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U.N. flies food into famine-hit Somali capital

Posted by Admin on July 28, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/u-n-flies-food-famine-hit-somali-capital-175012420.html

By Abdi Sheikh | Reuters – 29 mins ago

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – The United Nations airlifted emergency food for starving children into the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday as aid groups warned of a growing influx of hungry families from the famine-hit south of the country.

Some 3.7 million Somalis — almost half of the population — are going hungry with drought hitting some 11.6 million people across what local media have dubbed a “triangle of death” straddling Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

Though the U.N. food agency had already distributed food in the capital, this is its first airlift of food into Somalia since the food crisis began.

“We need to scale up our programs, and especially the nutrition programs, in order to avoid children falling into severe malnutrition,” Stephanie Savariaud, a U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) spokeswoman, told Reuters.

“Then they need to get hospitalized and it’s much more difficult to save them.”

The U.N. plane carried 10 tonnes of so-called therapeutic food — the type used to feed malnourished children under five. The shipment will feed 3,500 children for a month, WFP said.

The agency said it has an additional 70 tonnes ready in Kenya, which it will fly to Somalia over the coming days.

Aid agencies say they cannot reach more than two million Somalis facing starvation in the parts of the country where Islamist militants control much of the worst-hit areas.

WFP officials have said they will try to deliver food to the areas controlled by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels over the next week and that they will consider food drops from aircrafts as a last resort.

There are about 400,000 displaced people in the capital Mogadishu, with about 1,000 new arrivals each day, the U.N.’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said in a statement on Tuesday. It estimated that 100,000 internally displaced people have arrived in the city over the last two months.

People in makeshift settlements are fighting over food being distributed by local charities, with the weaker ones unable to push through the crowds to get it, UNHCR said.

“Even if people are able to obtain the food and water being distributed, they often lack even the most basic containers to carry it. Often, they must haul food and water in plastic bags,” UNHCR said.

The WFP has set up 16 feeding centers across the capital, providing hot meals to new arrivals using supplies delivered by sea from Kenya and Tanzania.

Boats are continuing to shift food in but they can take months to arrive. They are escorted by the European Naval Force to Somalia to deter pirate attacks.

(Additional reporting and writing by Katy Migiro in Nairobi; Editing by Barry Malone and Elizabeth Fullerton)

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Pirates kill four U.S. hostages near Somalia

Posted by Admin on February 23, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110222/ts_nm/us_somalia_pirates_usa;_ylt=AmQoAqYx4fh5dsKMCkCttcd34T0D;_ylu=X3oDMTJybzVyZWM5BGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwMjIyL3VzX3NvbWFsaWFfcGlyYXRlc191c2EEcG9zAzQEc2VjA3luX2FydGljbGVfc3VtbWFyeV9saXN0BHNsawNwaXJhdGVza2lsbGY-

Somali Islamists, pirates dispute ransom cuts
Armed Somali Pirate watches on…
By Phil Stewart Phil Stewart 13 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pirates shot dead four U.S. hostages on a private yacht on Tuesday, the deadliest incident involving Americans kidnapped for ransom in the increasingly dangerous waters off Somalia.

The U.S. military said the pirates shot the hostages before American special forces boarded the vessel.

U.S. troops killed two pirates as they took control of the boat, and took 15 pirates into custody. Another two pirates were found dead when U.S. special forces arrived but they were not killed by U.S. forces, the military said.

“We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest,” said Gen James N. Mattis, the head of the U.S. military’s Central Command.

Pirate gangs preying on shipping lanes through the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean typically target large merchant ships, with oil tankers the prize catch, but the snatching of foreigners can also yield high ransoms. There were around 750 pirate hostages at the end of January.

The Americans killed on Tuesday were Jean and Scott Adam, from California, as well as Phyllis Macay, Bob Riggle, from Seattle, Washington.

U.S. forces learned of the hijacking on Friday.

The U.S. military said negotiations with the pirates had been under way when on Tuesday morning, without warning, a pirate fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett.

Then gunfire broke out inside the pirated vessel.

“The intent always had been that this would be a negotiated process and not ever go into a point where we actually had gunfire,” said Vice Admiral Mark Fox, the head of U.S. naval forces in the turbulent region.

President Barack Obama had authorized the use of force in the case of an imminent threat to the hostages, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

Obama was notified of the deaths at 4:42 a.m. EST

REVENGE

Two Somali pirates who spoke with Reuters by telephone said the hostages were ordered killed since the pirates themselves were under attack by U.S. forces.

“Our colleagues called us this morning, that they were being attacked by a U.S. warship,” Mohamud, a Somali pirate, told Reuters. “We ordered our comrades to kill the four Americans before they got killed.”

Pirate leader Farah, speaking from Bayla, a pirate haven in the northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland, vowed to avenge the deaths and capture of his comrades.

“I lost the money I invested and my comrades. No forgiveness for the Americans. Revenge. Our business will go on,” he said, adding he had spent $110,000 so far in the hijacking, including on weapons and food and salaries.

