| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(The New York Times 03/28/17)
Somalia, which has been hit by a series of crises that sound like a page from the Book of Job, is starting a major effort to vaccinate 450,000 people against its latest plague: cholera. The country, in the Horn of Africa, has long suffered from weak central government, fighting among clan warlords and terrorist acts committed by Al Shabab, an Islamic militant group with some factions aligned with Al Qaeda. In 1993, the capital, Mogadishu, was the scene of the “Black Hawk Down” battle between United States Army Rangers and clan militias. American troops sent to protect food aid shipments ended up fighting the warlords who were seizing them. The world’s largest refugee camp complex...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
As the breakaway republic of Somaliland grapples with a severe drought, medical workers are struggling to aid people left weakened by malnourishment and hunger. A 70-year-old hospital in Erigavo, the capital of the Sanaag region, is operating beyond full capacity to treat people affected by the drought. And it's the only hospital in the region. The drought has left tens of thousands of children acutely malnourished. In desperate need of treatment, they are checked as they lie on the beds in this stabilization center ward. Ismail Saleban Bowkah, the hospital's director, said most of the children admitted for care come from rural areas. "The drought forced most pastoralists to move from one area into another.Some came to the cities. But...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/25/17)
The head of U.S. forces in Africa told reporters on Friday that greater authority to fight al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants in Somalia would lead to more flexibility and quicker targeting, but that a decision had not yet been made by the White House. Al Shabaab has been able to carry out deadly bombings despite losing most of its territory to African Union peacekeepers supporting the Somali government. The United States has a small presence in Somalia and is allowed to carry out strikes in defense of partnered forces. "Regardless of what combatant commander was sitting here this afternoon, I think they would all tell you that it is very important
(Voice of America 03/24/17)
The Kenyan government says it will open the border with Somalia to boost trade and allow the flow of people between the two countries. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also pledged to help Somalia in the fight against al-Shabab militants and support and train government workers. His remarks followed a meeting he had in Nairobi with his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. After a closed door meeting that lasted more than three hours, the two heads of state addressed the media...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/24/17)
Pirates have seized control of a Somali fishing boat to use as a base from which to attack larger ships, police said on Friday, a week after Somali pirates hijacked their first commercial vessel since 2012. Ten Yemeni crew aboard the boat were dumped on shore, officials told Reuters. "We understand that pirates hijacked the fishing vessel to hijack a big ship off the ocean," said Abdirahman Mohamud, head of maritime police forces in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland...
(Voice of America 03/24/17)
Authorities in the breakaway republic of Somaliland say at least 80 percent of the region's livestock have died due to the crippling drought that has also killed dozens of people and forced thousands into displaced persons camps. “The situation is very grave as most of the livestock were killed by drought,” said Mohamud Ali Saleban, governor of the Togdheer region, in the town of Buro. “We are waiting for the rain, but if it does not come in the next...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
The United Nations has raised less than a third of the funding needed to prevent famine in Somalia, a spokesman said Wednesday, ahead of a Security Council meeting on the crisis in the drought-hit country. The humanitarian crisis is worsening in Somalia with more than 300 deaths from cholera and diarrhea since the beginning of the year, according to UN figures. About $864 million is needed for Somalia this year and so far only 31 percent has been pledged, said UN spokesman Farhan Haq. The appeal is expected to be revised soon to take into account the growing needs stemming from the risk of famine
(Shabelle News 03/23/17)
At least ten people, including seven militants were killed, and several wounded in Al shabaab attack in the southern Somalia's port city of Barawe overnight, military officials said. Confirming the incident, Col Abdirahman Rooble Jimale said a heavily battle erupted after armed Al shabaab fighters stormed military barracks on the coast of the town in mid night. Three Somali Military soldiers were among those lost their lives in the gunfight that lasted for around 2 hours, according to Jimale who...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
London — The loss of the Somaliland' livestock - the basis of its economy - to drought could worsen security threats in the Horn of Africa, the environment minister warns Prolonged drought in Somaliland has killed between 65 and 80 percent of the semi-autonomous region's livestock, creating conditions that are "the worst time in our lives" and could threaten regional security, says the region's environment minister. With 70 percent of Somaliland's economy built around livestock, "you can imagine the desperation...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
At least five people were killed when a minibus laden with explosives blew up in Mogadishu on Tuesday, just as the troubled country's new prime minister unveiled his government lineup. The blast, the latest attack in the Somali capital believed to be the work of Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab extremists, occurred at a checkpoint just 500 metres (yards) from the presidential palace. "The vehicle was stopped at the checkpoint for security screening when it went off. At least five people were...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
The United Nations has approved an emergency loan of $22 million (20.3 million euros) in a bid to prevent another famine in drought and crisis-hit Somalia, its food agency said Tuesday. The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is releasing the funds to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the hope it will help stave off catastrophe in the civil-war wracked country, just five years after the last famine. Somalia declared a national disaster last month as the number of people going hungry hit three million, with 6.2 million people in total expected to face acute food insecurity over the next three months.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
The head of anti-piracy operations in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia said he had been fired for speaking out about illegal fishing, which he claims could trigger a new outbreak of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Pirates hijacked an oil tanker off Somalia last week, the first such attack in the region since 2012 after shipping firms hired private security and international warships started patrolling nearby waters. Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, director of anti-piracy operations in Puntland, said the province's...
(Voice of America 03/21/17)
A group of celebrities led by Hollywood actor Ben Stiller has joined a social media campaign to send food and water to Somalia through Turkish Airlines. Last weekend, the group raised more than $1 million online in less than 24 hours. Stiller said in a Twitter message posted Monday that the money has been used to purchase 60 tons of food that the airline will fly to Somalia next week. Somali diaspora youth groups have been spearheading a similar movement...
(Xinhuanet 03/21/17)
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional bloc, is to convene an international summit Saturday, to discuss the status of nearly 1 million Somali refugees displaced by two decades of civil strife and prolonged humanitarian crises, organizers said Monday. Kenyan government, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and IGAD, said in a statement the Nairobi Summit would "marshal a comprehensive regional approach" to find a lasting solution to the crisis facing the Somali refugees as they prepare to return...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
At least 26 people died from hunger in the semi-autonomous Jubbaland region of southern Somalia in just a day an a half, federal government radio said on its website. Somalia, like other countries in the region, is facing a devastating drought that has killed livestock, cut harvests and left 6.2 million people, about half its population, in need of food aid. The acute hunger gripping Jubbaland caused an exodus of hundreds of families into the capital Mogadishu seeking help. The...
(Voice of America 03/21/17)
East African leaders attending the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Kenya this week are expected to talk about Somali refugees and regional security. However, there are doubts that IGAD has what it takes to ease the crisis in the region. The Kenya State House spokesperson, Manoah Esipisu, said the repatriation of Somali refugees will be the main agenda item at the summit. "It will focus largely on the questions of Somali refugees and creating a conducive environment in their...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly...

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