, Thursday February 23, 2023

Hargeisa (HOL) – A delegation from the US Embassy in Mogadishu, led by Chargé d’Affaires Tim Trenkle, arrived in Hargeisa on Thursday to meet with Somaliland government officials, civil society representatives, and youth leaders.

Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi received the delegation, and meetings were held to discuss security, prosperity, and democracy in the region.

The Chargé d’Affaires reiterated the United States and international community’s call for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire in Las Anod and condemned the tragic loss of life and violence.  

The delegation also discussed efforts toward a consensus-based electoral process and the timely conduct of elections.

They also met with diverse political, civil society, and youth leaders to discuss shared priorities, including democratic participation and inclusion.

Members of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network and alumni of the YALI Regional Leadership Center shared how the initiative contributes to youth and community development in Somaliland.

On Wednesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that clashes between security forces and clan leaders in Las Anod, in northern Somalia, have left 150 people dead and over 600 others wounded since February 6.

Jurg Eglin, head of the ICRC delegation for Somalia, called for quick and unimpeded humanitarian access to victims of violence which started on February 6.

Somalia’s FM says fighting terrorism is common objective of Ethiopia, Somalia

Somalia’s FM says fighting terrorism is common objective of Ethiopia, Somalia

Source: Ethiopian News Agency, Tuesday February 21,

Addis Ababa (ENA) February 19/2023 The fight against terrorism is one of the common objectives of Ethiopia and Somalia, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia, Abshir Omar said.

Somalia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abshir Omar, who is in Addis Ababa for the 36th African Union Summit, told ENA that Ethiopia and Somalia have common objective in the fight against terrorists.

“Effective fighting with terrorists is a common objection for Ethiopia and Somalia. We are both on the same line and of that front and that is a common enemy for our both countries, both for the people in Ethiopia and Somalia.”

He recalled the two heads of states have met in Mogadishu recently, together with the other front line states to discuss on ways to work together in fighting terrorism which is a threat to all of the neighboring countries as the terrorists are not confined to only Somalia because they have the ability to cross national borders.

In that regard, the leaders from the front line states, namely Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, have to agree on a common front to defeat that enemy, the minister added.

Noting the relation between Ethiopia and Somalia is solid he said, “I can describe the relations that exists between Ethiopia and Somalia is the best relation that the governments, of the two countries can have now. It is in best stage and level ever before.”

“We have quite a number of common factors that are keeping us together. We all have and working together to achieve those mutual factors which are beneficial to our people,” Omar explained.

The minister said Ethiopia and Somalia have been working in partnership in multifaceted areas noting that the two countries also share various historical and cultural values.  

The countries are working with commitment to further intensify the existing political, economic and social cooperation, he added.  

He also mentioned the efforts being exerted by the government of Ethiopia to help Somalia in the fight against terrorism and bring peace in the country.   

Moreover, the minister stressed the need to further strengthen integration between the two countries, which is vital for the mutual benefit of both countries.

Recall the leaders of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia met in the Somali capital to discuss on the ongoing fight against al-Shabab militants earlier this month.

BREAKING: Al-Shabaab changes tactics, attacks residential home in Mogadishu

BREAKING: Al-Shabaab changes tactics, attacks residential home in Mogadishu

Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday February 21, 2023

Mogadishu (HOL) – The al-Qaida-linked terror group al-Shabaab carried out a suicide attack and stormed a residential house belonging to a senior military commander in Mogadishu’s Abdiaziz district on Tuesday.

Security forces are currently engaged in a firefight with the militants inside the house, which also houses Ma’awisley militiamen who were recently injured in the ongoing offensive against al-Shabaab in the Hiiraan region.

Police have not released any details on the number of casualties. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This is the first time the group has stormed a residential house, as it was previously known for staging attacks on hotels and government offices.

Last month, the militants attacked the compound that housed the Mogadishu mayor’s office and other local government facilities in Mogadishu, killing five civilians and injuring four others.

The latest incident comes as the Somali government continues its military operations in several regions to dislodge al-Shabaab from towns and villages.

This story is developing..

Ethnic Minorities from Northern Ethiopia Afraid to Return from Sudan

Ethnic Minorities from Northern Ethiopia Afraid to Return from Sudan

 Source: The New Humanitarian published on 16 February 2023 an article titled “Ethiopian Minorities Remain Fearful Despite Peace Deal” by Claire Wilmot, London School of Economics.

Minority Kunama, Irob, Qemant, and Agew from northern Ethiopia who became refugees in Sudan are still fearful about returning to their homes.  The article also sheds light on the broader concerns of these small ethnic groups. 

