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  •  The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development Hajia Sadiya Farouq says Nigeria is moving from just giving humanitarian relief to its vulnerable population to empowering them with skills Farouq told the News Agency of Nigeria in New York at the 77th session of UN General Assembly that the Nigerian Government was working to build the resilience of the population The minister spoke on the sidelines of High Level Side Event on Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No one Behind We are shifting away from just giving humanitarian relief to see how we can build the resilience of our people and empower them We are moving towards a sustainable way of building the lives of the vulnerable people those who have been affected by displacement to have a dignified way of life by empowering them We have provided for them different empowerment opportunities for them to learn different skills to earn a living with those skills and for their prosperity she said According to her empowering the vulnerable population is a right step to reduce poverty noting that Nigeria has done well under the present administration to reduce poverty index The minister said that the United Nations UN had been working with Nigeria to achieving sustainable development like eradication of poverty and addressing issues of vulnerability Earlier at the event UN Deputy Secretary General Ms Amina Mohammed said humanitarian action and lifesaving relief remained critical saying we must recognise that protracted crises require a synchronised and complementary development and peace support This must be supported by long term investments to address the drivers and the root causes of crises in the first place and the ensuing fragility This is at the core of the humanitarian development peace nexus approach We know that investing in development is the best way to prevent the crisis in the first place This is where I would like to commend the Government of Nigeria for now practically in its adoption of the triple nexus approach particularly in relation to those who have been displaced internally and supported by the creation of enabling frameworks and mechanisms she said The UN deputy chief said the Government of Nigeria also used the triple Nexus approach beyond the issue of finding durable solutions to empowering its displaced population For example UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA International Organisation for Migration IOM and UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR kickstarted 1 5 million U S dollar pilot project to the Nigeria humanitarian fund According to her the fund is to address durable solutions working closely with the governance of Borno Adamawa Yobe and the UN under the leadership of UNDP She said that UN had helped on the stabilisation programme and restoration of the social contract working with the private sector and resulted in constructing many permanent shelters and classrooms in those states The stabilisation efforts are conducted under the auspices of the Lake Chad Commission s regional stabilisation strategy and this is an important cross border coordination and cooperation which is even more pressing not just in the Lake Chad region but also in the Sahel In her remarks Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen said women were driving force in disaster risk reduction and emergency response and therefore should not be left unattended to We see this thing during the public lighting pandemic where 70 to 80 per cent of health volunteers are women Women were at the forefront front of risk communications and are trusted by their communities she said The General Debates which started on Sept 20 with the theme Watershed moment transformative solutions to interlocking challenges ended on Monday NewsSourceCredit NAN
    UNGA77: Nigeria moving from humanitarian relief to empowering vulnerable population- Minister
     The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development Hajia Sadiya Farouq says Nigeria is moving from just giving humanitarian relief to its vulnerable population to empowering them with skills Farouq told the News Agency of Nigeria in New York at the 77th session of UN General Assembly that the Nigerian Government was working to build the resilience of the population The minister spoke on the sidelines of High Level Side Event on Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No one Behind We are shifting away from just giving humanitarian relief to see how we can build the resilience of our people and empower them We are moving towards a sustainable way of building the lives of the vulnerable people those who have been affected by displacement to have a dignified way of life by empowering them We have provided for them different empowerment opportunities for them to learn different skills to earn a living with those skills and for their prosperity she said According to her empowering the vulnerable population is a right step to reduce poverty noting that Nigeria has done well under the present administration to reduce poverty index The minister said that the United Nations UN had been working with Nigeria to achieving sustainable development like eradication of poverty and addressing issues of vulnerability Earlier at the event UN Deputy Secretary General Ms Amina Mohammed said humanitarian action and lifesaving relief remained critical saying we must recognise that protracted crises require a synchronised and complementary development and peace support This must be supported by long term investments to address the drivers and the root causes of crises in the first place and the ensuing fragility This is at the core of the humanitarian development peace nexus approach We know that investing in development is the best way to prevent the crisis in the first place This is where I would like to commend the Government of Nigeria for now practically in its adoption of the triple nexus approach particularly in relation to those who have been displaced internally and supported by the creation of enabling frameworks and mechanisms she said The UN deputy chief said the Government of Nigeria also used the triple Nexus approach beyond the issue of finding durable solutions to empowering its displaced population For example UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA International Organisation for Migration IOM and UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR kickstarted 1 5 million U S dollar pilot project to the Nigeria humanitarian fund According to her the fund is to address durable solutions working closely with the governance of Borno Adamawa Yobe and the UN under the leadership of UNDP She said that UN had helped on the stabilisation programme and restoration of the social contract working with the private sector and resulted in constructing many permanent shelters and classrooms in those states The stabilisation efforts are conducted under the auspices of the Lake Chad Commission s regional stabilisation strategy and this is an important cross border coordination and cooperation which is even more pressing not just in the Lake Chad region but also in the Sahel In her remarks Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen said women were driving force in disaster risk reduction and emergency response and therefore should not be left unattended to We see this thing during the public lighting pandemic where 70 to 80 per cent of health volunteers are women Women were at the forefront front of risk communications and are trusted by their communities she said The General Debates which started on Sept 20 with the theme Watershed moment transformative solutions to interlocking challenges ended on Monday NewsSourceCredit NAN
    UNGA77: Nigeria moving from humanitarian relief to empowering vulnerable population- Minister
    Foreign6 days ago

    UNGA77: Nigeria moving from humanitarian relief to empowering vulnerable population- Minister

    The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq says Nigeria is moving from just giving humanitarian relief to its vulnerable population to empowering them with skills.

    Farouq told the News Agency of Nigeria in New York at the 77th session of UN General Assembly that the Nigerian Government was working to build the resilience of the population.

    The minister spoke on the sidelines of High-Level Side Event on “Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development: A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No one Behind.

    ’’ “We are shifting away from just giving humanitarian relief to see how we can build the resilience of our people and empower them.

    “We are moving towards a sustainable way of building the lives of the vulnerable people, those who have been affected by displacement to have a dignified way of life by empowering them.

    “We have provided for them different empowerment opportunities for them to learn different skills, to earn a living with those skills and for their prosperity,’’ she said.

    According to her, empowering the vulnerable population is a right step to reduce poverty, noting that Nigeria has done well under the present administration to reduce poverty index.

    The minister said that the United Nations (UN) had been working with Nigeria to achieving sustainable development, like eradication of poverty and addressing issues of vulnerability.

    Earlier at the event, UN Deputy Secretary General, Ms Amina Mohammed said humanitarian action and lifesaving relief remained critical, saying, “we must recognise that protracted crises require a synchronised and complementary development and peace support.

    “This must be supported by long term investments to address the drivers and the root causes of crises in the first place, and the ensuing fragility.

    “This is at the core of the humanitarian development peace nexus approach.

    We know that investing in development is the best way to prevent the crisis in the first place.

    “This is where I would like to commend the Government of Nigeria for now, practically in its adoption of the triple nexus approach, particularly in relation to those who have been displaced internally and supported by the creation of enabling frameworks and mechanisms,’’ she said.

    The UN deputy chief said the Government of Nigeria also used the triple Nexus approach beyond the issue of finding durable solutions to empowering its displaced population “ For example, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)  kickstarted 1.5 million U.

    S. dollar pilot project to the Nigeria humanitarian fund.

    ’’ According to her, the fund is to address durable solutions, working closely with the governance of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and the UN under the leadership of UNDP.

    She said that UN had helped on the stabilisation programme and restoration of the social contract working with the private sector and resulted in constructing many permanent shelters and classrooms in those states.

    “The stabilisation efforts are conducted under the auspices of the Lake Chad Commission’s regional stabilisation strategy, and this is an important cross border coordination and cooperation, which is even more pressing not just in the Lake Chad region, but also in the Sahel.

    In her remarks, Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen said women were driving force in disaster risk reduction, and emergency response and therefore should not be left unattended to.

    “We see this thing during the public lighting pandemic, where 70 to 80 per cent of health volunteers are women.

    “Women were at the forefront front of risk communications and are trusted by their communities,’’ she said.

    The General Debates, which started on Sept. 20 with the theme: “Watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,’’ ended on Monday.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  UN Secretary General Ant nio Guterres and African leaders have launched a high level panel to assess the situation in the Sahel and make recommendations on ways to foster international engagement and map out responses to the region s complex challenges The Sahel extends across Africa from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Indian Ocean in the east and runs through parts of Burkina Faso Cameroon Chad Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Senegal and Sudan The independent panel was announced on Saturday in New York on the margins of the General Assembly s annual debate during a High Level Event on the Sahel The evet was held under the auspices of the United Nations the African Union AU Commission the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS and the Group of Five for the Sahel G5 Sahel According to the UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA Sahel faces the worst humanitarian needs in years requiring an urgent scale up of emergency response The secretary general had warned that rising insecurity including the proliferation of terrorist and other non State armed groups coupled with political instability is creating a crisis in the Sahel that poses a global threat The crisis is being compounded by climate change and if nothing is done the effects of terrorism violent extremism and organized crime will be felt far beyond the region and the African continent he said In their statements the Chair of the AU Commission the President of the ECOWAS Commission the Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel and Guterres formally launched Panel on Security and Development in the Sahel led by former President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou They highlighted the underlying challenges in the Sahel including the surge in violent extremism growing fragility of the economies of the region due to the impact of climate change and the COVID 19 pandemic as well as complex political transitions They called for coordinated international regional and local efforts in the Sahel and in the broader region to address the current security governance and development challenges and adopt people centred security approaches based on inclusive political strategies The participants also called on the international community to scale up responses commensurate to the needs in the region including by providing much needed technical financial material and logistical support They reaffirmed the support of the four organisations to the work of the Independent High Level Panel and looked forward to the findings of the Independent Strategic Assessment being presented during the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government set to be issued in February 2023 NewsSourceCredit NAN
    UNGA77: African leaders inaugurate panel on Nigeria, others
     UN Secretary General Ant nio Guterres and African leaders have launched a high level panel to assess the situation in the Sahel and make recommendations on ways to foster international engagement and map out responses to the region s complex challenges The Sahel extends across Africa from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Indian Ocean in the east and runs through parts of Burkina Faso Cameroon Chad Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Senegal and Sudan The independent panel was announced on Saturday in New York on the margins of the General Assembly s annual debate during a High Level Event on the Sahel The evet was held under the auspices of the United Nations the African Union AU Commission the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS and the Group of Five for the Sahel G5 Sahel According to the UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA Sahel faces the worst humanitarian needs in years requiring an urgent scale up of emergency response The secretary general had warned that rising insecurity including the proliferation of terrorist and other non State armed groups coupled with political instability is creating a crisis in the Sahel that poses a global threat The crisis is being compounded by climate change and if nothing is done the effects of terrorism violent extremism and organized crime will be felt far beyond the region and the African continent he said In their statements the Chair of the AU Commission the President of the ECOWAS Commission the Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel and Guterres formally launched Panel on Security and Development in the Sahel led by former President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou They highlighted the underlying challenges in the Sahel including the surge in violent extremism growing fragility of the economies of the region due to the impact of climate change and the COVID 19 pandemic as well as complex political transitions They called for coordinated international regional and local efforts in the Sahel and in the broader region to address the current security governance and development challenges and adopt people centred security approaches based on inclusive political strategies The participants also called on the international community to scale up responses commensurate to the needs in the region including by providing much needed technical financial material and logistical support They reaffirmed the support of the four organisations to the work of the Independent High Level Panel and looked forward to the findings of the Independent Strategic Assessment being presented during the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government set to be issued in February 2023 NewsSourceCredit NAN
    UNGA77: African leaders inaugurate panel on Nigeria, others
    Foreign1 week ago

    UNGA77: African leaders inaugurate panel on Nigeria, others

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres and African leaders have launched a high-level panel to assess the situation in the Sahel and make recommendations on ways to foster international engagement and map out responses to the region’s complex challenges.

    The Sahel extends across Africa from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Indian Ocean in the east and runs through parts of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan.

    The independent panel was announced on Saturday in New York on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual debate during a High-Level Event on the Sahel.

    The evet was held under the auspices of the United Nations, the African Union (AU) Commission, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel).

    According to the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) Sahel faces the worst humanitarian needs in years requiring an urgent scale-up of emergency response.

    The secretary-general had warned that rising insecurity, including the proliferation of terrorist and other non-State armed groups, coupled with political instability, is creating a crisis in the Sahel that poses a “global threat”.

    “The crisis is being compounded by climate change… “and if nothing is done, the effects of terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime will be felt far beyond the region and the African continent,” he said.

    In their statements, the Chair of the AU Commission, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel and Guterres formally launched Panel on Security and Development in the Sahel, led by former President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou.

    They highlighted the underlying challenges in the Sahel, including the surge in violent extremism, growing fragility of the economies of the region due to the impact of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as complex political transitions.

    They called for coordinated international, regional and local efforts in the Sahel and in the broader region to address the current security, governance and development challenges and adopt people-centred security approaches based on inclusive political strategies.

