Somalia faces dire humanitarian crisis amidst Al-Shabaab threat, UN warns

Daily News Egypt
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The Somali government is prioritising security and combating Al-Shabaab fighters on multiple fronts, but the terrorist group remains determined to continue attacks, the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) told the UN Security Council on Monday.

James Swan, acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, condemned the attacks and expressed condolences to the families of those killed. He highlighted the ongoing departure of AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces as part of a “planned transition of responsibilities to Somali security forces”, supported by the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

Since June 2023, 5,000 ATMIS troops have left Somalia, with further reductions planned. However, El-Amine Souef, head of ATMIS, warned that Al-Shabaab remains resilient, citing recent attacks on Somali Security Forces and an ATMIS camp.

He emphasised the group’s ability to conduct “devastating attacks” using asymmetric tactics.

While welcoming the transition, Souef noted concerns from local leaders and communities about the Somali Security Forces’ capacity to secure strategic locations and maintain territorial control.

He stressed the need for a smooth transition, capacity building, and strengthening security institutions to establish lasting peace and development in Somalia beyond 2024.

Swan also painted a grim picture of the humanitarian situation in Somalia, describing it as “dire”. More than 3.8 million people remain displaced, and extreme weather, insecurity, and disease outbreaks are increasing the demand for lifesaving support.

He urged international partners to provide funding to meet humanitarian needs, noting that the 2024 Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan is only 24% funded.

Swan further addressed regional tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia, urging both nations to resolve their differences peacefully in accordance with international law.

 

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