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Somalia:South Africa to deliver 18 tons of supplies to Somalia + More Related News

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Laaska News  August 16,2011
Security Council shows support for building Somali government, helping those impacted by famine 
Somalia’s president visits Burundi to request more peacekeepers
 Humanitarian aid stolen in Somalia
Somali pirates release Maltese vessel

South Africa to deliver 18 tons of supplies to Somalia

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) — South Africa will use a military aircraft to deliver 18 tons of supplies to famine victims in Somalia this week, aid group Gift of the Givers said on Monday.

According to South African Press Association, the C130 Hercules airplane would deliver essential food and anti-malaria medication to Mogadishu on Tuesday.

Department of international relations and cooperation spokesman Clayson Monyela said the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) would be delivering the supplies for free. This will be Gift of the Givers sixth flight to the region.

“It is heartening to note that Mogadishu civil aviation granted Gift of the Givers landing rights in less than 5 minutes of receipt of paperwork,” said Imtiaz Sooliman, chairman of Gift of the Givers.

Sooliman said the Gift of the Givers were discussing the possibility of more flights with local and Somali government officials.

The famine in Somalia has left more than 12 million people in need of food aid in the Horn of Africa. Last Tuesday, South African deputy International Relations Minister Marius Fransman said government has committed 8 million rand (1.12 million U.S. dollars) to assisting the starving Somalians.

Somalia’s president visits Burundi to request more peacekeepers 

BUJUMBURA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) — Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Monday paid a three-hour visit to Burundi to request more troops of the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to occupy gained fields.

The Somali president told journalists after he paid a courtesy visit to his Burundian counterpart Pierre Nkurunziza that the main objective of his visit was to discuss the security improvement in Somalia, the humanitarian situation and the strengthening of bilateral relations between Burundi and Somalia.

“We hail the achievements of Burundian troops serving in the AMISOM in the Somali capital Mogadishu and we came here (to Burundi) to request more troops to occupy fields recently gained from Al Shabaab insurgents by AMISOM troops together with soldiers backing the Transitional Federal Government,” the Somali president said.

For his part, the Burundian president promised that Burundi is ready to send more troops to Somalia.

“We’re ready to send more troops to Somalia, but the country (Somalia) should think of training its own security forces because the AU peacekeepers will not stay there forever. One day, they will have to withdraw from Somalia,” Nkurunziza said.

Burundi and Uganda are the main contributors of troops in the AMISOM peacekeeping mission.

Burundi alone has sent five battalions to Somalia since 2007.

Security Council shows support for building Somali government, helping those impacted by famine 

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 15 (Xinhua) — The Security Council on Monday expressed the hope that Somali stakeholders can create a roadmap to build more effective government institutions, while voicing “grave concern” about the ongoing famine in the country.

The Security Council said in a press statement which was read to reporters outside the council chamber by this month’s council president, Hardeep Singh Puri, who is India’s permanent representative to the UN.

Puri said that a meeting to be held on September 4-6 in Somalia will seek to devise a roadmap to guide Somalia’s Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) in strengthening the country over the next year in preparation for an eventual shift to a representative government.

“The members of the Security Council stressed the need for wide participation by Somali groups in this meeting, including the TFIs, local and regional administrations and other Somali stakeholders,” Puri said. “They called upon all participants to engage constructively and responsibly in this meeting and stressed the importance of agreeing the roadmap in a timely manner.”

Somalia is currently run by the TFIs, including the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Supporting the Somali government in its attempts to neutralize the country’s armed groups is the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The mandate of the TFIs was due to end on August 20, but has been extended for an additional year.

“The members of the Security Council noted that future support to the TFIs would be contingent upon completion of the tasks in the roadmap,” Puri said.

The security situation in Somalia has been dynamic of late, as Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab withdrew its forces from Mogadishu on August 6., Puri said that the council commends the efforts of AMISOM and the Somalia Security Forces against Al- Shabaab and encouraged Somalia’s governing institutions to use the withdrawal to their advantage.

He said that the council has “urged the TFIs to immediately capitalize on these gains by urgently focusing on the delivery of basic services and providing good governance to all of its citizens.”

The council, Puri added, calls on the international community to contribute to AMISOM to help it fulfill its mandate.

On the humanitarian front, drought in the Horn of Africa region has led to the declaration of famine in several regions of southern and central Somalia, at which the council reiterated its concern. An estimated 3.2 million Somalis are currently on the brink of starvation, according to the UN.

“The members of the Security Council urged all parties and armed groups to ensure full, safe, and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian aid to persons in need of assistance across Somalia and to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of drought-affected populations and humanitarian personnel and supplies,” Puri said.

He also said that the council urges member states to contribute to the UN Consolidated Appeal for Somalia, and noted the council’s “serious concern” that the appeal is not yet fully funded.

The UN needs 1.4 billion U.S. dollars more in donations in order to meet its funding requests to help Somalia.


Humanitarian aid stolen in Somalia

Aug 15, 2011

Photo: EPA   

Thousands of sacks of humanitarian aid have been stolen and sold in Somalia, the local media report.

The UN intends to start an investigation of this theft which can entail numerous deaths.

Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are going through the worst food crisis in the last 50 years which was caused by a severe drought. According to the UN, over 12.4mln people are starving in those countries.

 Somali pirates release Maltese vessel
Aug 15, 2011

Somali pirates have released a Maltese dry cargo ship which they captured in the Arabian Sea 6 months ago. This was reported by the web site of the EU united Navy which carries out operations of protecting civilian vessels from pirates.

The Sinin ship with a crew of 12 Iranians and 10 Indians was captured on the 13th of February east of the Omani island of Masirah.

The ship and its crew were released after the ship’s owner paid a ransom. No details of the ransom are given.

Somali pirates release two vessels for ransom
Aug 15, 2011
Somali pirates will get 7 mln dollars for releasing a Danish tall ship and Greece’s Panama-flagged MV Dover vessel. The  agreement was reached with the ship-owner and the relatives of  Danish travelers seized by attackers.

Two adults and three teenagers were captured off the Gulf of Aden on February 24 and later were joined by 23 sailors from the MV Dover, including 19 Filipinos, a Romanian and a Russian.


Laaska News.