    The participants also called on the international community to scale up responses commensurate to the needs in the region, including by providing much needed technical, financial, material, and logistical support.

    They reaffirmed the support of the four organisations to the work of the Independent High-Level Panel and looked forward to the findings of the Independent Strategic Assessment being presented during the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government set to be issued in February 2023.
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   The UAE through its humanitarian agencies and in cooperation with the Somali Disaster Management Authority SoDMA and other authorities continues to distribute aid to the local population and displaced persons in the areas worst affected by the drought including the Mahas and Mataban regions in Hiran Governorate Hirshabelle State This aid is part of efforts to distribute more than 1 000 tons of relief supplies to the Somali people He arrived on an Emirati aid ship at the port of Mogadishu to help meet the needs of an estimated 2 5 million people affected by drought Food and relief supplies have been distributed to more than 1 330 displaced and affected families in Bal ad district in Hirshabelle state more than 400 families in Hudur city and 470 families in Baidoa the capital of the southwestern region from Somalia This aid is part of a plan to distribute relief supplies in cooperation with relevant Somali ministries and agencies notably the Somalia Disaster Management Agency Somalia is one of the countries in the Horn of Africa most affected by the drought currently plaguing the region The drought facing Somalia is the worst in decades and there are warnings that the drought will turn into famine The United Nations World Meteorological Organization has forecast that the country will brace for a fifth consecutive unsuccessful rainy season According to estimates by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA more than seven million Somalis face humanitarian challenges and are in need of food aid
    United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to distribute humanitarian aid to those affected by drought in Somalia
      The UAE through its humanitarian agencies and in cooperation with the Somali Disaster Management Authority SoDMA and other authorities continues to distribute aid to the local population and displaced persons in the areas worst affected by the drought including the Mahas and Mataban regions in Hiran Governorate Hirshabelle State This aid is part of efforts to distribute more than 1 000 tons of relief supplies to the Somali people He arrived on an Emirati aid ship at the port of Mogadishu to help meet the needs of an estimated 2 5 million people affected by drought Food and relief supplies have been distributed to more than 1 330 displaced and affected families in Bal ad district in Hirshabelle state more than 400 families in Hudur city and 470 families in Baidoa the capital of the southwestern region from Somalia This aid is part of a plan to distribute relief supplies in cooperation with relevant Somali ministries and agencies notably the Somalia Disaster Management Agency Somalia is one of the countries in the Horn of Africa most affected by the drought currently plaguing the region The drought facing Somalia is the worst in decades and there are warnings that the drought will turn into famine The United Nations World Meteorological Organization has forecast that the country will brace for a fifth consecutive unsuccessful rainy season According to estimates by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA more than seven million Somalis face humanitarian challenges and are in need of food aid
    United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to distribute humanitarian aid to those affected by drought in Somalia
    Africa1 week ago

    United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to distribute humanitarian aid to those affected by drought in Somalia

    The UAE, through its humanitarian agencies and in cooperation with the Somali Disaster Management Authority (SoDMA) and other authorities, continues to distribute aid to the local population and displaced persons in the areas worst affected by the drought, including the Mahas and Mataban regions in Hiran Governorate.

    , Hirshabelle State.

    This aid is part of efforts to distribute more than 1,000 tons of relief supplies to the Somali people.

    He arrived on an Emirati aid ship at the port of Mogadishu to help meet the needs of an estimated 2.5 million people affected by drought.

    Food and relief supplies have been distributed to more than 1,330 displaced and affected families in Bal'ad district in Hirshabelle state, more than 400 families in Hudur city and 470 families in Baidoa, the capital of the southwestern region.

    from Somalia.

    This aid is part of a plan to distribute relief supplies in cooperation with relevant Somali ministries and agencies, notably the Somalia Disaster Management Agency.

    Somalia is one of the countries in the Horn of Africa most affected by the drought currently plaguing the region.

    The drought facing Somalia is the worst in decades, and there are warnings that the drought will turn into famine.

    The United Nations World Meteorological Organization has forecast that the country will brace for a fifth consecutive unsuccessful rainy season.

    According to estimates by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than seven million Somalis face humanitarian challenges and are in need of food aid.

  •  The Minister of Water Resources Mr Suleiman Adamu on Friday called for renewed commitment from all stakeholders to curtail continued reports of cholera outbreaks in parts of the country This was the thrust at a stakeholders meeting on National Cholera Prevention Preparedness and Response Plan in Abuja on Friday He said cholera prevention plan was critical as access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene WASH would go a long way to halt future occurrence and prevent deaths The minister was represented by Mr Ibiyemi Olu Daniels Deputy Director WASH Response and Collaboration with the ministry According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC no fewer than 91 deaths have been recorded from cholera from January to July 31 2022 with a total of 3 610 suspected cases He noted that his ministry had evolved strategies by constructing water schemes like boreholes dams and toilet facilities in curtailing the spread of waterborne diseases and open defecation practices According to him developing a work plan will ensure equitable intervention spread bringing the concept of inclusiveness as all key stakeholders are identified with their roles succinctly spelt out All these would in the long run ensure resources are dutifully put into use in a timely and coordinated manner to achieve desired results Developing this cholera plan became necessary owing to the brutal blow cholera dealt on our nation a year ago where cases reported nationally were about 111 062 with 3 604 deaths As a result conscious and deliberate efforts like these aimed at preventing a reoccurrence of such an ugly and perhaps embarrassing scenario where enormous cases of cholera outbreak was reported is certainly a commendable development Adamu added that cholera prevention preparedness and response plan crosscuts the purview of many ministries departments and agencies calling for more commitment According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Activities OCHA more than 1 000 cases of cholera have been reported in Borno Adamawa and Yobe states since May 2022 The UN body attributed cholera cases to the widespread contamination of water sources by flooding as the rainy season entered its peak OCHA says there is an urgent need for more designated and equipped Cholera Treatment Centers Oral Rehydration Points and rapid testing kits It noted that states have been affected by flooding since the start of the rainy season with an estimated 14 825 people mainly the elderly women and children being displaced The Director General Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency NIHSA Mr Clement Nze had urged all stakeholders to intensify and step up efforts to avert flood related disasters in their domains He said the nation was now in the peak of flooding season saying the country is at the lowest point of River Niger Basin This means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding As at Sept 16 the flow of River Niger at Niamey Niger Republic upstream of Nigeria is within the normal limits He said the release of excess water from the Lagdo dam which started on Sept 13 would be a continuous process till the inflow into the Lagdo reservoirs recedes He said water releases from Lagdo dam had contributed to the increase in volume of flow of River Benue contributing to the recent flooding in parts of the country www ng NewsSourceCredit NAN
    FG urges renewed commitment to halt cholera outbreaks
     The Minister of Water Resources Mr Suleiman Adamu on Friday called for renewed commitment from all stakeholders to curtail continued reports of cholera outbreaks in parts of the country This was the thrust at a stakeholders meeting on National Cholera Prevention Preparedness and Response Plan in Abuja on Friday He said cholera prevention plan was critical as access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene WASH would go a long way to halt future occurrence and prevent deaths The minister was represented by Mr Ibiyemi Olu Daniels Deputy Director WASH Response and Collaboration with the ministry According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC no fewer than 91 deaths have been recorded from cholera from January to July 31 2022 with a total of 3 610 suspected cases He noted that his ministry had evolved strategies by constructing water schemes like boreholes dams and toilet facilities in curtailing the spread of waterborne diseases and open defecation practices According to him developing a work plan will ensure equitable intervention spread bringing the concept of inclusiveness as all key stakeholders are identified with their roles succinctly spelt out All these would in the long run ensure resources are dutifully put into use in a timely and coordinated manner to achieve desired results Developing this cholera plan became necessary owing to the brutal blow cholera dealt on our nation a year ago where cases reported nationally were about 111 062 with 3 604 deaths As a result conscious and deliberate efforts like these aimed at preventing a reoccurrence of such an ugly and perhaps embarrassing scenario where enormous cases of cholera outbreak was reported is certainly a commendable development Adamu added that cholera prevention preparedness and response plan crosscuts the purview of many ministries departments and agencies calling for more commitment According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Activities OCHA more than 1 000 cases of cholera have been reported in Borno Adamawa and Yobe states since May 2022 The UN body attributed cholera cases to the widespread contamination of water sources by flooding as the rainy season entered its peak OCHA says there is an urgent need for more designated and equipped Cholera Treatment Centers Oral Rehydration Points and rapid testing kits It noted that states have been affected by flooding since the start of the rainy season with an estimated 14 825 people mainly the elderly women and children being displaced The Director General Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency NIHSA Mr Clement Nze had urged all stakeholders to intensify and step up efforts to avert flood related disasters in their domains He said the nation was now in the peak of flooding season saying the country is at the lowest point of River Niger Basin This means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding As at Sept 16 the flow of River Niger at Niamey Niger Republic upstream of Nigeria is within the normal limits He said the release of excess water from the Lagdo dam which started on Sept 13 would be a continuous process till the inflow into the Lagdo reservoirs recedes He said water releases from Lagdo dam had contributed to the increase in volume of flow of River Benue contributing to the recent flooding in parts of the country www ng NewsSourceCredit NAN
    FG urges renewed commitment to halt cholera outbreaks
    Environment1 week ago

    FG urges renewed commitment to halt cholera outbreaks

    The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, on Friday called for renewed commitment from all stakeholders to curtail continued reports of cholera outbreaks in parts of the country.

    This was the thrust at a stakeholders meeting on National Cholera Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan in Abuja on Friday.

    He said cholera prevention plan was critical as access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) would go a long way to halt future occurrence and prevent deaths.

    The minister was represented by Mr Ibiyemi Olu-Daniels, Deputy Director, WASH Response and Collaboration, with the ministry.

    According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), no fewer than 91 deaths have been recorded from cholera from January to July 31, 2022, with a total of 3,610 suspected cases.

    He noted that his ministry had evolved strategies by constructing water schemes like boreholes, dams and toilet facilities in curtailing the spread of waterborne diseases and open defecation practices.

    According to him, developing a work plan will ensure equitable intervention spread, bringing the concept of inclusiveness, as all key stakeholders are identified with their roles succinctly spelt out.

    “All these would in the long run ensure resources are dutifully put into use in a timely and coordinated manner to achieve desired results.

    “Developing this cholera plan became necessary, owing to the brutal blow cholera dealt on our nation a year ago where cases reported nationally were about 111,062 with 3,604 deaths.

    “As a result, conscious and deliberate efforts like these aimed at preventing a reoccurrence of such an ugly and perhaps embarrassing scenario, where enormous cases of cholera outbreak was reported, is certainly a commendable development.

    ’’ Adamu added that cholera prevention, preparedness and response plan crosscuts the purview of many ministries, departments and agencies, calling for more commitment.

    According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Activities (OCHA), more than 1,000 cases of cholera have been reported in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states since May 2022. The UN body attributed cholera cases to the widespread contamination of water sources by flooding, as the rainy season entered its peak.

    OCHA says there is an urgent need for more designated and equipped Cholera Treatment Centers, Oral Rehydration Points and rapid testing kits.

    It noted that states have been affected by flooding since the start of the rainy season, with an estimated 14,825 people, mainly the elderly, women and children being displaced.

    The Director General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Mr Clement Nze, had urged all stakeholders to intensify and step up efforts to avert flood related disasters in their domains.

    He said the nation was now in the peak of flooding season, saying the country is at the lowest point of River Niger Basin.

    “This means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding.

    “As at Sept. 16, the flow of River Niger at Niamey, Niger Republic, upstream of Nigeria, is within the normal limits.

    ’’ He said the release of excess water from the Lagdo dam, which started on Sept. 13, would be a continuous process till the inflow into the Lagdo reservoirs recedes.