Ethiopia Wants to Shut Down Special UN Human Rights Commission

Ethiopia Wants to Shut Down Special UN Human Rights Commission

 Source: Agence France Presse published on 15 February 2023 an article titled “Ethiopia Warns UN-Backed Probe Could ‘Undermine’ Peace Process.”

The UN-backed  International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia issued a report saying there is evidence all sides in the war with Tigray may be subject to war crimes and crimes against humanity.  The government of Ethiopia rejected the report and is trying to stop the commission from continuing its work because it will undermine the AU-led peace process.  

Egypt FM affirms need for binding agreement on Ethiopian dam to UN envoy to Horn of Africa

Egypt FM affirms need for binding agreement on Ethiopian dam to UN envoy to Horn of Africa

Source: ahramonline, Friday February 17, 2023

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reaffirmed to the UN special envoy to the Horn of Africa Hanna Tetteh Egypt’s stance on the necessity of reaching a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD, which takes into account the interests of all three countries – Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – and preserves Egypt’s water rights.

Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in his meeting with the UN Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Hanna Tetteh on the sidelines of the 42nd Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council in Addis Ababa. Photo : Egyptian Foreign Ministry

This came during a meeting on Thursday on  the sidelines of the 42nd Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council in Addis Ababa, according to a statement released by the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Security in Somalia

houkry and Tetteh discussed several issues related to security and peace in the Horn of Africa, especially in Somalia, the statement added.

During the meeting, Shoukry noted that the visit of the Somali president to Egypt last July reflected common understandings between the two countries within the framework of Egypt’s firm and historical role in supporting Somalia.

The two officials affirmed the need for international partners to join hands to support efforts to stabilise the situation in Somalia by activating the role of the African Union Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

Support for stability in Sudan

The Egyptian foreign minister and the UN envoy also discussed developments in Sudan.

Shoukry affirmed to Tetteh Cairo’s support to achieving consensus among the Sudanese political forces in order to ensure the success of the transitional period and achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people in restoring stability. and overcoming current challenges.

From her side, Tetteh praised the Egyptian efforts to support peace and security in Sudan and Somalia expressing her interest to continue consultation and coordination with Egypt in this regard, according to the statement.

African nations turn to currency redesign to tackle graft, inflation

African nations turn to currency redesign to tackle graft, inflation

Source: The Citizen, Friday February 17, 2023

A man holding Somali shilling notes after having exchanged US dollars with a money changer in Mogadishu, 23 October 2013.

Nairobi. African countries are turning to new-generation banknotes to help curb corruption, runaway inflation and money laundering.

From simple alterations like changing colour schemes to complex modifications incorporating embedded security features, central banks in Nigeria, Somalia, and Central African States have demonetised older series banknotes.

Somalia is the latest country to announce plans to replace its old 1,000-shilling notes, last printed in 1991.

The country’s central bank has set mid-2024 as the deadline to replace the only high-value currency note still in use, to deal with counterfeit bills, excess cash in circulation and inflation.

“The new issuance will combat illicit funds and curb inflation by mopping up excess liquidity,” said Somalia Central Bank Deputy Governor Ali Yasin Wardhere in an interview with Bloomberg.

An influx of fake currency has been linked to high inflation and corruption rates, with many people subsequently forced to revert to US dollars.

The latest Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International ranks Somalia at the bottom (position 180) globally.

Besides Somalia, Nigeria is also currently replacing its currency notes to prevent hoarding, contain inflation and address counterfeiting.

In November 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unveiled new 1,000, 500, and 200 naira notes to replace some 2.7 trillion naira ($5.85 billion) in cash held outside the country’s banking system.

“So far and since the commencement of this program, we have collected 1.9 trillion naira, leaving us with about 900 billion,” CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele shared in a press release last month.

According to CBN data, currency in circulation in Nigeria had more than doubled from US$3 billion in 2015 to US$7 billion in October 2022.

However, only US$1 billion (500 billion naira) of that could be traced within the banking industry, with some US$5.85 billion (2.7 trillion naira) held ‘permanently’ in people’s homes.

“We also aim to support efforts of security agencies in combating banditry and ransom-taking in Nigeria through this program,” the statement read.

CBN had set February 10 2023, as the deadline for using the old notes, after which they would be rendered illegal.

However, the country’s supreme court on February 8 blocked the central bank’s plan and adjourned the matter until February 15.

“We were successful in obtaining an interim injunction against the February 10 Central Bank of Nigeria deadline for use of the old notes until the determination of the substantive suit,” said Aisha Dikko, the attorney general of the Kaduna state government in northern Nigeria.

