Somalia: News Briefs, 4/30/99

Somalia: News Briefs, 4/30/99

SOMALIA: IRIN News briefs, 30 April

Security Council concerned over conflict

The UN Security Council on Thursday expressed its concern at the continuing conflict and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Somalia, and called on member states and international organisations to intensify their relief efforts. Council members welcomed attempts to negotiate an end to the conflict by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), other interested countries, the OAU and the League of Arab States, while calling on all UN member states to comply with the arms embargo on Somalia.

Fighting in Mogadishu

Meanwhile, internal rifts in the Joint Islamic Councils - formed last week to fight insecurity around Mogadishu's Bakara market, where armed robberies have been on the rise - led to fierce fighting which claimed at least 23 lives in Mogadishu on Wednesday and Thursday, AFP reported.

Observers said the fighting was changing from a battle for control of the Bakara market to inter-clan fighting between the Murursade of warlord Mohamed Qanyare Afrah and the Habr Gedir, who dominate the Joint Islamic Courts (JIC), the agency said on Thursday.

Food aid arrives for Puntland drought victims

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday announced the arrival at Bossaso port of a shipment of 335 mt of food aid for victims of drought in the Puntland region of northeastern Somalia. The food, donated by the European Union, is part of a 1,400 mt consignment, organised by WFP, to feed almost 100,000 severely affected people in the region.

Oxfam, warning that the situation has become "acute" in the areas of Nugul and Mudug, said on Wednesday that "the critical problem is water shortage". It said it aimed, with its partners, to transport 1,500 tanker-loads of water to key grazing areas over a six-week period. On Thursday, UNICEF launched a US $1.3 million appeal for drought-stricken areas of northern Somalia.

1,500 mt of seeds delivered

Over 1,500 mt of sorghum seeds have been distributed in Somalia in advance of the next "Gu" rainy season. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has monitored seed distributions in the Middle Juba, Gedo, Lower Shebelle, Middle Shebelle, Hiran, Bay and Bakool regions. "Satellite pictures show scattered showers pretty much everywhere" in Somalia, a UN official told IRIN on Thursday, "but we hesitate to say the 'Gu' season has started".

The seeds have been distributed to the most vulnerable rainfed areas and are intended to help 75,000 families, FAO reports. In northwestern "Somaliland", early rains, especially in the west, have already benefited pastoralists. International agencies involved in sorghum seed distribution include CARE, ICRC, InterSOS, NCA and World Vision.


Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 14:56:40 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: SOMALIA: News briefs [19990430]

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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