    He said water releases from Lagdo dam, had contributed to the increase in volume of flow of River Benue, contributing to the recent flooding in parts of the country.

    www.

    ng
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   Once again the people of Ethiopia are plunged into the intractable and deadly consequences of the conflict between government troops and forces loyal to Tigrayan separatist fighters who are likely to be responsible for war crimes investigators from the human rights In its first comprehensive report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia said it believed crimes against humanity had also been committed in the intermittent war that broke out in the northern region in November 2020 Worst Rights Violations Serious rights violations in Tigray were ongoing the report said noting that fighting resumed last month breaking a five month ceasefire Extrajudicial killings rape sexual violence and starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare have occurred in Ethiopia since the early days of the conflict the Council heard Citing information from credible sources the Commission s chairwoman Kaari Betty Murungi who like the other two members of the panel is a UN appointed independent rights expert said there had been an escalation in attacks with drones by government forces that used explosives weapons with wide area effects in populated areas since hostilities resumed Our research indicates that its use has exposed civilians to new and increased risks she said We have received reports of drone strikes in Tigray in the last four weeks which have allegedly killed and injured civilians including children As for the Tigrayan forces Ms Murungi insisted that they had also likely committed serious human rights abuses that amount to war crimes These included large scale killings of Amhara civilians rape and sexual violence and widespread looting and destruction of civilian property in Kobo and Chenna in August and September 2021 During their house searches in Kobo for example security forces of Tigrayan searched for weapons and dragged many men from their homes executing them often in front of their families Desperate conditions Today international humanitarian access to Tigray remains blocked despite the dire situation there Ms Murungi said There were reasonable grounds to believe that the federal government and its allies looted and destroyed property essential to the survival of the civilian population in Tigray killing livestock destroying food stores and razing crops while implementing severe restrictions on humanitarian access to Tigray she added noting that for more than a year six million people have been denied access to electricity internet telecommunications and banking This denial and obstruction of access to basic services food medical care and humanitarian aid is equivalent to crimes against humanity of persecution and inhumane acts insisted the president of the Commission Starvation tactic We also have reasonable grounds to believe that the federal government is committing the war crime of using starvation as a method of warfare the leading independent human rights expert continued noting that Tigrayan forces reportedly looted the humanitarian aid According to the latest dire humanitarian data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA conflict and displacement in northern Ethiopia have left more than nine million people in need in the Tigray Afar and Amhara while severe drought affects millions more in the south Citing OCHA Ms Murungi said that the combined effect of the federal government s measures had left 90 per cent of the population in dire need an increase of 80 per cent since the start of the conflict The majority of Tigray s population must now survive on limited and nutritionally inadequate diets he said adding that there has also been an increase in child marriages and child labour human trafficking and transactional sex as desperate means of survival Tigrayan women and girls not forgiven According to the Commission s president rapes and crimes of sexual violence had occurred on a staggering scale since the early days of the conflict with Ethiopian and Eritrean forces and regional militias attacking the women and girls of Tigraya with particular attention violence and brutality Tigrayan forces also committed rape and sexual violence against Amhara women and girls and Eritrean refugees Ms Murungi said highlighting the devastating long term impacts on survivors that included trauma unwanted pregnancies and HIV infection Unfair and biased scrutiny Rejecting the report s conclusions the Ethiopian delegation repeated its claim that the federal government had been subjected to unfair and biased scrutiny in the Council for more than a year Addis Ababa pledged to respond to an insurrectionary armed group that has endangered the territorial integrity of the country the Council heard The international commission of human rights experts on Ethiopia was established after the Human Rights Council adopted resolution S 33 1 on December 17 2021 It tasked a panel of three human rights experts appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law and international refugee law in Ethiopia committed since 3 December November 2020 by all parties to the conflict
    Ethiopia: Civilians once again plunged into intractable and deadly war, says Human Rights Council
      Once again the people of Ethiopia are plunged into the intractable and deadly consequences of the conflict between government troops and forces loyal to Tigrayan separatist fighters who are likely to be responsible for war crimes investigators from the human rights In its first comprehensive report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia said it believed crimes against humanity had also been committed in the intermittent war that broke out in the northern region in November 2020 Worst Rights Violations Serious rights violations in Tigray were ongoing the report said noting that fighting resumed last month breaking a five month ceasefire Extrajudicial killings rape sexual violence and starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare have occurred in Ethiopia since the early days of the conflict the Council heard Citing information from credible sources the Commission s chairwoman Kaari Betty Murungi who like the other two members of the panel is a UN appointed independent rights expert said there had been an escalation in attacks with drones by government forces that used explosives weapons with wide area effects in populated areas since hostilities resumed Our research indicates that its use has exposed civilians to new and increased risks she said We have received reports of drone strikes in Tigray in the last four weeks which have allegedly killed and injured civilians including children As for the Tigrayan forces Ms Murungi insisted that they had also likely committed serious human rights abuses that amount to war crimes These included large scale killings of Amhara civilians rape and sexual violence and widespread looting and destruction of civilian property in Kobo and Chenna in August and September 2021 During their house searches in Kobo for example security forces of Tigrayan searched for weapons and dragged many men from their homes executing them often in front of their families Desperate conditions Today international humanitarian access to Tigray remains blocked despite the dire situation there Ms Murungi said There were reasonable grounds to believe that the federal government and its allies looted and destroyed property essential to the survival of the civilian population in Tigray killing livestock destroying food stores and razing crops while implementing severe restrictions on humanitarian access to Tigray she added noting that for more than a year six million people have been denied access to electricity internet telecommunications and banking This denial and obstruction of access to basic services food medical care and humanitarian aid is equivalent to crimes against humanity of persecution and inhumane acts insisted the president of the Commission Starvation tactic We also have reasonable grounds to believe that the federal government is committing the war crime of using starvation as a method of warfare the leading independent human rights expert continued noting that Tigrayan forces reportedly looted the humanitarian aid According to the latest dire humanitarian data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA conflict and displacement in northern Ethiopia have left more than nine million people in need in the Tigray Afar and Amhara while severe drought affects millions more in the south Citing OCHA Ms Murungi said that the combined effect of the federal government s measures had left 90 per cent of the population in dire need an increase of 80 per cent since the start of the conflict The majority of Tigray s population must now survive on limited and nutritionally inadequate diets he said adding that there has also been an increase in child marriages and child labour human trafficking and transactional sex as desperate means of survival Tigrayan women and girls not forgiven According to the Commission s president rapes and crimes of sexual violence had occurred on a staggering scale since the early days of the conflict with Ethiopian and Eritrean forces and regional militias attacking the women and girls of Tigraya with particular attention violence and brutality Tigrayan forces also committed rape and sexual violence against Amhara women and girls and Eritrean refugees Ms Murungi said highlighting the devastating long term impacts on survivors that included trauma unwanted pregnancies and HIV infection Unfair and biased scrutiny Rejecting the report s conclusions the Ethiopian delegation repeated its claim that the federal government had been subjected to unfair and biased scrutiny in the Council for more than a year Addis Ababa pledged to respond to an insurrectionary armed group that has endangered the territorial integrity of the country the Council heard The international commission of human rights experts on Ethiopia was established after the Human Rights Council adopted resolution S 33 1 on December 17 2021 It tasked a panel of three human rights experts appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law and international refugee law in Ethiopia committed since 3 December November 2020 by all parties to the conflict
    Ethiopia: Civilians once again plunged into intractable and deadly war, says Human Rights Council
    Africa2 weeks ago

    Ethiopia: Civilians once again plunged into intractable and deadly war, says Human Rights Council

    Once again, the people of Ethiopia are "plunged ...

    into the intractable and deadly consequences" of the conflict between government troops and forces loyal to Tigrayan separatist fighters, who are likely to be responsible for war crimes, investigators from the human rights.

    In its first comprehensive report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia said it believed crimes against humanity had also been committed in the intermittent war that broke out in the northern region in November 2020.

    Worst Rights Violations Serious rights violations in Tigray were "ongoing", the report said, noting that fighting resumed last month, breaking a five-month ceasefire.

    “Extrajudicial killings, rape, sexual violence and starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare” have occurred in Ethiopia since the early days of the conflict, the Council heard.

    Citing information from "credible sources," the Commission's chairwoman, Kaari Betty Murungi, who like the other two members of the panel is a UN-appointed independent rights expert, said there had been an "escalation" in attacks with drones by government forces that used explosives.

    weapons “with wide-area effects in populated areas”, since hostilities resumed.

    "Our research indicates that its use has exposed civilians to new and increased risks," she said.

    "We have received reports of drone strikes in Tigray in the last four weeks, which have allegedly killed and injured civilians, including children."

    As for the Tigrayan forces, Ms. Murungi insisted that they had also likely committed serious human rights abuses “that amount to war crimes”.

    These included “large-scale killings of Amhara civilians, rape and sexual violence, and widespread looting and destruction of civilian property in Kobo and Chenna in August and September 2021.

    “During their house searches in Kobo, for example, security forces of Tigrayan searched for weapons and dragged many men from their homes, executing them, often in front of their families.” Desperate conditions Today, international humanitarian access to Tigray remains blocked, despite the dire situation there, Ms. Murungi said.

    There were reasonable grounds to believe that the federal government and its allies “looted and destroyed property essential to the survival of the civilian population in Tigray, killing livestock, destroying food stores and razing crops while implementing severe restrictions on humanitarian access to Tigray.

    ”.

    she added, noting that for more than a year, six million people have been denied access to electricity, internet, telecommunications and banking.

    This denial and obstruction of access to basic services, food, medical care and humanitarian aid "is equivalent to crimes against humanity of persecution and inhumane acts," insisted the president of the Commission.

    Starvation 'tactic' "We also have reasonable grounds to believe that the federal government is committing the war crime of using starvation as a method of warfare," the leading independent human rights expert continued, noting that Tigrayan forces reportedly looted the humanitarian aid.

    According to the latest dire humanitarian data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), conflict and displacement in northern Ethiopia have left more than nine million people in need in the Tigray, Afar and Amhara, while severe drought affects millions.

    more in the south.

    Citing OCHA, Ms. Murungi said that the combined effect of the federal government's measures had left 90 per cent of the population in dire need, an increase of 80 per cent since the start of the conflict.

    "The majority of Tigray's population must now survive on limited and nutritionally inadequate diets," he said, adding that there has also been "an increase in child marriages and child labour, human trafficking and transactional sex as desperate means."

    of survival".

    Tigrayan women and girls not forgiven According to the Commission's president, rapes and crimes of sexual violence had occurred "on a staggering scale" since the early days of the conflict, "with Ethiopian and Eritrean forces and regional militias attacking the women and girls of Tigraya with particular attention”.

    violence and brutality”.

    Tigrayan forces also committed rape and sexual violence against Amhara women and girls and Eritrean refugees, Ms. Murungi said, highlighting the devastating long-term impacts on survivors that included trauma, unwanted pregnancies and HIV infection.

    'Unfair and biased scrutiny' Rejecting the report's conclusions, the Ethiopian delegation repeated its claim that the federal government had been subjected to “unfair and biased scrutiny” in the Council for more than a year.

    Addis Ababa pledged to respond to an "insurrectionary armed group that has endangered the territorial integrity of the country," the Council heard.

    The international commission of human rights experts on Ethiopia was established after the Human Rights Council adopted resolution S-33/1 on December 17, 2021.

    It tasked a panel of three human rights experts, appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, “to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law and international refugee law in Ethiopia committed since 3 December November 2020 by all parties to the conflict.”

  •  The United Nation s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA has announced the released of 10 million dollars under the Central Emergency Response Fund CERT for urgent aid to victims in a Northeast Nigeria food and nutrition crisis This is contained in a statement by OCHA in Maiduguri on Monday The UN says no fewer that 1 74 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in north east this year This CERF allocation is the latest in a concerted effort to address the food and nutrition crisis In May 2022 CERF allocated 15 million dollars to support the catastrophic food insecurity and nutrition response In September the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund NHF provided two allocations of 2 5 million dollars and one milliondollars to enable humanitarian actors to provide urgent nutrition support in line with the interagency 351 million dollar multisector plan to address the desperate food and nutrition situation the statement said In noted that the consequences of inaction were a matter of life and death as more than 5 000 were expected to die while those who survive could face lifelong disabilities Mr Matthias Schmale the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria was quoted as saying We urgently need to close the funding gap to rapidly scale up the response and implement immediate life saving measures For the thousands of children trying to survive additional funding is needed today not tomorrow NewsSourceCredit NAN
    UN releases m-aid for acute malnutrition in North East
     The United Nation s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA has announced the released of 10 million dollars under the Central Emergency Response Fund CERT for urgent aid to victims in a Northeast Nigeria food and nutrition crisis This is contained in a statement by OCHA in Maiduguri on Monday The UN says no fewer that 1 74 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in north east this year This CERF allocation is the latest in a concerted effort to address the food and nutrition crisis In May 2022 CERF allocated 15 million dollars to support the catastrophic food insecurity and nutrition response In September the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund NHF provided two allocations of 2 5 million dollars and one milliondollars to enable humanitarian actors to provide urgent nutrition support in line with the interagency 351 million dollar multisector plan to address the desperate food and nutrition situation the statement said In noted that the consequences of inaction were a matter of life and death as more than 5 000 were expected to die while those who survive could face lifelong disabilities Mr Matthias Schmale the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria was quoted as saying We urgently need to close the funding gap to rapidly scale up the response and implement immediate life saving measures For the thousands of children trying to survive additional funding is needed today not tomorrow NewsSourceCredit NAN
    UN releases m-aid for acute malnutrition in North East
    General news2 weeks ago

    UN releases $10m-aid for acute malnutrition in North East

    The United Nation’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has announced the released of 10 million dollars under the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERT) for urgent aid to victims in a Northeast Nigeria food and nutrition crisis.

    This is contained in a statement by OCHA in Maiduguri on Monday.

    The UN says no fewer that 1.74 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in north east this year.

    “This CERF allocation is the latest in a concerted effort to address the food and nutrition crisis.

    In May 2022 CERF allocated 15 million dollars to support the catastrophic food insecurity and nutrition response.

