MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
More than 70 Somali citizens arrived in Mogadishu on Friday after being deported
from the United States, a government official said.
Internal Security of Somalia, Abdirisak Omar Mohamed said this is the second
time such people have arrived in the country as Washington launches crackdown on
illegal immigrants following President Donald Trump’s executive order.
"We were aware of the arrival of 70 Somali citizens here and they arrived
"They had been in detention centers for two years in U.S after missing
asylum," Mohamed said.
"Somali embassy in U.S and U.S officials agreed to let these people back
home, the embassy facilitated their travel documents and came here voluntarily,"
More than 90 people including two Kenyans were deported in January from the
U.S. on Jan 26.
The deportation came after President Trump’s executive order that include a
temporary ban on most refugees and a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria
and six other Middle Eastern and African countries.
Analysts say it’s still unclear if President Trump has scrapped plans to undo
the 2012 Obama executive order shielding from deportation of nearly 800,000
people brought to the country illegally as children.
Trump promised on the campaign trail to "terminate immediately" a program
started by Obama to temporarily protect the young people from deportation and
offer them two-year renewable work permits.
UNHCR steps up repatriation of Somali
refugees from Kenya
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The UN
refugee agency said on Friday that it has repatriated some 52,591 Somali
refugees in Kenya since the return exercise begun in December 2014.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in its bi-weekly Update
said out of the figure, some 13,277 were supported in 2017 alone.
"Road convoys were organized from Dadaab to Dhobley respectively on Mondays,
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays," the UN refugee agency said.
It added that flights to Mogadishu have resumed on Feb. 27 after a long
suspension due to security restrictions in Mogadishu since December 2016.
The move comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta while meeting the UN Chief
Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said Dadaab refugee camp will be closed.
Kenyatta insisted that the closure is not only good for Kenya in the fight
against terror but for the Somali refugees who he said need to replant their
roots back home in the interest of rebuilding their nation and restoring their
"Our policy has been clear for some time, the events that led to the
establishment of Dadaab are terribly tragic and the best response to that
tragedy is to help refugees to return and rebuild their nation and that is
Kenya’s policy and our efforts to hasten the repatriation and resettlement of
refugees," Kenyatta said.
His comments came after the High Court in Nairobi last week ruled that the
planned repatriation of refugees would be unconstitutional, saying government
officials had no powers to order closure of the camp, despite claims that there
were serious security, environmental and economic concerns.
Kenya is expected to host an extraordinary summit of the Inter-Governmental
Authority on Development (IGAD) on March 25 to deal with the refugee issue.
The UNHCR said its Monthly Cross Border Coordination Meeting on voluntary
repatriation to Somalia held on Feb. 28 and attended by representatives from
Government of Kenya, Government of Somalia, UNHCR Kenya and Somalia resolved to
step up repatriation despite looming famine in Somalia.
"Participants deliberated on the drought situation and the looming famine in
Somalia and its impact on voluntary repatriation.
"It was agreed that voluntary repatriation from Kenya to Somalia will
continue, while the drought situation will be closely monitored," it said.
Aid agency warns of surge in cholera cases
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
A global aid agency, Save the Children, on Friday warned of an increase in
cholera cases in Somalia which has claimed 200 lives since January amid a
The charity said its health and nutrition clinics are reporting "all the
early warnings signs" of an avoidable catastrophe, with deaths from cholera and
acute watery diarrhea rising sharply.
"These diseases are death sentences for children whose bodies have been
weakened by hunger.
"More than 8,400 cases of the diseases have already been confirmed in 2017,
200 of which have been fatal," the charity said in a statement.
Save the Children officials are warning that the scale of the suffering is
even greater than at the equivalent stage in 2011.
It also warned that the international community is repeating the failures
that led to the deaths of over a quarter of a million Somalis in 2011.
"The surge in deaths during the 2011 drought happened in April—and the
drought was less severe then.
"The international community ignored the early warning signs, failed to act
decisively and waited until July to declare a famine.
"They are now repeating all of the mistakes from the 2011 playbook," said
Hassan Saadi Noor, Save the Children’s Country Director in Somalia.
The number of cases has relentlessly increased since the drought began late
last year; from fewer than 200 in the first week of November to nearly 1,400 in
the second week of February.
Save the Children has dispatched an emergency treatment team to the epicentre
of the cholera crisis, across the Bay region and its capital Baidoa, where 72
percent of the cases have been reported.