Vice Admiral Fox said the incident was yet another sign of how pirates are using larger “mother ships” to move further out to sea, and cautioned vessels to heed warnings about pirate activity in the region.

“The pirates have been able to go for long distances out to sea, up to 1,300, 1,400 nautical miles away from Somalia,” Fox said, saying pirate activity went all the way to off the coast of India and down to Madagascar.

In April 2009, U.S. Navy special forces freed the captain of the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama by killing three Somali pirates who held him hostage in a lifeboat. Obama had authorized the use of force in that incident as well.

(Additional reporting by Alister Bull in Washington and Mohamed Ahmed and Abdi Sheikh in Mogadishu; Editing by Vicki Allen and Frances Kerry)

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Severe drought threatens millions in Somalia

Posted by Admin on February 4, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110203/ap_on_he_me/af_somalia_drought

GAROWE, Somalia – A severe drought has plunged millions of Somalis into crisis after rains failed for several consecutive seasons in this Horn of Africa nation, and the U.N. and aid groups are warning of the possibility of a looming catastrophe.

The drought has increased the number of malnourished children in some regions, displaced thousands of people and killed thousands of animals. Officials in a central Somali region said 18 people died of drought-related effects.

“The situation is dire. It is an added vulnerability to an already extremely vulnerable people,” the U.N.’s humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, told The Associated Press after touring camps for displaced people in Somalia’s semiautonomous region of Puntland on Wednesday.

Amos’s one-day trip was intended, she said, “to remind the people that there is still a long, ongoing problem in Somalia. I don’t want the people to forget Somalia. When you have an ongoing problem anywhere in the world, it is easy to slip it from the agenda.”

The drought is the latest in a long line of problems for Somalia, which has been mired in conflict since 1991, when warlords toppled the country’s last central government and then turned on each other.

According to the U.N., the malnutrition rate among children has jumped to 30 percent in Somalia’s southern Juba region, a figure that is double the emergency threshold. Food prices have soared up to 80 percent in some regions.

The price increase in the south is attributable in part to traders who are hoarding the food to profit off the drought, said Grainne Moloney, the head of the U.N.’s food security and nutrition analysis unit in Nairobi, Kenya.

Many drought-affected families are fleeing their homes in search of food. In the Galmudug region of central Somalia, officials said they haven’t seen such drought conditions since 1974.

Citing a recent survey conducted by his administration, Omar Mohamoud, a local government official, said the drought has killed 18 people and displaced thousands.

Mohamoud said his community has seen about 70 percent of its sheep and goats, 50 percent of its cattle and 30 percent of its camels die in the last three years.

“We are appealing to the international community to respond to the crisis and provide the people with water, food, medicine and shelter,” said Mohamoud. “If the international community does not respond to the crisis urgently, a catastrophe of huge proportions is staring us right in the eyes.”

The British aid group Oxfam says Somalia’s current drought could be as serious as one in the early 1990s, when thousands of people died.

“The situation is bad now, but with more months of no rainfall it could become an absolute catastrophe,” said Alun McDonald, the group’s spokesman in Nairobi. He noted that weather predictions suggest that the next rains “will also be poor or even fail.”

The poor rains are even affecting marriages. In a makeshift camp in Garowe town, Nura Farah, a mother of seven children, told AP that the lack of rains led to a divorce from her husband.

“When the drought hit us we quarreled,” Farah said. “I told my husband, ‘Look, you are a man. So go to town and look for ways to support your family.’ But he rejected my request and divorced me and left.”

Farah said she quit the nomadic life after her family’s one male camel and 200 sheep and goats died in a month. Poverty has forced her and her children to seek shelter in relatives’ homes in Garowe, the capital city of Puntland. Her 15-year-old son contracted tuberculosis because of a lack of food, she said.

The U.N. has released $4.5 million from its emergency fund to respond to the drought and is likely to release more in coming weeks, said Mark Bowden, U.N.’s Somalia humanitarian coordinator. This figure is separate from the $530 million the U.N. appealed for this year to finance its aid projects in Somalia.

The drought’s effects are worsened by the fact aid agencies’ work is restricted in many regions where Islamist insurgents are in control.

Peter Smerdon, the spokesman for the World Food Program, called on all parties to the Somali conflict to allow his agency free access to help the needy population. He said WFP has had to feed more than 130,000 additional people in Somalia because of the drought. Of Somalia’s estimated population of around 8 million people, about 2.4 million need food aid and about 1.5 million are internally displaced.

Amos urged Somali politicians to inject “a sense of urgency to their discussions” to end decades of warfare.

Kiki Gbeho, the head of the U.N.’s office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs in Somalia, warned that if spring rains expected in April fail, the country “is in a huge problem.”

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What is Happening in the Gulf of Aden?

Posted by Admin on February 1, 2010

“GULF OF ADEN” RELATED VIDEOS FEED FROM YOU TUBE

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Posted in Anomalic Interferences | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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