The Central African States of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon have also begun using redesigned and upgraded currency notes that began circulating in mid-December 2022.

“From December 15, 2022 the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) puts into circulation its new range of “type 2020” bank notes. More compact, more mordern and better secure,” BEAC posted on its website.

A salient feature in all the five upgraded denominations of the franc (XAF) banknotes (500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000) is the representation of four official languages in Central Africa.French and Arabic features are on the front of the notes, while English and Spanish have been used on the reverse sides. The notes come embedded with solid security threads, a watermark (three eland antelope heads), and different electrotype grades depending on the value of currency notes.

Also included are special features that can be felt by hand by the visually impaired – one line for 500, two for 1,000, three for 2,000 and five for 10,000 notes.

Other notable features include the BEAC headquarters building, a stylized outline of Africa in diamonds and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) logo.

The Central African Monetary Union (UMAC) announced that the current 1992 generation of banknotes would cease to serve as legal tender in the region from March 2023.

In July 2022, Sierra Leone also introduced a new family of banknotes, stripping three zeros off the leone to restore confidence in the inflation-hit national currency.

In 2019, Kenya withdrew its 1,000 shilling notes to crack down on embezzlement and tackle a wave of counterfeiting

Djibouti contributes $1M in cash to Turkish relief efforts for earthquake victims

Djibouti contributes $1M in cash to Turkish relief efforts for earthquake victims

Source AA, Friday February 17, 2023

Djibouti has donated $1 million in cash to the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) and will also send a second batch of relief goods to people affected by the devastating twin earthquakes in Türkiye on Thursday night.

An official at the Turkish Embassy in Djibouti told Anadolu over the phone on Thursday that the Djibouti ambassador to Ankara had made the cash donation to AFAD the day before.

According to the official, who did not want to be identified, they are sending 10 generators, six industrial projectors, 113 blankets, 100 pullovers, and 35 thermal garments donated by Djibouti companies on Thursday night.

This is Djibouti’s second in-kind donation to Türkiye. The first, which contained 120 tents, 185 kilograms of clothing, and 75 kilograms of hygiene supplies, was delivered on Tuesday.

He said the Djibouti government and people are fully committed to helping earthquake victims in Türkiye.

At least 36,187 people were killed by the two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye last week, the AFAD said on Thursday.

The Feb. 6 magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes, centered in the Kahramanmaras province, affected more than 13 million people across 11 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa, and Elazig.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.

UN raises alarm over surge in migration from Horn of Africa

UN raises alarm over surge in migration from Horn of Africa

Source: africanews, Friday February 17, 2023

Distressed migrants in Obock, Djibouti, are taken to IOM’s Migration Response Centre for more care. © IOM/Alexander Bee

The number of women and children migrating from the Horn of Africa to Gulf countries through Yemen has significantly increased and is a cause of concern, according to the head of the International Organization for Migration.

The treacherous journey from Ethiopia, Somalia, and Djibouti through Yemen, called the Eastern Migration Route, has seen a 64% increase in the past year of people seeking better livelihoods, with larger numbers of women with children and children traveling alone, IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino told The Associated Press.

Climate change is a driver of the increased migration, he said.

In the past, women and children would often opt out of the dangerous journey through the desert mostly made on foot. Previously men would leave their families behind and make the trek in the hope of finding jobs and sending money back home.

“The pressure is mounting” as the numbers of migrants rise, said Vitorino who was in Kenya for the launch of a $84 million appeal to support more than 1 million migrants using the route through Yemen.

The desperate migrants are vulnerable to criminal gangs along the route and need protection against rape, violence, traffickers and smugglers, he said.

Some of the migrants are unaware of the dangers including the war in Yemen and the U.N.’s migration organization needs to improve awareness of the perils, he said. For migrants who still choose to take the journey, the organization should offer basic healthcare and other services and in some cases return them to their countries of origin, he said.

“Last year, we have returned voluntarily to Ethiopia 2,700 migrants and upon arrival we provided post-arrival assistance to support them to move back to their regions of origin,” Vitorino said.

Also rising is the migration of people from West Africa through Libya to Europe and the plight of those migrants, particularly those detained in Libya, is a global concern, he said.

“We know where the official detention centers are and we have access to them, not permanent, never alone, but under surveillance of security guards. But we have access to provide assistance,” said Vitorino.

