Displacement continues amid recurrent clashes in northcentral Somalia – UN

Humanitarian partners in Somalia are scaling up response to displaced people after violence broke out in Gaalkacyo on 7 October 2016. Photo: OCHA/Guled Isse Nearly 90,000 people in the city of Gaalkacyo, Somalia, remain displaced due to increased tensions and the recurrent clashes between forces allied to Galmudug on the one hand and Puntland administrations on the other hand according to an update from the UN relief wing.In the same update, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) points out that some 40,000 displaced people have faced secondary displacement. The clashes in Gaalkacyo, which is in the north-central part of the country, have continued despite a ceasefire agreement signed on the first of November, in Abu Dhabi by Galmudug and Puntland administrations. Gaalkacyo has population of about 270,000 people according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).Following the agreement, another round of peace talks on the Gaalkacyo conflict was recently held in Bosasso, during which the warring parties were urged to implement the ceasefire agreement.Almost a year ago, the political leadership at the Federal level and the regional bodies such as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) launched efforts towards a cessation of hostilities. They promise to bring peace.Recurrent clashesWhile the Gaalkacyo conflict continues to disrupt the livelihoods of people who were already displaced and vulnerable, OCHA reports that most of the displaced people have been fleeing to distant villages and struggle to continue their livelihoods.Health officials estimated that 45 people have been killed and 162 injured since 7 October. Civilians make up 25 per cent of the casualties. These continued clashes also cause disruption to the schooling of over 20,000 learners for the fifth consecutive week. While the death toll has increased over the last weeks, health partners of the UN continue to report cases of cholera. In OCHA’s update, humanitarian agencies report that many locals and displaced people have no access to proper sanitation facilities and most people are practicing open defecation.On 7 November, health partners reported 69 suspected cholera cases over the past four weeks from various villages including Bandiiredley, Docol, Galinsoor, Wargalo and Xaar-xaarka near south Gaalkacyo. The cases have been treated in health facilities. To date, no cholera related deaths have been reported.Humanitarian responseOCHA reports that humanitarian partners have assisted 60,000 people in and around Gaalkacyo with food and non-food items. Food security and livelihood partners will assist 36,000 people with food rations for two months. An additional 27,000 people will benefit from non-food items. WASH partners continue to respond, and have scaled up efforts to assist some 60,000 people with hygiene kits, aqua tabs and hygiene promotion activities and campaigns to minimize the impact of water borne diseases like cholera. ElectionsElections currently are taking place in Somalia. Under the country’s Provisional Federal Constitution, the mandates of the Federal Parliament and of the President of the Federal Republic will end this year. While universal elections are not yet possible, an electoral process has been developed to facilitate enhanced political participation.Voting for the members of the Upper House took place on 10 October, and voting for members of the House of the People took between 23 October and 10 November 2016, with a president to be elected on 30 November by members of both chambers of Parliament.The United Nations has been engaged with Somalia since 1991 to support its government and people to advance the cause of peace and reconciliation, and the international community has pledged to support the eastern African country in its efforts, including through the so-called ‘New Deal’ Somalia Compact, which sets out agreed goals for peacebuilding and statebuilding. read more