    “In September, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) provided two allocations of 2.5 million dollars and one milliondollars  to enable humanitarian actors to provide urgent nutrition support in line with the interagency 351 million dollar-multisector plan to address the desperate food and nutrition situation,” the statement said.

    In noted that the consequences of inaction were a matter of life and death as more than 5,000 were expected to die while those  who survive could face lifelong disabilities.

    Mr Matthias Schmale, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria was quoted as saying,: “We urgently need to close the funding gap to rapidly scale-up the response and implement immediate life-saving measures.

    “For the thousands of children trying to survive, additional funding is needed today, not tomorrow.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   Abdirahman Abdi Ahmed s path to helping his fellow Somalis mired in humanitarian crises in Jubaland southern Somalia was tortuous It was also a journey that left him with a deep awareness of some of the challenges his countrymen and women face in such circumstances displacement despair and self doubt The plight of internally displaced persons IDPs and refugees is not new to me I lived through it and understand what it means having spent most of my life outside my country he says Mr Ahmed was born in 1988 into a family of eight in Afmadow a city of some 200 000 people located in the Lower Juba region of the Federal Member State of Jubaland in southern Somalia His education changed dramatically when the Somali civil war broke out three years later The conflict forced his family to flee across the border to northern Kenya where they settled in the town of Garissa and tried to build a new life for their members There Mr Ahmed attended Boystown Primary School from 1997 to 2004 and then County Secondary School from 2005 to 2008 To Zambia In 2010 he received a scholarship to study at Cavendish University in Zambia where he graduated with a BA in economics in 2015 Her experiences in Zambia added to her understanding of humanitarian issues and the impact of helping people in need While studying he spent two years working as a monitoring and evaluation assistant in the Zambian Ministry of Community Development on a maternal and child health project supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR This involved traveling and interacting with residents of the Maheba refugee camp in Zambia which at the time housed tens of thousands of refugees from countries including the Congo Rwanda Burundi Sudan and even Somalia After graduating he was employed by the Zambian Refugee Commissioner s Office in the Zambian Ministry of Home Affairs as an advocate for refugees and asylum seekers in the country I used to spend time with the refugees in the camps listening to their stories and trying to keep their spirits up so they wouldn t lose hope and hope for good morning says the 34 year old When I told them how I ended up there they felt they weren t alone He returned to Somalia But the pull of Somalia was strong and he returned to his homeland at the end of 2016 heading to Jubaland s provisional capital Kismayo He got a job as director general at the federal member state s Ministry of the Interior where he was in charge of managing federal relations and reconciliation efforts Despite the new responsibilities he remained involved in humanitarian affairs and was in charge of managing and coordinating the resettlements of people returning from Dadaab camp in Kenya the third largest complex in the world hosting refugees and asylum seekers He was also able to attend to the needs of internally displaced persons IDPs and returnees in Kismayo where there are currently a few hundred people who integrate and share day to day life with host communities In his role as director he was responsible for implementing the Midnimo Unity programme which was initially supported by the International Organization for Migration IOM and UN Habitat Midnimo is a collection of humanitarian development and peacebuilding projects that provide durable solutions to IDPs and host communities The program was piloted in Jubaland and the southwestern states and later expanded to other states In early 2019 Mr Ahmed was transferred to the Jubaland Ministry of Youth and Sports again as Director General Still the needs of the region s displaced people remained a major focus for him and even coincided with his work in the ministry For example they rehabilitated the Inji youth center in Kismayo with the help of the United Nations Development Program UNDP while the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA provided the necessary equipment and facilities Today as anyone can see about 500 people are receiving vocational training and have access to sports there including internally displaced people and returnees from the Dadaab refugee camp says Mr Ahmed The fact is that educated youth contribute to job creation opportunities allowing them to earn a living legally Humanitarian Minister In May 2021 Mr Ahmed s efforts and passion were recognised he was appointed Jubaland Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management The three regions of the federal Member State currently host almost a million displaced people due to the ongoing conflict with the terrorist group Al Shabaab the severe drought currently affecting Somalia and more specifically in Jubaland the regular floods which They are often a consequence of drought induced dry soil In 2018 I personally rescued a mother and her six children and relocated them to a safer place in a house built for IDPs and returnees Those people had been displaced by drought and conflict then they fell victim to the floods she says recalling the flash floods that displaced hundreds of internally displaced people in the Farjano Dalhis area of Kismayo district In his new position as Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management his concern for Jubaland residents affected by such crises became even more urgent Mr Ahmed worked with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA to ensure that affected people received support With the necessary resources community engagement and accountability the suffering of displaced people can be reduced We can do something about the status quo which at the moment is flood drought or famine in Somalia he says Mr Ahmed strongly believes that the response to the humanitarian crises in Somalia must include good governance and durable solutions the latter integrating measures such as water catchment areas and the construction of gabions on riverbanks to prevent flooding recurring Somalia is endowed with natural resources and needs good governance that creates a peaceful environment for Somalis to reach their full potential and focus on long term solutions that mitigate the impact of repeated natural crises he says As long as there is no concrete long term strategy the trend is likely to continue The Federal Government of Somalia has developed and adopted the National Strategy for Durable Solutions 2020 2024 for Somalia to comprehensively address the root causes of displacement and its consequences The long term intent of the strategy is to reduce and mitigate the adverse impacts of displacement created by recurrent natural disasters and related linkages to conflict and governance In July this year Mr Ahmed s career path took a new turn with his appointment as Minister of Planning for Jubaland But despite the new approach he says the humanitarian needs of his fellow citizens will remain a priority while he is at the decision table While I am in charge of the Ministry of Planning I will work to develop a strategy that leads to lasting solutions for people in need he says Famine specter Somalia is currently facing a humanitarian crisis caused by the worst drought in at least 40 years Some 7 8 million people nearly half the population are affected with some areas already at risk of famine Although the number of people reached by aid organizations has quadrupled since January to 5 3 million a further increase in aid is needed according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA In his remarks to the UN Security Council on Wednesday 7 September the UN Secretary General s Special Representative for Somalia James Swan called on all parties in Somalia to facilitate humanitarian access and on donors to increase financing With ever increasing needs and a projected fifth failed rainy season further scaling up humanitarian assistance is critical I call on all parties in Somalia to facilitate humanitarian access I call on all friends of Somalia to urgently increase the necessary funding the UN official said
    Abdirahman Abdi Ahmed: “The plight of IDPs and refugees is not new to me, I survived it”
      Abdirahman Abdi Ahmed s path to helping his fellow Somalis mired in humanitarian crises in Jubaland southern Somalia was tortuous It was also a journey that left him with a deep awareness of some of the challenges his countrymen and women face in such circumstances displacement despair and self doubt The plight of internally displaced persons IDPs and refugees is not new to me I lived through it and understand what it means having spent most of my life outside my country he says Mr Ahmed was born in 1988 into a family of eight in Afmadow a city of some 200 000 people located in the Lower Juba region of the Federal Member State of Jubaland in southern Somalia His education changed dramatically when the Somali civil war broke out three years later The conflict forced his family to flee across the border to northern Kenya where they settled in the town of Garissa and tried to build a new life for their members There Mr Ahmed attended Boystown Primary School from 1997 to 2004 and then County Secondary School from 2005 to 2008 To Zambia In 2010 he received a scholarship to study at Cavendish University in Zambia where he graduated with a BA in economics in 2015 Her experiences in Zambia added to her understanding of humanitarian issues and the impact of helping people in need While studying he spent two years working as a monitoring and evaluation assistant in the Zambian Ministry of Community Development on a maternal and child health project supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR This involved traveling and interacting with residents of the Maheba refugee camp in Zambia which at the time housed tens of thousands of refugees from countries including the Congo Rwanda Burundi Sudan and even Somalia After graduating he was employed by the Zambian Refugee Commissioner s Office in the Zambian Ministry of Home Affairs as an advocate for refugees and asylum seekers in the country I used to spend time with the refugees in the camps listening to their stories and trying to keep their spirits up so they wouldn t lose hope and hope for good morning says the 34 year old When I told them how I ended up there they felt they weren t alone He returned to Somalia But the pull of Somalia was strong and he returned to his homeland at the end of 2016 heading to Jubaland s provisional capital Kismayo He got a job as director general at the federal member state s Ministry of the Interior where he was in charge of managing federal relations and reconciliation efforts Despite the new responsibilities he remained involved in humanitarian affairs and was in charge of managing and coordinating the resettlements of people returning from Dadaab camp in Kenya the third largest complex in the world hosting refugees and asylum seekers He was also able to attend to the needs of internally displaced persons IDPs and returnees in Kismayo where there are currently a few hundred people who integrate and share day to day life with host communities In his role as director he was responsible for implementing the Midnimo Unity programme which was initially supported by the International Organization for Migration IOM and UN Habitat Midnimo is a collection of humanitarian development and peacebuilding projects that provide durable solutions to IDPs and host communities The program was piloted in Jubaland and the southwestern states and later expanded to other states In early 2019 Mr Ahmed was transferred to the Jubaland Ministry of Youth and Sports again as Director General Still the needs of the region s displaced people remained a major focus for him and even coincided with his work in the ministry For example they rehabilitated the Inji youth center in Kismayo with the help of the United Nations Development Program UNDP while the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA provided the necessary equipment and facilities Today as anyone can see about 500 people are receiving vocational training and have access to sports there including internally displaced people and returnees from the Dadaab refugee camp says Mr Ahmed The fact is that educated youth contribute to job creation opportunities allowing them to earn a living legally Humanitarian Minister In May 2021 Mr Ahmed s efforts and passion were recognised he was appointed Jubaland Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management The three regions of the federal Member State currently host almost a million displaced people due to the ongoing conflict with the terrorist group Al Shabaab the severe drought currently affecting Somalia and more specifically in Jubaland the regular floods which They are often a consequence of drought induced dry soil In 2018 I personally rescued a mother and her six children and relocated them to a safer place in a house built for IDPs and returnees Those people had been displaced by drought and conflict then they fell victim to the floods she says recalling the flash floods that displaced hundreds of internally displaced people in the Farjano Dalhis area of Kismayo district In his new position as Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management his concern for Jubaland residents affected by such crises became even more urgent Mr Ahmed worked with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA to ensure that affected people received support With the necessary resources community engagement and accountability the suffering of displaced people can be reduced We can do something about the status quo which at the moment is flood drought or famine in Somalia he says Mr Ahmed strongly believes that the response to the humanitarian crises in Somalia must include good governance and durable solutions the latter integrating measures such as water catchment areas and the construction of gabions on riverbanks to prevent flooding recurring Somalia is endowed with natural resources and needs good governance that creates a peaceful environment for Somalis to reach their full potential and focus on long term solutions that mitigate the impact of repeated natural crises he says As long as there is no concrete long term strategy the trend is likely to continue The Federal Government of Somalia has developed and adopted the National Strategy for Durable Solutions 2020 2024 for Somalia to comprehensively address the root causes of displacement and its consequences The long term intent of the strategy is to reduce and mitigate the adverse impacts of displacement created by recurrent natural disasters and related linkages to conflict and governance In July this year Mr Ahmed s career path took a new turn with his appointment as Minister of Planning for Jubaland But despite the new approach he says the humanitarian needs of his fellow citizens will remain a priority while he is at the decision table While I am in charge of the Ministry of Planning I will work to develop a strategy that leads to lasting solutions for people in need he says Famine specter Somalia is currently facing a humanitarian crisis caused by the worst drought in at least 40 years Some 7 8 million people nearly half the population are affected with some areas already at risk of famine Although the number of people reached by aid organizations has quadrupled since January to 5 3 million a further increase in aid is needed according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA In his remarks to the UN Security Council on Wednesday 7 September the UN Secretary General s Special Representative for Somalia James Swan called on all parties in Somalia to facilitate humanitarian access and on donors to increase financing With ever increasing needs and a projected fifth failed rainy season further scaling up humanitarian assistance is critical I call on all parties in Somalia to facilitate humanitarian access I call on all friends of Somalia to urgently increase the necessary funding the UN official said
    Abdirahman Abdi Ahmed: “The plight of IDPs and refugees is not new to me, I survived it”
    Africa2 weeks ago

    Abdirahman Abdi Ahmed: “The plight of IDPs and refugees is not new to me, I survived it”

    Abdirahman Abdi Ahmed's path to helping his fellow Somalis mired in humanitarian crises in Jubaland, southern Somalia, was tortuous.

    It was also a journey that left him with a deep awareness of some of the challenges his countrymen and women face in such circumstances: displacement, despair and self-doubt.

    “The plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees is not new to me, I lived through it and understand what it means, having spent most of my life outside my country,” he says.

    Mr. Ahmed was born in 1988 into a family of eight in Afmadow, a city of some 200,000 people located in the Lower Juba region of the Federal Member State of Jubaland in southern Somalia.

    His education changed dramatically when the Somali civil war broke out three years later.