But the U.N. organization does not have access to the unofficial detentions centers, which are particularly worrying, he said. Abuses have been widely reported in both official and unofficial detention centers. Libya’s political instability makes it difficult to have the political cooperation needed to dismantle the unofficial detention centers, he said.

The IOM is striving to get more migrants into voluntary return programs in order to reduce those in detention, he said. It’s difficult because the number of migrants who want to return is much higher than available flights from Libya, he said.

Vitorino said he hopes the factors that lead to increased migration, like climate change and conflict, can be addressed to reduce the number of people moving away from their homes.

He stressed the need for migrants to pursue legal migration routes, adding that although the process is complicated and cumbersome, it cannot be compared to the life-threatening conditions along illegal routes.

By Africanews with AP

Somalia’s debt to IFAD is cleared

Somalia’s debt to IFAD is cleared

Source: telesur, Tuesday February 14, 2023

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Alvaro Lario

In recent years, this African country has suffered five severe droughts that have fully impacted the ability to produce food.

On Tuesday, Donal Brown, the assistant vice president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), announced that Somalia’s external debt with this institution had been cleared thanks to the actions promoted by Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Sweden.

The decision to forgive the debt will allow IFAD to reinvest in improving living conditions in rural areas and foster “resilience and a more prosperous future” for the country’s population, IFAD President Alvaro Lario said during a press conference held jointly with Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Debt cancellation “represents an opportunity to achieve greater food security for Somalia, investing very selectively in priority areas,” he added.

In recent years, Somalia has suffered five severe droughts that have fully impacted the ability to produce food in one of the poorest countries in the world.

In 2011 alone, some 250,000 Somalis died of hunger, which is more deaths than those caused by the armed conflicts that the country has suffered throughout its history, Sheikh recalled.

Added to the natural catastrophes is the dominance of jihadist groups over large areas of Somalia, which further limits agricultural activity and the movement of food within the country itself.

Today, despite the fact that the Mogadishu government has recaptured some of the areas that fell into the hands of armed groups, half of the country’s population remains on the brink of starvation.

Italy, the former colonial power that controlled Somalia until World War II, previously helped clear other debts for the country. In 2020, for instance, Italy offered a loan to the African country to settle its debts with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), and the African Development Bank (ADB).

Ukraine to train African diplomats amid Russia invasion

Ukraine to train African diplomats amid Russia invasion

Sourc: BBC, Wednesday February 15, 2023

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba visited several African states last year

Ukraine has launched a training course for diplomats from African countries, as part of an effort to strengthen relations with the continent, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.

The Foreign Ministry said on its website on 14 February that a “comprehensive” four-day online training course would be delivered at the Hennadiy Udovenko Diplomatic Academy.

According to the ministry, the agreement was reached during the first-ever tour of a Ukrainian foreign minister to African countries in October 2022.

“During my tour, our African partners showed considerable interest in studying Ukrainian diplomatic experience,” Mr Kuleba said.

He added that since Russia’s invasion last year, Ukraine had proven to be an “undisputed international leader” in public diplomacy.

He further said the course developed by the ministry was a” continuation of the renaissance of relations between Ukraine and African countries, and will also be our practical contribution to strengthening the stability of the African continent”.

More than 200 diplomats from Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Senegal “will have a unique opportunity to learn from the experience of practising Ukrainian diplomats, leading international relations scientists and experts of think tanks” during the course named “Security and Diplomacy in Wartime. Ukrainian experience”, the foreign ministry said.

Ukraine has been trying to win support in Africa where Russia has a much stronger foothold.

Over 1 million migrants in need of assistance in the Horn of Africa: IOM appeals for USD 84 million

Over 1 million migrants in need of assistance in the Horn of Africa: IOM appeals for USD 84 million

Source: UN, IOM Wednesday February 15, 2023

Migrants traversing Djibouti brave the harsh desert terrain often without adequate food and water, during their journeys along the perilous Eastern Route. Photo: IOM 2022

Geneva/Nairobi – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and 47 other partners are appealing today (14/02) for USD 84 million to provide humanitarian and development assistance to over 1 million migrants and the communities hosting them, many of whom are vulnerable, and in need of urgent help along the Eastern Route from the Horn of Africa to Yemen.  

The appeal, made through the multi-agency Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen framework, will address the dire humanitarian needs as well as protection risks and vulnerabilities that migrants in the region face and scale up the delivery of lifesaving and resilience-building initiatives as well as pursue the implementation of long-term sustainable solutions for migrants and host communities.

