Somalia: U.N Worried About Ongoing Conflict, Insecurity Impact the Humanitarian Efforts

Ongoing conflict and insecurity continues to impact the humanitarian situation throughout south central Somalia, especially by exacerbating widespread food insecurity due to the drought which may lead to negative coping strategies, which may specifically impact severely on children, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Coordination (OCHA) said.

Conflict dynamics continue to influence the civilian population’sability and strategies to cope with the drought, while the drought and humanitarian action influence conflict, politicaland protection dynamics.
 To continue to achieve the greatest impact of life-saving interventions by humanitariansagainst the backdrop of a complex protracted conflict, for instance several aid groups have pointed out through reaching those least able to cope / with the highestneeds – it remains essential to understand these dynamics and their impact on the affected populations.
The humanitarian group reports that from May an upward displacement trend attributed to conflict and insecurity has been recorded.
“Ongoing intercommunalconflict, compounded by involvement of non-state armed actors and Somali National Forces, continues to bereported in Hiraan, Galgaduud, Lower Shabelle, and Middle Shabelle.” OCHA said.
[READ ALSO: Lower Shabelle: Somalia’s Fertile Region and the Site of Inter-clan Conflict]
Drivers for these conflicts (often localized butinfluenced by broader dynamics) include drought related competition for resources and political dynamics or intercommunalgrievances.
Overcrowded and under regulated camps
Internal displacement (IDP) sites in many locations, particularly Baidoa, Gaalkayo and Afgooye, remain overcrowded and under regulated,exposing women and girls specifically to considerable GBV related risks. Further, a lack of adequate interventions,including in education, livelihoods, and protection, results in child protection concerns.
“Notably, in the past threemonths considerable and worrying upsurge in abductions and recruitment of children (boys and girls) has been
observed.” says OCHA report about the humanitarian needs and challenges released in late last month.
Operation Safari Hunter offensive in Lower Shabelle and Middle Jubba by the Somali national army, African Union forces and the U.S Special Forces will take place against the backdrop of intercommunaltensions and reported indiscriminate attacks by non-state armed actors on villages around Marka andAfgooye.
“Concerns about limitations of civilian freedom of movement and reprisal attacks in case of abandonment ofcaptured towns have arisen. The operation might also result in a proliferation of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) inpopulated areas, exposing civilians to harm.” OCHA report added.
Forced evictions, often related to disputes over the amount of ‘rent’ paid, continue unabated. So far in 2017 (Jan -Jul)more than 90,000 individuals have reportedly been directly affected.

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