BELET WEYNE Somalia
(AMISOM) -- A team comprising African
Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops and Somali national
security forces has evacuated more than 10,000 people marooned
by the raging floods in Belet Weyne, HirShabelle state.
The rescue mission was led by the Col Abdourahman Rayale Hareed,
the Commander of Djibouti’s Hiil 5 Battalion, who appealed for
food and medical supplies to help the flood victims.
"We are taking part in the evacuation of Somali people so as
to rescue them from flooded areas and take them to a place near
Eel Jaale far from floods," said Col Hareed.
"As you can see there is need for transport, we have used
vehicles that we could get to evacuate these people.
"They need urgent assistance with items such as food and
water," Col. Hareed, who was accompanied by Somali national
security forces, added.
According to the Federal Government of Somalia, more than
175,000 have been displaced and over 400,000 affected by the
floods in different parts of the country, following heavy rains
which have been pounding parts of the country since May.
Residents of Belet Weyne are among the worst hit, after river
Shabelle, which originates in Ethiopian Highlands, burst its
banks leaving many homeless and without a source of livelihood.
The evacuated residents were moved to higher ground.
The Commander of Belet Weyne Police Station, Mohamed Maow
Halane, thanked the joint AMISOM and Somali forces rescue team
for evacuating the affected residents.
"Forces from the military, police and AMISOM, especially
Djiboutian troops have given us valuable assistance; as you can
see from the transport support, said Mr. Halane.
"The military and police vehicles together have helped rescue
people from the flooded villages.
"Only the AMISOM trucks could access the villages yesterday
and the day before," he added.
In its report released last week, the United Nations Office
for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in
Somalia warned that the heavy rains were worsening conditions in
overcrowded Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) settlements and
displacing more people along riverine areas due to flooding.
The settlements have limited access to hygiene facilities,
thus heightening the risk of communicable diseases.
According to the OCHA report, 246,000 people are at risk of
flash floods in Baidoa, Southwest state, while in Jubbaland
approximately 28,200 people have been displaced by floods, which
swept away home, shelters, farms and livestock.
In Belet Weyne, more than 200, 000 people are at risk of
being affected by floods after River Shabelle burst its banks,
forcing many to flee the town to higher grounds.
African Union Mission in
Somalia praises 17 officers for illustrious service
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has
honored 17 police officers for distinguished service in the Horn
of Africa nation.
The officers from various police contributing countries (PCCs),
who have completed their tour of duty, were decorated with
medals and awarded certificates for their dedicated service in
Christine Alalo, Acting AMISOM Police Commissioner, in a
statement issued on Tuesday lauded the officers for their
dedicated service and called on others to emulate them in their
"It is a call to everybody that when you are here, put in
your best because we are here to ensure that we lift our Somali
counterparts from the stage where they were to the next stage,
which should be even better than where we found them," Alalo
The achievements of the group, Alalo noted, include helping
revive the Interpol Department of the Somali Police Force (SPF),
establishment of a data base and helping the Somali Police set
up a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security system.
Of the 17, seven officers are from Kenya, six from Sierra
Leone, three from Uganda and one from Zambia. Other Police
Contributing Countries (PCCs) include Nigeria and Ghana.
The AMISOM official also lauded regional countries for
deploying the officers to Somalia, saying the gesture was a sign
of true Pan Africanism of helping a neighbor in need.
The AMISOM Police component is made up of the Formed Police
Units (FPUs) and Individual Police Officers (IPOs). FPUs provide
operational support, while the IPOs train, mentor and advice the
African Union Mission in
Somalia seeks to strengthen
ties between Somali police and public
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)
said on Tuesday that it has kicked off a week-long training to
enhance communication skills of Somali police officers to help
improve their interaction with members of the public.
The AU mission said the training aims to strengthen relations
between security officers and the public and help Somali Police
establish communication departments, within the force, in all
the federal member states.
Simon Mulongo, Deputy Special Representative of the
Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia,
said the training, organized by the police component of AMISOM,
is being attended by officers drawn from Mogadishu and the five
federal member states.
"As part of your work as a police force in this country, you
need to have skills, knowledge and capabilities to make people
know what the police force in Somalia stands for and you can do
this by speaking out," Mulongo said in a statement.
He described the training as timely, adding that the skills
learned will help improve cooperation between officers and the
public on security matters.
He noted that the training was part of the transition plan,
which requires AMISOM to prepare Somali national security
institutions to take over the country’s security once AMISOM’s
mandate comes to an end.
Flash floods affect close
to 700,000 in Somalia: World Health Organization
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
More than 695,000 people have been
affected by flash floods and river floods caused by ongoing
heavy rainfall in Somalia, the World Health Organization (WHO)
According to WHO, out of the figure, nearly 215,000 people
have been displaced in the last few days as most flooding
occurred in the regions of Bakool, Banadir, Bay, Hiraan, Lower
Juba, Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle.
"Urgent needs of the afflicted communities include shelter,
food, health, nutritional supplies, access to water and
sanitation, latrines, mosquito nets and tents," WHO said in a
statement released on Tuesday evening.
The UN agency warned that flooding can trigger the
transmission of water-borne and vector-borne diseases, such as
cholera, malaria and dengue fever, and contaminate water
It said health authorities and WHO have alerted the Early
Warning System in Somalia and agency’s communicable disease
surveillance officers to look out for the emergence of any
waterborne or vector-borne diseases to respond to and manage any
resulting disease outbreaks in a timely manner.
WHO said in its close collaboration with the ministry of
health said it has airlifted and prepositioned 30.1 tonnes of
emergency medical supplies to Belet Weyne, Baidoa and Kismayo to
treat illnesses commonly spread during emergencies as part of an
"These provisions include basic, essential, medical drugs,
oral rehydration supplies (ORS), water-testing kits and cholera
Similar medical supplies will soon be sent to the South West
and Jubaland States," it said.
However, the UN health agency estimates an additional 2
million U.S. dollars will be required to purchase and distribute
emergency supplies to other flood-affected areas.
These resources, it said, would also fund staff needed to
deliver services; monitoring and response to disease outbreaks;
and the coordination of all these efforts.
According to WHO, one of the worst-hit areas includes
BeletWeyne, Hiraan, in the Hirshabelle State, where more than
120 000 people—some of whom have already been displaced from
their original homes - were forced to flee riverine villages
after the Shabelle River burst its banks, destroying houses and
Somalis have suffered from natural calamities and civil
strife over the years and endured drought, disease outbreaks,
and insecurity among other challenges.
This, according to WHO, has resulted in malnutrition, poor
access to health, and prevalent poverty all across the country.
Ghulam Popal, WHO Representative for Somalia, however, warned
that the needs are outrunning the support available and called
for urgent action to respond to this emergency.
"A well-coordinated response by authorities, and local and
international organizations averted a cholera epidemic last
"We need a similar response again, now, to save livelihoods
and prevent the spread of diseases among an already vulnerable
society," said Popal.