(Xinhua) -- UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday warned of a
spiraling famine in Somalia should the international community
fail to respond in time.
Speaking in Somali capital of
Mogadishu after meeting with the country’s President Mohamed
Abdullahi Mohamed, Guterres said millions of Somalis are facing
food shortage and disease and that the situation is getting
worse unless the world acts fast.
"This is a moment of tragedy, people are dying because of
famine; because of disease but this is a moment of hope because
the government is ready to act, the humanitarian community is
ready to act," he said.
He said that with the support of the international community,
"it will be possible to avoid the worst and it will be possible
to launch the pillars, the fundamental basis for Somalia to be
able to turn the page."
The UN announced last month Somalia was gradually slipping
into famine calling for 825 million U.S. dollars aid to support
up to 6.2 million people.
The UN chief noted that "without that support we will have a
tragedy that is absolutely unacceptable and that the Somali
people do not deserve."
"All these reasons," the UN chief said. "justify a massive
response but we have things prepared in the ground but we need
financial support from the international community."
Guterres also visited Baydhabo town in south western Somalia
where he was expected to visit a hospital and internally
displaced people’s camp.
One of seven Somali
children dies before five, WHO says
UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) --
One out of seven Somali children dies
before its fifth birthday, and acute malnutrition weakens the
immune system, which makes affected children more susceptible to
disease such as measles, a UN spokesman told reporters here
Only about half of the Somali population, some 6.2 million
people, has access to basic health services, and less than half
of all pregnant women have access to assisted deliveries.and
less than half of all pregnant women have access to assisted
deliveries, Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, quoted the
World Health Organization (WHO) as saying at a daily news
Food insecurity has been worsened by drought in Somalia,
where the famine killed around 260,000 people in 2011.
In Somalia, drought conditions are threatening an already
fragile population battered by decades of conflict. Almost half
the population are facing acute food insecurity and in need of
Some 185,000 children are expected to suffer from severe
acute malnutrition this year, and the figure may rise to 270,000
in the next few months, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in
Africa Union embarks on
peaceful resolution program in Somalia
by Chrispinus Omar NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- The Africa Union said Tuesday it
has embarked on a peace program that seeks to build and
strengthen the capacity of Somali stakeholders in conflict
negotiation, resolution and management.
A statement from the AU mission (AMISOM) issued in Nairobi
said the three-day training for stakeholders began in the Kenyan
capital on Monday and draws 21 Somali participants from
different backgrounds and regions.
AU Special Representative for Somalia and Head of AMISOM,
Francisco Caetano Madeira said the meeting would grant the
participants theories that would help them deal with problems
that divide their country.
"I expect that with the new acquired skills you will go back
to Somalia to support negotiations, mediation and dialogue
initiatives of your respective places of work and communities,"
the told the participants during the opening ceremony.
Madeira said to pull Somalia from its current conflict, the
Somalis will have to be tolerant with one another and try to
find a level playing ground that can allow them to live in
He urged Somalis to patiently try to understand each other
and the reasons that get the youth to Al-Shabaab.
"In Al-Shabaab there are people who come together for many
"Some join the terrorist group due to unemployment and/ or
disaffection with their Imams. We should always extend a hand of
friendship," Madeira said.
"Some of the youths now with Al Shabaab want to get back to
"We shouldn’t hesitate to bring them in, understand their
problem and try to de-radicalise them," he added.
Madeira expressed confidence that Somalia will survive and
join the family of peaceful nations.
"Somalia is not going to die; it would have already died.
"Somalia will survive and will be there," he said.
He added to say that Somalis need to be empowered to solve
their own problems, to run their own country, defend their
Among the workshop topics include causes of conflict, its
resolution and management; negotiations and inclusivity;
mediation and dialogue.
There will be simulations and lessons and experiences drawn
from South Africa and South Sudan.
The training exercise is part of AMISOM’s mission to support
the Somali government in its effort to bring peace to the
country that has suffered decades of war
"This workshop is about learning from each other, about our
experiences and theories, and doing many exercises with you and
is also about learning with each other, and linking it to your
own context," said renowned conflict resolution expert Judith
van der Booget from the Clingedae Institute.
"We see in our work many different conflicts.
"Many different people work on resolving these conflicts and
it is so hard and sometimes people are struggling.
"It’s not an easy task we are dealing with.
"Every day is another step into trying to do something.
"I hope these techniques will help you think about your
plans, your roles, and your partners in conflict resolution,"