    The conflict forced his family to flee across the border to northern Kenya, where they settled in the town of Garissa and tried to build a new life for their members.

    There, Mr. Ahmed attended Boystown Primary School from 1997 to 2004 and then County Secondary School from 2005 to 2008.

    To Zambia In 2010 he received a scholarship to study at Cavendish University in Zambia, where he graduated with a BA in economics in 2015.

    Her experiences in Zambia added to her understanding of humanitarian issues and the impact of helping people in need.

    While studying, he spent two years working as a monitoring and evaluation assistant in the Zambian Ministry of Community Development on a maternal and child health project supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    This involved traveling and interacting with residents of the Maheba refugee camp in Zambia, which at the time housed tens of thousands of refugees from countries including the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan and even Somalia.

    After graduating, he was employed by the Zambian Refugee Commissioner's Office in the Zambian Ministry of Home Affairs, as an advocate for refugees and asylum seekers in the country.

    "I used to spend time with the refugees in the camps, listening to their stories and trying to keep their spirits up so they wouldn't lose hope and hope for good morning," says the 34-year-old.

    "When I told them how I ended up there, they felt they weren't alone."

    He returned to Somalia But the pull of Somalia was strong and he returned to his homeland at the end of 2016, heading to Jubaland's provisional capital, Kismayo.

    He got a job as director general at the federal member state's Ministry of the Interior, where he was in charge of managing federal relations and reconciliation efforts.

    Despite the new responsibilities, he remained involved in humanitarian affairs and was in charge of managing and coordinating the resettlements of people returning from Dadaab camp in Kenya, the third largest complex in the world hosting refugees and asylum seekers.

    .

    He was also able to attend to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in Kismayo, where there are currently a few hundred people who integrate and share day-to-day life with host communities.

    In his role as director, he was responsible for implementing the 'Midnimo' (Unity) programme, which was initially supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UN-Habitat.

    Midnimo is a collection of humanitarian, development and peacebuilding projects that provide durable solutions to IDPs and host communities.

    The program was piloted in Jubaland and the southwestern states, and later expanded to other states.

    In early 2019, Mr. Ahmed was transferred to the Jubaland Ministry of Youth and Sports, again as Director General.

    Still, the needs of the region's displaced people remained a major focus for him and even coincided with his work in the ministry.

    For example, they rehabilitated the Inji youth center in Kismayo with the help of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), while the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provided the necessary equipment and facilities.

    “Today, as anyone can see, about 500 people are receiving vocational training and have access to sports there, including internally displaced people and returnees from the Dadaab refugee camp,” says Mr. Ahmed.

    “The fact is that educated youth contribute to job creation opportunities, allowing them to earn a living legally.” Humanitarian Minister In May 2021, Mr. Ahmed's efforts and passion were recognised: he was appointed Jubaland Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.

    The three regions of the federal Member State currently host almost a million displaced people due to the ongoing conflict with the terrorist group Al-Shabaab, the severe drought currently affecting Somalia and, more specifically in Jubaland, the regular floods, which They are often a consequence of drought.

    induced dry soil.

    “[In 2018]I personally rescued a mother and her six children and relocated them to a safer place, in a house built for IDPs and returnees.

    Those people had been displaced by drought and conflict; then they fell victim to the floods,” she says, recalling the flash floods that displaced hundreds of internally displaced people in the Farjano Dalhis area of ​​Kismayo district.

    In his new position as Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, his concern for Jubaland residents affected by such crises became even more urgent.

    Mr. Ahmed worked with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to ensure that affected people received support.

    “With the necessary resources, community engagement and accountability, the suffering of displaced people can be reduced.

    We can do something about the status quo which, at the moment, is flood, drought or famine in Somalia,” he says.

    Mr. Ahmed strongly believes that the response to the humanitarian crises in Somalia must include good governance and durable solutions, the latter integrating measures such as water catchment areas and the construction of gabions on riverbanks to prevent flooding recurring.

    “Somalia is endowed with natural resources and needs good governance that creates a peaceful environment for Somalis to reach their full potential and focus on long-term solutions that mitigate the impact of repeated natural crises,” he says.

    "As long as there is no concrete long-term strategy, the trend is likely to continue."

    The Federal Government of Somalia has developed and adopted the National Strategy for Durable Solutions 2020-2024 for Somalia to comprehensively address the root causes of displacement and its consequences.

    The long-term intent of the strategy is to reduce and mitigate the adverse impacts of displacement created by recurrent natural disasters and related linkages to conflict and governance.

    In July this year, Mr. Ahmed's career path took a new turn with his appointment as Minister of Planning for Jubaland.

    But despite the new approach, he says the humanitarian needs of his fellow citizens will remain a priority while he is at the decision table.

    “While I am in charge of the Ministry of Planning, I will work to develop a strategy that leads to lasting solutions for people in need,” he says.

    Famine specter Somalia is currently facing a humanitarian crisis caused by the worst drought in at least 40 years.

    Some 7.8 million people, nearly half the population, are affected, with some areas already at risk of famine.

    Although the number of people reached by aid organizations has quadrupled since January to 5.3 million, a further increase in aid is needed, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    In his remarks to the UN Security Council on Wednesday 7 September, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, called on all parties in Somalia to facilitate humanitarian access and on donors to increase financing.

    “With ever-increasing needs and a projected fifth failed rainy season, further scaling up humanitarian assistance is critical.

    I call on all parties in Somalia to facilitate humanitarian access.

    I call on all friends of Somalia to urgently increase the necessary funding," the UN official said.

  •  Inspite record government donations this year the United Nations lacks the humanitarian aid funds required to make it through the year UN agencies were short 32 billion U S dollar to meet increased global needs until the end of December the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA reported on Friday in Geneva A total of 17 6 billion dollars was received this year more than ever before but the deficit remained larger than ever as funding requirements reached 49 5 billion dollars this year Worldwide hunger displacement conflicts and the effects of the climate crisis had contributed to the dire situation leaving 204 million of the world s most vulnerable people in need of help UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffths said millions of people suffered unprecedented hardship in conflicts droughts floods and other humanitarian emergencies where the scale of needs had vastly outpaced the resources we have available In some states and regions less than 20 per cent of the required aid to provide people with food shelter and medical assistance has been received an OCHA spokesperson said This included Myanmar El Salvador and Mozambique for example The best funded areas included Libya Somalia and the Central African Republic where between 69 per cent and 79 per cent of estimated required aid had been provided Griffiths released 100 million dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund CERF on Friday to help aid underfunded humanitarian operations That brought the total amount released from the fund to 250 million dollars this year a record high The money would be distributed across 11 states including Yemen South Sudan Myanmar Nigeria and Bangladesh NewsSourceCredit NAN
    UN humanitarian aid funds fall short inspite record donations
     Inspite record government donations this year the United Nations lacks the humanitarian aid funds required to make it through the year UN agencies were short 32 billion U S dollar to meet increased global needs until the end of December the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA reported on Friday in Geneva A total of 17 6 billion dollars was received this year more than ever before but the deficit remained larger than ever as funding requirements reached 49 5 billion dollars this year Worldwide hunger displacement conflicts and the effects of the climate crisis had contributed to the dire situation leaving 204 million of the world s most vulnerable people in need of help UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffths said millions of people suffered unprecedented hardship in conflicts droughts floods and other humanitarian emergencies where the scale of needs had vastly outpaced the resources we have available In some states and regions less than 20 per cent of the required aid to provide people with food shelter and medical assistance has been received an OCHA spokesperson said This included Myanmar El Salvador and Mozambique for example The best funded areas included Libya Somalia and the Central African Republic where between 69 per cent and 79 per cent of estimated required aid had been provided Griffiths released 100 million dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund CERF on Friday to help aid underfunded humanitarian operations That brought the total amount released from the fund to 250 million dollars this year a record high The money would be distributed across 11 states including Yemen South Sudan Myanmar Nigeria and Bangladesh NewsSourceCredit NAN
    UN humanitarian aid funds fall short inspite record donations
    Foreign2 weeks ago

    UN humanitarian aid funds fall short inspite record donations

    Inspite record government donations this year, the United Nations lacks the humanitarian aid funds required to make it through the year.

    UN agencies were short 32 billion U.

    S. dollar to meet increased global needs until the end of December, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on Friday in Geneva.

    A total of 17.6 billion dollars was received this year, more than ever before, but the deficit remained larger than ever as funding requirements reached 49.5 billion dollars this year.

    Worldwide hunger, displacement, conflicts and the effects of the climate crisis had contributed to the dire situation, leaving 204 million of the world’s most vulnerable people in need of help.

    UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffths said millions of people suffered unprecedented hardship in conflicts, droughts, floods and other humanitarian emergencies where the scale of needs had vastly outpaced the resources we have available.

    “In some states and regions, less than 20 per cent of the required aid to provide people with food, shelter and medical assistance has been received, an OCHA spokesperson said.

    This included Myanmar, El Salvador and Mozambique, for example.

    The best funded areas included Libya, Somalia and the Central African Republic, where between 69 per cent and 79 per cent of estimated required aid had been provided.

    Griffiths released 100 million dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) on Friday to help aid underfunded humanitarian operations.

    That brought the total amount released from the fund to 250 million dollars this year, a record high.

    The money would be distributed across 11 states including Yemen, South Sudan, Myanmar, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

