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UN decries insecurity along Kenya-Somalia border

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Laaska News  Sept. 24,2011

NAIROBI, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — The UN humanitarian agency on Saturday decried insecurity along the Kenya-Somalia border and around Dadaab refugee camp in northern part of the east African nation.

In its weekly update, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said a vehicle belonging to CARE International was hijacked with the driver early this week at one of the Daddaab refugee camps. “The security situation along the Kenya-Somali border and around Dadaab is of increasing concern, with one NGO car hijacked and driver abducted,” OCHA said, adding that the driver and the vehicle are still missing.

It said hundreds of displaced families taking refuge from the drought in a town on the Kenya-Somalia border have been forced to flee fighting between forces loyal to the Somali administration and Al Shabaab insurgents. “Local sources estimate that 5,700 families (34,200 people) were displaced by the fighting. Many of those who fled had initially come from the famine stricken regions of Bay and Bakool while others were from other parts of Gedo,” it said.

The number of people reached with food aid in Somalia nearly doubled from July to August and is on pace to do so again in September, it said.

According to UNHCR data, an average of 300 Somalis continue to cross the border daily into Dollo Ado from the areas of Bay, Gedo and Bakool in Somalia, an increase from the August daily average of 115 (total August arrivals: 3,450). “The daily average in July was 640 people. As of mid-September, the total number of the Somali refugee population in the four Dollo Ado camps as well as in the transit centre stands at 121,279, ” says the update.

Meanwhile, delegates attending the UN-backed meeting on the Horn of Africa food crisis in New York have endorsed a roadmap that spells out priority measures to be implemented before the current governing arrangements end in August next year, including improving security, drafting a constitution, national reconciliation and good governance.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki who attended the UN-backed meeting held on Friday night called on the UN Security Council to provide necessary support to expand the operations of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) since the withdrawal of Al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu.

Noting that major milestones had so far been achieved in the Somalia conflict, Kibaki affirmed that the war-ravaged country still faced significant challenges especially limited resources to secure areas previously occupied by the Al Shabaab belligerents.

Kibaki called on the international community to urgently avail requisite resources, equipment and goodwill to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and AMISOM to help them extend their control beyond Mogadishu.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Somali leaders and their international partners to take advantage of recent gains and to advance the peace process and stabilize the Horn of Africa nation.

Ban noted that Somalia has made important strides on the political and security fronts. He recalled the meeting held earlier this month in the capital, Mogadishu, on ending the transition, which was “a milestone in the peace process, testimony to the improved security situation in the capital.”

Laaska News.