The Eastern Route is one of the busiest, most complex, and dangerous migratory routes in the world. In 2022 overall, the number of migrants who entered Djibouti almost doubled compared to the previous year. In the same year, 89 migrant deaths or disappearances were recorded along the route due to hazardous transportation, illness, harsh environmental conditions, drowning at sea, and violence. Many more deaths and disappearances go unreported.

Every year, thousands of migrants leave their countries in the Horn of Africa and move along the Eastern route towards Gulf countries. In their migration, most migrants make the dangerous crossing of the Red Sea through Bossaso in Somalia, and Djibouti’s coastal town of Obock to Yemen and further by land to Gulf countries.

“The Eastern Route is an underserved crisis easily forgotten amidst other global crises, and we must accord the migrants the support and dignity they deserve,” said IOM Director General, António Vitorino. “The Regional Migrant Response Plan was conceptualized to address the vast and complex challenges on this route and to do so in a coherent and coordinated manner.”  

Mobility in the Horn of Africa, through Yemen and to the Gulf States, continues to be triggered by interconnected crises, including persistent insecurity and conflict, harsh climatic conditions, and public health emergencies, in addition to socioeconomic drivers and more traditional seasonal factors.

Funding through this appeal will address the most immediate and critical humanitarian and protection needs of migrants in vulnerable situations; support their voluntary return to their home countries in a safe and dignified manner and ensure that they reintegrate back into their communities successfully.  

“The plan provides a flexible mechanism for all stakeholders to respond to evolving migration trends, and broader humanitarian and development challenges affecting migrants, host communities and the respective governments,” added the IOM Director General.

Funding through this appeal will further help stakeholders’ efforts towards addressing the drivers of irregular migration; strengthen the capacity of governments in the region on migration management; ensure coordination of efforts, and enhance inter-state and inter-regional collaboration to address the national and regional dimensions of the migration linking the Horn of Africa and Yemen. 

A Negative Assessment of Sudan’s Framework Agreement

A Negative Assessment of Sudan’s Framework Agreement

Source:  The Arab Center Washington, D.C. posted on 23 January 2023 a commentary titled “Sudan’s Political Process and Hopes for a Civilian Government” by Kholood Khair.  

Sudan’s Framework Agreement to relaunch a transition to civilian government is dependent on support from the international community.  Sudan’s military rulers made few concessions and civilians will likely acquire only bureaucratic and not political power.  The author predicts the agreement “will likely lead to a weak and barely legitimate Potemkin village of a government that is unable to deliver real change.

Somalia: An Analysis of the Offensive against Al-Shabaab

Somalia: An Analysis of the Offensive against Al-Shabaab

Source:  CTC Sentinel published in January 2023 an analysis titled “Can Somalia’s New Offensive Defeat Al-Shabaab” by Stig Jarle Hansen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.  

Somali government and regional forces have defeated al-Shabaab forces before only to see them reemerge as strong actors.  The key is to erode al-Shabaab’s ability to infiltrate government-controlled areas and its ability to govern, tax, and implement “justice” in these areas. 

Defence ministers, army chiefs of Horn of Africa countries meet in Mogadishu

Defence ministers, army chiefs of Horn of Africa countries meet in Mogadishu

Source: Hiiraan, Tuesday January 31, 2023

Mogadishu (HOL) – Defence ministers and army commanders of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti met in Mogadishu on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the summit for Heads of State from frontline countries.

At a press conference in Mogadishu, the Somali minister of information Daud Aweys stated that the meeting would focus on developing a unified strategy and cooperation among the region’s frontline states.

“Somalia hosts Defence Ministers and Chiefs of Defence Forces from Frontline States (Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia) to discuss and adopt a common position on regional security and the fight against Al Shabab,” stated the Information Minister.

“This meeting is significant because the current security situation in Somalia affects not only Somalia but also neighboring countries. This meeting will make it easier to eliminate the Khawarij collectively,” he added.

The ministers and army chief will prepare agendas for the head of states summit on Wednesday, which is expected to focus on the fight against al Shabab.

Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed in Sudan on first visit since 2021 coup

Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed in Sudan on first visit since 2021 coup

Abiy last visited Sudan in August 2020, during the transitional government of former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (R) walks alongside Sudanese Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Burha
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (right) walks alongside Sudanese army General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (left) at Khartoum International Airport during a welcome ceremony on January 26, 2023 [Ashraf Shazly/AP]

Source: Aljazeera, Published On 26 Jan 202326 Jan 2023

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has visited Sudan for meetings with military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, his first trip to the neighbouring country since a 2021 military coup there.

Relations between the two Horn of Africa countries have been fraught with tensions in recent years, including over a border dispute and refugees from the two-year conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.