    ==
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   The head of Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths recalled previous warnings about the impact of the conflict in Ethiopia Somalia He spoke about his recent trip to Somalia where more than 200 000 people are currently at risk of famine a figure expected to reach 300 000 by November with millions more on the brink of starvation Recent humanitarian assessments have identified hundreds of thousands of people facing catastrophic levels of hunger or phase 5 of the Integrated Phase Classification system the final and most devastating stage There is simply nothing worse than that the OCHA chief said noting that the widespread suffering boils down to the direct and indirect impact of the conflict and the behavior of the parties to the conflict Tactics of war Mr Griffiths observed that a similar pattern repeats itself in every context highlighting how civilians are killed and wounded forcibly displaced families interruption of access to the market and work looting of food reserves while the general economic decline puts food out of reach for the vulnerable In the most extreme cases warring parties have deliberately cut off access to commercial supplies and essential services that civilians depend on for survival he said Hunger is used as a tactic of war While aid workers have extended relief lifelines interference harassment and attacks often prevent access to those in need Aid workers will stay and deliver but conditions in some contexts are unacceptable the OCHA chief said Fueling hunger Meanwhile drought rising global commodity prices and the impacts of COVID 19 and the war in Ukraine are also exacerbating food insecurity and destitution And people in South Sudan Nigeria Ethiopia Yemen Afghanistan and Somalia are literally on the front lines of climate change facing droughts floods desertification and water scarcity Snapshots More than seven years of armed conflict in Yemen have wreaked havoc leaving some 19 million people acutely food insecure An estimated 160 000 people are facing a catastrophe and 538 000 children are severely malnourished the Relief Coordinator said warning that funding gaps could make the situation worse Last year South Sudan was one of the most dangerous places to work as an aid worker with 319 violent incidents against humanitarian staff and goods Meanwhile more than 13 million people in Afar Amhara and Tigray in Ethiopia are in need of vital food assistance While improvements were seen in the delivery of humanitarian assistance in northern Ethiopia the resumption of hostilities in recent weeks is undoing recent progress he said As for northeast Nigeria the UN projects that 4 1 million people face high levels of acute food insecurity in the conflict affected states of Adamawa Borno and Yobe including 588 000 people who already faced emergency levels between June and August almost half of which were unreachable for humanitarian assistance Food security assessments could not be done in these areas but we fear that some people are already at the catastrophe level and are at risk of dying he said Taking action The humanitarian chief reminded the ambassadors that action can be taken starting with leaving no stone unturned in the search for peaceful and negotiated resolutions to conflicts and other violent situations Second states and armed groups must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure the unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid Mr Griffiths also highlighted climate change as an issue central to peace and security both now and for decades to come He implored all member states to prioritize a longer term approach and secure a substantial proportion of financing as grants not loans for climate adaptation and mitigation Time is not on our side he concluded Fanning the flames Fresh from a trip to Central America World Food Program WFP chief David Beasley saw firsthand how the conflict is adding fire to the flames of what is already a serious food crisis hunger From the arduous crossing of the Darien Gap to Guatemala he told tragic stories of people migrating north out of sheer desperation The impact of the climate crisis and the ongoing knock on effects of COVID have already strained the ability of many families to cope he said People feel like they have nothing left they can either stay and starve or go and risk dying for the chance of a better future Unprecedented global emergency The WFP chief argued that under the threat of growing famine and mass starvation we are facing a global emergency of unprecedented magnitude And since the Ukraine conflict began a wave of hunger has turned into a tsunami he continued noting that as many as 345 million people in 82 countries are moving towards starvation This is a record now more than 2 5 times the number of acutely food insecure people before the pandemic started Mr Beasley presented staggering statistics on the dire situation facing hundreds of millions of people around the world As violent conflict pushes millions of innocent civilians ever closer to starvation and famine he called on the Council to demonstrate the humanitarian leadership that the world urgently needs right now and break the vicious cycle of hunger and conflict which is fueling a global food shortage insecurity crisis that threatens to get out of control The hungry people of the world are counting on us to do the right thing and we must not let them down concluded Mr Beasley
    ‘Hunger tsunami’ could trigger multiple famines, Security Council warned
      The head of Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths recalled previous warnings about the impact of the conflict in Ethiopia Somalia He spoke about his recent trip to Somalia where more than 200 000 people are currently at risk of famine a figure expected to reach 300 000 by November with millions more on the brink of starvation Recent humanitarian assessments have identified hundreds of thousands of people facing catastrophic levels of hunger or phase 5 of the Integrated Phase Classification system the final and most devastating stage There is simply nothing worse than that the OCHA chief said noting that the widespread suffering boils down to the direct and indirect impact of the conflict and the behavior of the parties to the conflict Tactics of war Mr Griffiths observed that a similar pattern repeats itself in every context highlighting how civilians are killed and wounded forcibly displaced families interruption of access to the market and work looting of food reserves while the general economic decline puts food out of reach for the vulnerable In the most extreme cases warring parties have deliberately cut off access to commercial supplies and essential services that civilians depend on for survival he said Hunger is used as a tactic of war While aid workers have extended relief lifelines interference harassment and attacks often prevent access to those in need Aid workers will stay and deliver but conditions in some contexts are unacceptable the OCHA chief said Fueling hunger Meanwhile drought rising global commodity prices and the impacts of COVID 19 and the war in Ukraine are also exacerbating food insecurity and destitution And people in South Sudan Nigeria Ethiopia Yemen Afghanistan and Somalia are literally on the front lines of climate change facing droughts floods desertification and water scarcity Snapshots More than seven years of armed conflict in Yemen have wreaked havoc leaving some 19 million people acutely food insecure An estimated 160 000 people are facing a catastrophe and 538 000 children are severely malnourished the Relief Coordinator said warning that funding gaps could make the situation worse Last year South Sudan was one of the most dangerous places to work as an aid worker with 319 violent incidents against humanitarian staff and goods Meanwhile more than 13 million people in Afar Amhara and Tigray in Ethiopia are in need of vital food assistance While improvements were seen in the delivery of humanitarian assistance in northern Ethiopia the resumption of hostilities in recent weeks is undoing recent progress he said As for northeast Nigeria the UN projects that 4 1 million people face high levels of acute food insecurity in the conflict affected states of Adamawa Borno and Yobe including 588 000 people who already faced emergency levels between June and August almost half of which were unreachable for humanitarian assistance Food security assessments could not be done in these areas but we fear that some people are already at the catastrophe level and are at risk of dying he said Taking action The humanitarian chief reminded the ambassadors that action can be taken starting with leaving no stone unturned in the search for peaceful and negotiated resolutions to conflicts and other violent situations Second states and armed groups must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure the unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid Mr Griffiths also highlighted climate change as an issue central to peace and security both now and for decades to come He implored all member states to prioritize a longer term approach and secure a substantial proportion of financing as grants not loans for climate adaptation and mitigation Time is not on our side he concluded Fanning the flames Fresh from a trip to Central America World Food Program WFP chief David Beasley saw firsthand how the conflict is adding fire to the flames of what is already a serious food crisis hunger From the arduous crossing of the Darien Gap to Guatemala he told tragic stories of people migrating north out of sheer desperation The impact of the climate crisis and the ongoing knock on effects of COVID have already strained the ability of many families to cope he said People feel like they have nothing left they can either stay and starve or go and risk dying for the chance of a better future Unprecedented global emergency The WFP chief argued that under the threat of growing famine and mass starvation we are facing a global emergency of unprecedented magnitude And since the Ukraine conflict began a wave of hunger has turned into a tsunami he continued noting that as many as 345 million people in 82 countries are moving towards starvation This is a record now more than 2 5 times the number of acutely food insecure people before the pandemic started Mr Beasley presented staggering statistics on the dire situation facing hundreds of millions of people around the world As violent conflict pushes millions of innocent civilians ever closer to starvation and famine he called on the Council to demonstrate the humanitarian leadership that the world urgently needs right now and break the vicious cycle of hunger and conflict which is fueling a global food shortage insecurity crisis that threatens to get out of control The hungry people of the world are counting on us to do the right thing and we must not let them down concluded Mr Beasley
    ‘Hunger tsunami’ could trigger multiple famines, Security Council warned
    Africa2 weeks ago

    ‘Hunger tsunami’ could trigger multiple famines, Security Council warned

    The head of Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, recalled previous warnings about the impact of the conflict in Ethiopia, Somalia.

    He spoke about his recent trip to Somalia, where more than 200,000 people are currently at risk of famine, a figure expected to reach 300,000 by November, "with millions more" on the brink of starvation.

    Recent humanitarian assessments have identified hundreds of thousands of people facing catastrophic levels of hunger, or phase 5 of the Integrated Phase Classification system, the final and most devastating stage.

    “There is simply nothing worse than that,” the OCHA chief said, noting that the widespread suffering boils down to the direct and indirect impact of the conflict and “the behavior of the parties to the conflict.” 'Tactics of war' Mr. Griffiths observed that “a similar pattern repeats itself in every context”, highlighting how civilians are killed and wounded; forcibly displaced families; interruption of access to the market and work; looting of food reserves; while the general economic decline puts food out of reach for the vulnerable.

    "In the most extreme cases, warring parties have deliberately cut off access to commercial supplies and essential services that civilians depend on for survival," he said.

    "Hunger is used as a tactic of war."

    While aid workers have extended "relief lifelines", interference, harassment and attacks often prevent access to those in need.

    “Aid workers will stay and deliver, but conditions in some contexts are unacceptable,” the OCHA chief said.

    Fueling hunger Meanwhile, drought, rising global commodity prices, and the impacts of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine are also exacerbating food insecurity and destitution.

    And people in South Sudan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia are "literally on the front lines of climate change" facing droughts, floods, desertification and water scarcity.

    Snapshots More than seven years of armed conflict in Yemen have wreaked havoc, leaving some 19 million people acutely food insecure.

    “An estimated 160,000 people are facing a catastrophe and 538,000 children are severely malnourished,” the Relief Coordinator said, warning that funding gaps could make the situation worse.

    Last year, South Sudan was one of the most dangerous places to work as an aid worker, with 319 violent incidents against humanitarian staff and goods.

    Meanwhile, more than 13 million people in Afar, Amhara and Tigray in Ethiopia are in need of vital food assistance.

    While improvements were seen in the delivery of humanitarian assistance in northern Ethiopia, "the resumption of hostilities in recent weeks is undoing recent progress," he said.

    As for northeast Nigeria, the UN projects that 4.1 million people face high levels of acute food insecurity in the conflict-affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, including 588,000 people who already faced emergency levels between June and August, almost half of which were unreachable for humanitarian assistance.

    “Food security assessments could not be done in these areas, but we fear that some people are already at the catastrophe level and are at risk of dying,” he said.

    Taking action The humanitarian chief reminded the ambassadors that action can be taken, starting with leaving no stone unturned in the search for "peaceful and negotiated resolutions" to conflicts and other violent situations.

    Second, states and armed groups must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure the unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid.

    Mr. Griffiths also highlighted climate change as an issue “central to peace and security” both now “and for decades to come”.

    He implored all member states to prioritize "a longer-term approach and secure a substantial proportion of financing, as grants, not loans, for climate adaptation and mitigation."

    "Time is not on our side," he concluded.

    Fanning the flames Fresh from a trip to Central America, World Food Program (WFP) chief David Beasley saw firsthand how the conflict is "adding fire to the flames" of what is already a serious food crisis.

    hunger.

    From the arduous crossing of the Darien Gap to Guatemala, he told "tragic stories" of people migrating north "out of sheer desperation."

    “The impact of the climate crisis and the ongoing knock-on effects of COVID have already strained the ability of many families to cope,” he said.

    "People feel like they have nothing left: they can either stay and starve, or go and risk dying for the chance of a better future."

    'Unprecedented' global emergency The WFP chief argued that under the threat of growing famine and mass starvation, "we are facing a global emergency of unprecedented magnitude".

    And since the Ukraine conflict began, "a wave of hunger has turned into" a tsunami ", he continued, noting that as many as 345 million people in 82 countries are "moving towards starvation."

    “This is a record – now more than 2.5 times the number of acutely food insecure people before the pandemic started.” Mr. Beasley presented staggering statistics on the dire situation facing hundreds of millions of people around the world.

    As violent conflict pushes millions of "innocent civilians ever closer to starvation and famine," he called on the Council to "demonstrate the humanitarian leadership that the world urgently needs right now and...

    break the vicious cycle of hunger and conflict, which is fueling a global food shortage.

    insecurity crisis that threatens to get out of control”.

    “The hungry people of the world are counting on us to do the right thing, and we must not let them down,” concluded Mr. Beasley.