"Saving these lives and rebuilding livelihoods will require concerted action
by the international community, and that action needs to start now," Noor said.
The charity and other agencies are reporting a dramatic deterioration in
child health and nutritional status.
Some 6.2 million people, around half of the country, are in urgent need of
"Given the weight of evidence, the scale of suffering and the memory of 2011,
the international community’s response to the crisis facing Somalia’s children
is indefensible and unforgivable," said Noor.
Save the Children called on donors to deliver immediate financing for
"We need to see the G7, other donors, and UN agencies drawing up a plan for
delivering real money," said Noor.
Union Mission consider new approach to
by Chris Mgidu NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is seeking new
strategies to help bring peace and stability in the Horn of Africa nation which
is beset with frequent terror attacks by Al-Shabaab.
African Union (AU) Special Representative for Somalia Francisco Madeira also
called on the AU troops to step up measures to help the new government and its
security forces to stamp its authority in areas already liberated by the AU
"We have achieved a lot in the past ten years; we are keeping the government
in place; nobody can question that.
"We are keeping the regional governments in place; we supported the two
elections, the latest one, we secured that election; and the president was
elected in a very consensual way; we did all these things," Madeira said in a
statement issued in Nairobi on Friday.
The AU envoy who was addressing a high-level meeting of AU officials, donors
and other stakeholders in Nairobi on Thursday said the current military
onslaught against the militants may not achieve its desired goals, of delivering
sustainable stability in the Horn of Africa country.
"The way we handled it militarily is that we would go there, flash out Al-Shabaab
and protect the government.
"We then started training Somalis to take over.
"We were to liberate Mogadishu.
"We felt that we could do it and the Somalia National Army (SNA) would come
in later," he added.
The AU mission has been in the Horn of Africa nation for exactly a decade
this week and the two-day meeting in the outskirts of Kenya’s capital Nairobi,
is taking stock of the Mission’s performance within that period and charting the
next way forward.
The meeting is part of events that culminate in May, to mark ten years of the
Mission’s presence in Somalia.
Madeira said the Somalia security forces in their current state cannot
adequately exercise authority on areas liberated by AMISOM.
He said SNA has its inadequacies and has not been able to take full charge of
Somalia’s security, as it should.
"Those who should be fighting expect us to protect them," he said, adding
that AMISOM was fighting Al-Shabaab and protecting the Somalia government, at
the same time.
"It’s time we made it known that AMISOM is not going to stay forever," he
noted, suggesting the key issue to is to form a full functional national Army,
have government exercise authority and address the problems facing the
population such as historical clan rivalry, land ownership and sharing, power
sharing, and reasons that attract the youth to the Al-Shabaab.
"We have to form the army, we have to help the government to exercise its
authority all throughout the country and we have to have the government address
the real problems that are dividing the people of Somalia," said Madeira who is
also the head of Amisom.
He urged donors to stay with Somalia at this critical hour, when the country
has a promising and forward-looking federal government.
The AU envoy said AMISOM requires more funds to engage in a comprehensive
approach to peace, which involves not just military response, but also
mediation, negotiation and engaging an all-inclusive mechanism to conflict
ICRC sounds alarm over high rates of child
malnutrition in Somalia
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has raised an alarm over
increasing cases of severe malnutrition among children in Somalia, terming it a
threat to their survival.
A statement from ICRC received in Nairobi noted that the number of
undernourished Somalia children in urgent need of life-saving interventions has
spiked against a backdrop of biting drought currently engulfing the horn of
"This rise in child malnutrition is a serious warning sign for Somalia, one
that demands both attention and immediate response," said Jordi Raich, the head
of ICRC Somalia delegation.
The statement from ICRC indicated that mothers with malnourished children
have been trooping its stabilization center in Kismayo General Hospital and
other parts of south and central Somalia to seek medical attention.
According to the statement, 369 new patients were admitted to the
stabilization centre in February this year, a 40 percent increase in one year
The statement added that 414 new patients were admitted at the center in
December last year.
"Since November 2016, we are feeling the strain as the number of patients
increases," remarked Mohamed Gedi who oversees the stabilization center in
"These patients are coming from the rural areas; the pastoral areas where
farmers have had their crops fail twice now," Raich said.
ICRC aims to reach 1.4 million people in Somalia with food aid, clean water
and cash grants this year as part of its drought response in the country.
UN Chief insists: 'World must act fast to avert famine in