  •   An armed group killed several hundred Amhara civilians in western Oromia in June 2022 while Ethiopian security forces did little to protect them Human Rights Watch said today Nearly three months later the Ethiopian government has failed to provide adequate shelter or meaningfully address the serious health and protection concerns of surviving residents For eight hours on June 18 heavily armed assailants shot and killed about 400 Amhara civilians including many women and children in villages in Tole and Sene kebeles wards The unidentified assailants also burned and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses and looted livestock and other property Satellite imagery analysis corroborated the burning of at least five villages and the destruction of approximately 480 structures Despite warnings government security forces stationed nearby did not arrive until hours after the attack Armed attackers destroyed one village after another killed entire families with unmitigated cruelty all while nearby government forces appeared to do nothing said Laetitia Bader Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch This is just the latest such massacre for which the Ethiopian government needs to do more to ensure credible and independent investigations identify those responsible and ensure adequate assistance reaches everyone in need Since 2019 government forces and the Oromo Liberation Army OLA armed group have been fighting in western Oromia resulting in serious abuses against Oromo and minority communities Ethiopian authorities alleged that the OLA was responsible for the June massacre and other attacks The OLA accused a government militia of carrying out the attacks and called for an independent investigation Between June and August Human Rights Watch interviewed 25 people by phone including 19 witnesses and relatives of victims from 5 villages Gutin Chekorsa Silsaw Begene in Tole kebele in western Oromia and a village in neighboring Sene kebele in the Benishangul Gumuz region Human Rights Watch obtained lists of those killed from residents and analyzed satellite imagery collected before and after the attack From April to May 2021 Human Rights Watch also interviewed 12 witnesses and family members of a similar attack in Bone kebele in Babo Gembel district in western Oromia and conducted follow up interviews in August 2022 On the morning of June 18 as male residents left to tend to their crops on nearby farmland or to go to the market leaving woman and children in the villages groups of heavily armed men unexpectedly attacked villages in Tole and Sene kebeles A farmer from Gutin said he first heard gunfire and saw smoke rising from the direction of Silsaw a village north of the main asphalt road and near Gutin and Chekorsa I ran toward my house and noticed the area encircled by gunmen he said I took my children to the bush for safety and hid in a tree near the village The gunmen were fully uniformed and armed I heard them saying Finish them Don t Leave End them A woman from Chekorsa escaped with her five children to nearby maize fields The attackers pursued them My 8 month old child started crying I heard an attacker say Look there look there before they shot in our direction They shot my baby dead I wrapped the dead body with some clothes I was wearing My other child was shot in her back the bullet came out around her neck I then pressed my injured child against my chest and I prayed to Allah to save her life Her older child survived but required two weeks of hospital treatment The attacks lasted several hours in some villages including until 2 p m in Gutin and longer in others Five residents said they made numerous frantic calls to district authorities for help and to federal and regional government security forces stationed in Jogir about 17 kilometers from Tole as well as to a military camp in Didessa A small contingent of Ethiopian military forces arrived only at 4 p m after the attackers had left Residents then began returning home where they witnessed the aftermath of the onslaught and began burying those killed in mass graves In Silsaw residents found bodies throughout the village including about 29 in the mosque compound From a single family five six people were killed said a 20 year old woman In other cases families lost 20 people In Gutin residents found 12 charred bodies among the remains of a burned grass house Three residents involved in burying victims believed that over 400 people had been killed in at least 6 villages Community leaders who gathered lists of those killed and property destruction estimated that at least 112 were killed in Silsaw 105 in Chekorsa 37 in Gutin 72 in Begene 16 in Hayaw and 50 in Sene kebele At a June 30 media briefing a spokesperson of the Office of the Prime Minister said that the bodies of 338 people had been identified The attacks in Tole and Sene mirror other killings of Amhara civilians in western Oromia Less than two weeks later the media reported that armed groups attacked predominantly Amhara civilians in Hawa Gelan district Kellem Wellega Zone killing scores A March 2021 attack on Amhara civilians in Bone kebele West Wellega Zone similarly left scores dead Survivors from Tole and Sene said that fear of continued attacks in the area and insufficient protection and humanitarian support was forcing many residents to leave Oromia The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA said that at least 4 800 people were displaced from Tole and that more than 500 000 had been displaced in western Oromia due to the conflict there OCHA also reported that it was hard for aid groups to get access to the region because of access restrictions inadequate funding and a lack of humanitarian presence Ethiopian authorities need to create a conducive environment for aid delivery Human Rights Watch said The Ethiopian authorities immediate response to the attack was to announce that they would intensify law enforcement measures against armed groups On July 6 Ethiopia s parliament authorized the establishment of a special committee to investigate violence against civilians in several regions in Ethiopia including Oromia and to make recommendations But people in Tole Sene and Bone kebeles said there have been little signs of investigations so far The government should provide regular public updates on its investigations and its steps to curtail abuses by armed groups as well as federal and regional security forces and militias Human Rights Watch said Both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and the African Union Chairman Moussa Faki called for independent investigations into the attacks in western Oromia In a June 30 Oral Update before the UN Human Rights Council the chairperson of the UN International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia expressed alarm at atrocities against civilians in Ethiopia including western Oromia and urged member states to provide the commission with experienced investigators and other support Communities in western Oromia have been left reeling from repeated attacks and are living in fear of the next attack Bader said Ethiopian authorities should urgently move beyond promises to act and provide urgent and adequate humanitarian assistance to affected communities and support for credible independent investigations Conflict in Western Oromia Since 2019 Ethiopian government forces and the Oromo Liberation Army OLA armed group have engaged in an armed conflict in western Oromia The OLA was previously the military wing of the Oromo Liberation Front OLF a once banned political opposition group that fought a low level insurgency for the self determination of Oromos for decades After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office in April 2018 the government reached an agreement with various opposition groups including the exiled leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front in Eritrea who agreed to lay down arms reintegrate and commit to a peaceful political struggle However negotiations soon broke down By early 2019 the government had established military command posts in western and southern Oromia Federal and regional security forces began coordinated military operations against the OLA In April 2019 the OLA formally broke its ties with the OLF and continued its armed operations The conflict has resulted in serious human rights abuses Government forces have carried out summary executions arbitrary arrests and detentions of Oromos and have at times cut communications in the area The OLA has killed government officials and attacked non military government offices Unidentified armed assailants have also been implicated in killings abductions destruction of homes and mass displacements of ethnic Amhara communities Residents of Tole kebele in western Oromia said that OLA fighters in the neighboring hills for the past three years have abducted people and demanded ransom Human Rights Watch documented a March 30 2021 attack on Babo Gembel district West Wellega Zone At around 8 p m gunmen surrounded Sedeka village in Bone kebele forced the Amhara residents to gather for a meeting and shot 28 dead A man who had fled the village as residents were being gathered said that the armed men spoke Afaan Oromo the Oromo language and had distinctive long hair which residents said was common among OLA fighters He climbed a tree and stayed there until 2 a m I later heard gunfire he said at the time Residents called for help from the Oromia regional special forces who were stationed about 30 minutes away but they didn t arrive until 2 a m long after the attack had ended One village leader lost his brother and his sister in law in the attack We had just celebrated their marriage on Thursday March 25 and they were then killed on Tuesday evening he said After all the preparations to celebrate their marriage we began to prepare for their funeral A mother of a 15 day old baby was also among the killed Attacks in Tole and Sene Kebeles June 18 On June 14 the OLA clashed with government forces in the Gambella region and in Gimbi town in western Oromia 49 kilometers from Tole kebele Around June 17 government security forces stationed in Tole along with a small number of local militiamen and Oromia police left the area without explanation several local residents said In the early hours of June 18 residents in several villages in the adjacent Tole and Sene kebeles saw armed men gathering They said the attackers wore a mix of civilian clothes and uniforms worn by the Oromia regional special forces militias and the former Ethiopian national military uniform They later noted that they spoke in Afaan Oromo and some of the armed men had long hair At 7 a m a farmer in Silsaw village and a kebele official among others called various officials and security forces for protection and support The official said When I first called they said they couldn t take action without discussion and reaching an agreement with the zone an administrative division Around 9 a m attackers began shooting near Silsaw village in Tole kebele andstarted torching village buildings Residents said scores of men armed with military assault weapons then stormed villages around Tole and Sene kebeles and pursued residents who fled into surrounding areas Some farmers around Silsaw and other villages reported that they initially tried to resist the attack but were outnumbered by the armed men who carried machine guns rifles and Kalashnikov assault weapons Some of the men among us had our own guns said a farmer from Silsaw When they started shooting we also tried to defend ourselves Twelve people among us who were trying to defend themselves were also killed Many residents began to flee into nearby farmland or river areas An 18 year old woman from Silsaw village described being captured I was fetching water when these forces approached I ran to Chekorsa village but I was caught and taken away from there to a field Others that were running away were shot They gathered other people as well and brought them to the field Many were children We were around 60 They asked us for money phones jewelry and watches After they took our property they started shooting They were bragging as they were shooting saying We are heroes and no one can escape from us We will kill you all Even those who escape we will come after you wherever you are The woman said she was shot in the arm around her back and in her leg but managed to survive along with seven other people A man 48 said We hid in the bushes Two people were killed near me One was my wife s relative He left behind three young children A woman 20 fled Silsaw village along with her aunt and her aunt s 6 month old twins I was carrying one of the babies It was such a difficult moment she said Bullets were going over our heads I thought we were doomed We survived by God s mercy Retrieval of Bodies Burials At about 4 p m a small contingent of Ethiopian military forces arrived in Tole kebele Residents began returning home that evening A farmer 48 from Gutin lost four family members including his 22 year old in daughter in law and his 4 year old granddaughter He found their charred bodies along with 10 other people in a burned grass thatched house in the village He said that 5 of those killed were children under age 8 In Sene kebele a man from Sene village returned to find 21 people in his compound dead including his wife and daughter 8 other relatives and several neighbors His 11 year old son survived but had been shot 4 times A man from Chekorsa said he had desperately searched for his family I tried to go check on the house where I took my family members for safety but they weren t there I looked for them in the maize fields but couldn t find them I heard that many people were collected and killed in Silsaw a neighboring village I saw people injured and dead on the way He said he found the bodies of his wife who was 8 months pregnant and their three young children in the mosque compound where the assailants had gathered and executed 29 people My wife and three children ages 2 6 and 10 were killed with others in the compound of the mosque Everyone was rushing to identify the dead bodies I tried to help gather those killed It was raining heavily at the time It s difficult to explain what I felt after what happened I can t say that human beings did this It is the maximum cruelty I have seen We couldn t bury them all that day Residents said that 112 people were killed in Silsaw alone and that they buried about 60 people in the mosque compound Community leaders said that over 400 people were killed in Tole and Sene areas during the June 18 attack and had made lists of the dead The majority of the victims were women and children a kebele official from Gutin village said The village was filled with dead bodies We started collecting them and burying them in different areas some in mass graves Some of the survivors had been displaced from other areas We previously lived in Arjo East Wellega Zone said a 38 year old woman from Tole We were forced to leave the area after our houses were burned and property looted That was eight months ago and we fled to Tole now this happened again Looting and Destruction of Property The assailants looted property and livestock and destroyed civilian structures during the attack Satellite imagery recorded on June 18 at about 10 a m shows smoke plumes emanating from Gutin Chekorsa and Silsaw villages Additional smoke plumes were visible over Gutin 45 minutes later Thermal anomaly data collected by an environmental sensor and reviewed by Human Rights Watch also confirms the time of those attacks showing several fires in Tole kebele Human Rights Watch was able to estimate the scale of the destruction by analyzing satellite imagery recorded on July 25 Damage signatures detected on satellite imagery are consistent with arson and confirm the destruction of approximately 480 structures across 5 villages in Tole kebele including Gutin Chekorsa Silsaw and Begene but were unable to identify the fifth village with visible destruction Most of the damaged structures seen on imagery are tukuls huts Silsaw and Begene recorded the highest number of structures affected These numbers might be an underestimate as it only included the area covered by the satellite imagery A man from Chekorsa said that his house had bullet holes and several other houses in the village were burned and stores destroyed I had so many properties back there said a man from Silsaw I had a farm I just brought fertilizer But my house was burned down I lost everything He had left Silsaw for Wollo in the Amhara region and had no plans to return Three residents from Silsaw and Begene villages said that a separate group of attackers had looted property including livestock and personal items A resident of Begene said There were three groups The first that killed people indiscriminately a second group that looted cows and properties and a third that burned houses Sixteen of my cows were taken and 100 quintals a unit of weight equal to 112 pounds of grain destroyed My house was burned down and I lost over 200 000 Ethiopian birr US 3 800 Inadequate Investigations and Humanitarian Assistance The government and the Ethiopian Red Cross reported that they provided humanitarian assistance to residents following the June 18 attack However remaining residents who spoke to Human Rights Watch said that they only received a one time distribution of food and as of August lacked shelter and faced serious health risks A farmer 48 from Silsaw said We are now living with the help of the Ethiopian military who are sharing their own food We don t even have enough cooking utensils so we are sharing one utensil among 10 people A man from Chekorsa said a registration of remaining residents took place in early August but added that they still did not receive any additional aid A farmer from Begene said There is nowhere to shelter now It s the rainy season We sometimes use plastic shelter from the rain But we don t have enough food to sustain our lives we are worried about malaria He added It s time to remove the weeds from the farms but we can t because it s not safe The Ethiopian military can t protect us there so people are losing hope to live here and are leaving Many went to Wollo or Debre Birhan in the Amhara region Survivors with serious injuries have also faced obstacles to receiving adequate medical care The man from Sene whose 11 year old son was shot four times said he had been struggling to get him proper treatment I am begging to treat my son and moving from hospital to hospital My son is not completely healed but the hospital gave me a discharge letter And I don t know where to take him now I am standing in the rain I don t know where to go Right now I have nothing Similarly more than 18 months after the March 2021 attack on Bone kebele the survivors were still living at a displacement site in Benishangul Gumuz It s been four months since we received food aid we are starving said the village leader in August We received a call from the local authorities to return but still we are afraid We were informed that it is still insecure We heard that only four people were punished and that many residents seeking to flee have been abducted Several residents from Tole raised concerns that the government had inadequately investigated the attack One week after the incident a wereda district official and the vice president of the Oromia regional state came and talked to us said a man from Gutin Since then no one has talked to us A farmer from Begene said that no government body came to my village to investigate the number of killings or property destroyed However a farmer from Silsaw said that government investigators came once to speak to communities gathered around Chekorsa village They went around Chekorsa and Silsaw They went to Silsaw to observe where people were buried and property destroyed But they didn t go to other areas where the attacks happened Recommendations All parties to the armed conflict in western Oromia should facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to all populations at risk They should also cooperate and provide full unimpeded access to independent investigators to all conflict affected areas The Ethiopian government should Publicly provide information on the steps it is taking to investigate and appropriately prosecute killings pillage the destruction of property and other abuses by non state armed groups Urgently provide or facilitate humanitarian assistance including food medical care and shelter to Amhara and other communities affected by June 18 violence and other incidents of violence in Oromia Investigate the role of local and regional authorities and national security forces who may have been negligent in their duty to protect civilians and publicly disclose the results of the investigation Ensure credible independent and impartial investigations into reports of security force abuses including arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions of Oromo communities in western Oromia To the OLA and other armed groups operating in western Oromia Immediately end all unlawful attacks on civilians and civilian property Appropriately punish commanders responsible for unlawful attacks and other abuses
    Ethiopia: Civilians in Western Oromia Left Unprotected
      An armed group killed several hundred Amhara civilians in western Oromia in June 2022 while Ethiopian security forces did little to protect them Human Rights Watch said today Nearly three months later the Ethiopian government has failed to provide adequate shelter or meaningfully address the serious health and protection concerns of surviving residents For eight hours on June 18 heavily armed assailants shot and killed about 400 Amhara civilians including many women and children in villages in Tole and Sene kebeles wards The unidentified assailants also burned and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses and looted livestock and other property Satellite imagery analysis corroborated the burning of at least five villages and the destruction of approximately 480 structures Despite warnings government security forces stationed nearby did not arrive until hours after the attack Armed attackers destroyed one village after another killed entire families with unmitigated cruelty all while nearby government forces appeared to do nothing said Laetitia Bader Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch This is just the latest such massacre for which the Ethiopian government needs to do more to ensure credible and independent investigations identify those responsible and ensure adequate assistance reaches everyone in need Since 2019 government forces and the Oromo Liberation Army OLA armed group have been fighting in western Oromia resulting in serious abuses against Oromo and minority communities Ethiopian authorities alleged that the OLA was responsible for the June massacre and other attacks The OLA accused a government militia of carrying out the attacks and called for an independent investigation Between June and August Human Rights Watch interviewed 25 people by phone including 19 witnesses and relatives of victims from 5 villages Gutin Chekorsa Silsaw Begene in Tole kebele in western Oromia and a village in neighboring Sene kebele in the Benishangul Gumuz region Human Rights Watch obtained lists of those killed from residents and analyzed satellite imagery collected before and after the attack From April to May 2021 Human Rights Watch also interviewed 12 witnesses and family members of a similar attack in Bone kebele in Babo Gembel district in western Oromia and conducted follow up interviews in August 2022 On the morning of June 18 as male residents left to tend to their crops on nearby farmland or to go to the market leaving woman and children in the villages groups of heavily armed men unexpectedly attacked villages in Tole and Sene kebeles A farmer from Gutin said he first heard gunfire and saw smoke rising from the direction of Silsaw a village north of the main asphalt road and near Gutin and Chekorsa I ran toward my house and noticed the area encircled by gunmen he said I took my children to the bush for safety and hid in a tree near the village The gunmen were fully uniformed and armed I heard them saying Finish them Don t Leave End them A woman from Chekorsa escaped with her five children to nearby maize fields The attackers pursued them My 8 month old child started crying I heard an attacker say Look there look there before they shot in our direction They shot my baby dead I wrapped the dead body with some clothes I was wearing My other child was shot in her back the bullet came out around her neck I then pressed my injured child against my chest and I prayed to Allah to save her life Her older child survived but required two weeks of hospital treatment The attacks lasted several hours in some villages including until 2 p m in Gutin and longer in others Five residents said they made numerous frantic calls to district authorities for help and to federal and regional government security forces stationed in Jogir about 17 kilometers from Tole as well as to a military camp in Didessa A small contingent of Ethiopian military forces arrived only at 4 p m after the attackers had left Residents then began returning home where they witnessed the aftermath of the onslaught and began burying those killed in mass graves In Silsaw residents found bodies throughout the village including about 29 in the mosque compound From a single family five six people were killed said a 20 year old woman In other cases families lost 20 people In Gutin residents found 12 charred bodies among the remains of a burned grass house Three residents involved in burying victims believed that over 400 people had been killed in at least 6 villages Community leaders who gathered lists of those killed and property destruction estimated that at least 112 were killed in Silsaw 105 in Chekorsa 37 in Gutin 72 in Begene 16 in Hayaw and 50 in Sene kebele At a June 30 media briefing a spokesperson of the Office of the Prime Minister said that the bodies of 338 people had been identified The attacks in Tole and Sene mirror other killings of Amhara civilians in western Oromia Less than two weeks later the media reported that armed groups attacked predominantly Amhara civilians in Hawa Gelan district Kellem Wellega Zone killing scores A March 2021 attack on Amhara civilians in Bone kebele West Wellega Zone similarly left scores dead Survivors from Tole and Sene said that fear of continued attacks in the area and insufficient protection and humanitarian support was forcing many residents to leave Oromia The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA said that at least 4 800 people were displaced from Tole and that more than 500 000 had been displaced in western Oromia due to the conflict there OCHA also reported that it was hard for aid groups to get access to the region because of access restrictions inadequate funding and a lack of humanitarian presence Ethiopian authorities need to create a conducive environment for aid delivery Human Rights Watch said The Ethiopian authorities immediate response to the attack was to announce that they would intensify law enforcement measures against armed groups On July 6 Ethiopia s parliament authorized the establishment of a special committee to investigate violence against civilians in several regions in Ethiopia including Oromia and to make recommendations But people in Tole Sene and Bone kebeles said there have been little signs of investigations so far The government should provide regular public updates on its investigations and its steps to curtail abuses by armed groups as well as federal and regional security forces and militias Human Rights Watch said Both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and the African Union Chairman Moussa Faki called for independent investigations into the attacks in western Oromia In a June 30 Oral Update before the UN Human Rights Council the chairperson of the UN International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia expressed alarm at atrocities against civilians in Ethiopia including western Oromia and urged member states to provide the commission with experienced investigators and other support Communities in western Oromia have been left reeling from repeated attacks and are living in fear of the next attack Bader said Ethiopian authorities should urgently move beyond promises to act and provide urgent and adequate humanitarian assistance to affected communities and support for credible independent investigations Conflict in Western Oromia Since 2019 Ethiopian government forces and the Oromo Liberation Army OLA armed group have engaged in an armed conflict in western Oromia The OLA was previously the military wing of the Oromo Liberation Front OLF a once banned political opposition group that fought a low level insurgency for the self determination of Oromos for decades After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office in April 2018 the government reached an agreement with various opposition groups including the exiled leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front in Eritrea who agreed to lay down arms reintegrate and commit to a peaceful political struggle However negotiations soon broke down By early 2019 the government had established military command posts in western and southern Oromia Federal and regional security forces began coordinated military operations against the OLA In April 2019 the OLA formally broke its ties with the OLF and continued its armed operations The conflict has resulted in serious human rights abuses Government forces have carried out summary executions arbitrary arrests and detentions of Oromos and have at times cut communications in the area The OLA has killed government officials and attacked non military government offices Unidentified armed assailants have also been implicated in killings abductions destruction of homes and mass displacements of ethnic Amhara communities Residents of Tole kebele in western Oromia said that OLA fighters in the neighboring hills for the past three years have abducted people and demanded ransom Human Rights Watch documented a March 30 2021 attack on Babo Gembel district West Wellega Zone At around 8 p m gunmen surrounded Sedeka village in Bone kebele forced the Amhara residents to gather for a meeting and shot 28 dead A man who had fled the village as residents were being gathered said that the armed men spoke Afaan Oromo the Oromo language and had distinctive long hair which residents said was common among OLA fighters He climbed a tree and stayed there until 2 a m I later heard gunfire he said at the time Residents called for help from the Oromia regional special forces who were stationed about 30 minutes away but they didn t arrive until 2 a m long after the attack had ended One village leader lost his brother and his sister in law in the attack We had just celebrated their marriage on Thursday March 25 and they were then killed on Tuesday evening he said After all the preparations to celebrate their marriage we began to prepare for their funeral A mother of a 15 day old baby was also among the killed Attacks in Tole and Sene Kebeles June 18 On June 14 the OLA clashed with government forces in the Gambella region and in Gimbi town in western Oromia 49 kilometers from Tole kebele Around June 17 government security forces stationed in Tole along with a small number of local militiamen and Oromia police left the area without explanation several local residents said In the early hours of June 18 residents in several villages in the adjacent Tole and Sene kebeles saw armed men gathering They said the attackers wore a mix of civilian clothes and uniforms worn by the Oromia regional special forces militias and the former Ethiopian national military uniform They later noted that they spoke in Afaan Oromo and some of the armed men had long hair At 7 a m a farmer in Silsaw village and a kebele official among others called various officials and security forces for protection and support The official said When I first called they said they couldn t take action without discussion and reaching an agreement with the zone an administrative division Around 9 a m attackers began shooting near Silsaw village in Tole kebele andstarted torching village buildings Residents said scores of men armed with military assault weapons then stormed villages around Tole and Sene kebeles and pursued residents who fled into surrounding areas Some farmers around Silsaw and other villages reported that they initially tried to resist the attack but were outnumbered by the armed men who carried machine guns rifles and Kalashnikov assault weapons Some of the men among us had our own guns said a farmer from Silsaw When they started shooting we also tried to defend ourselves Twelve people among us who were trying to defend themselves were also killed Many residents began to flee into nearby farmland or river areas An 18 year old woman from Silsaw village described being captured I was fetching water when these forces approached I ran to Chekorsa village but I was caught and taken away from there to a field Others that were running away were shot They gathered other people as well and brought them to the field Many were children We were around 60 They asked us for money phones jewelry and watches After they took our property they started shooting They were bragging as they were shooting saying We are heroes and no one can escape from us We will kill you all Even those who escape we will come after you wherever you are The woman said she was shot in the arm around her back and in her leg but managed to survive along with seven other people A man 48 said We hid in the bushes Two people were killed near me One was my wife s relative He left behind three young children A woman 20 fled Silsaw village along with her aunt and her aunt s 6 month old twins I was carrying one of the babies It was such a difficult moment she said Bullets were going over our heads I thought we were doomed We survived by God s mercy Retrieval of Bodies Burials At about 4 p m a small contingent of Ethiopian military forces arrived in Tole kebele Residents began returning home that evening A farmer 48 from Gutin lost four family members including his 22 year old in daughter in law and his 4 year old granddaughter He found their charred bodies along with 10 other people in a burned grass thatched house in the village He said that 5 of those killed were children under age 8 In Sene kebele a man from Sene village returned to find 21 people in his compound dead including his wife and daughter 8 other relatives and several neighbors His 11 year old son survived but had been shot 4 times A man from Chekorsa said he had desperately searched for his family I tried to go check on the house where I took my family members for safety but they weren t there I looked for them in the maize fields but couldn t find them I heard that many people were collected and killed in Silsaw a neighboring village I saw people injured and dead on the way He said he found the bodies of his wife who was 8 months pregnant and their three young children in the mosque compound where the assailants had gathered and executed 29 people My wife and three children ages 2 6 and 10 were killed with others in the compound of the mosque Everyone was rushing to identify the dead bodies I tried to help gather those killed It was raining heavily at the time It s difficult to explain what I felt after what happened I can t say that human beings did this It is the maximum cruelty I have seen We couldn t bury them all that day Residents said that 112 people were killed in Silsaw alone and that they buried about 60 people in the mosque compound Community leaders said that over 400 people were killed in Tole and Sene areas during the June 18 attack and had made lists of the dead The majority of the victims were women and children a kebele official from Gutin village said The village was filled with dead bodies We started collecting them and burying them in different areas some in mass graves Some of the survivors had been displaced from other areas We previously lived in Arjo East Wellega Zone said a 38 year old woman from Tole We were forced to leave the area after our houses were burned and property looted That was eight months ago and we fled to Tole now this happened again Looting and Destruction of Property The assailants looted property and livestock and destroyed civilian structures during the attack Satellite imagery recorded on June 18 at about 10 a m shows smoke plumes emanating from Gutin Chekorsa and Silsaw villages Additional smoke plumes were visible over Gutin 45 minutes later Thermal anomaly data collected by an environmental sensor and reviewed by Human Rights Watch also confirms the time of those attacks showing several fires in Tole kebele Human Rights Watch was able to estimate the scale of the destruction by analyzing satellite imagery recorded on July 25 Damage signatures detected on satellite imagery are consistent with arson and confirm the destruction of approximately 480 structures across 5 villages in Tole kebele including Gutin Chekorsa Silsaw and Begene but were unable to identify the fifth village with visible destruction Most of the damaged structures seen on imagery are tukuls huts Silsaw and Begene recorded the highest number of structures affected These numbers might be an underestimate as it only included the area covered by the satellite imagery A man from Chekorsa said that his house had bullet holes and several other houses in the village were burned and stores destroyed I had so many properties back there said a man from Silsaw I had a farm I just brought fertilizer But my house was burned down I lost everything He had left Silsaw for Wollo in the Amhara region and had no plans to return Three residents from Silsaw and Begene villages said that a separate group of attackers had looted property including livestock and personal items A resident of Begene said There were three groups The first that killed people indiscriminately a second group that looted cows and properties and a third that burned houses Sixteen of my cows were taken and 100 quintals a unit of weight equal to 112 pounds of grain destroyed My house was burned down and I lost over 200 000 Ethiopian birr US 3 800 Inadequate Investigations and Humanitarian Assistance The government and the Ethiopian Red Cross reported that they provided humanitarian assistance to residents following the June 18 attack However remaining residents who spoke to Human Rights Watch said that they only received a one time distribution of food and as of August lacked shelter and faced serious health risks A farmer 48 from Silsaw said We are now living with the help of the Ethiopian military who are sharing their own food We don t even have enough cooking utensils so we are sharing one utensil among 10 people A man from Chekorsa said a registration of remaining residents took place in early August but added that they still did not receive any additional aid A farmer from Begene said There is nowhere to shelter now It s the rainy season We sometimes use plastic shelter from the rain But we don t have enough food to sustain our lives we are worried about malaria He added It s time to remove the weeds from the farms but we can t because it s not safe The Ethiopian military can t protect us there so people are losing hope to live here and are leaving Many went to Wollo or Debre Birhan in the Amhara region Survivors with serious injuries have also faced obstacles to receiving adequate medical care The man from Sene whose 11 year old son was shot four times said he had been struggling to get him proper treatment I am begging to treat my son and moving from hospital to hospital My son is not completely healed but the hospital gave me a discharge letter And I don t know where to take him now I am standing in the rain I don t know where to go Right now I have nothing Similarly more than 18 months after the March 2021 attack on Bone kebele the survivors were still living at a displacement site in Benishangul Gumuz It s been four months since we received food aid we are starving said the village leader in August We received a call from the local authorities to return but still we are afraid We were informed that it is still insecure We heard that only four people were punished and that many residents seeking to flee have been abducted Several residents from Tole raised concerns that the government had inadequately investigated the attack One week after the incident a wereda district official and the vice president of the Oromia regional state came and talked to us said a man from Gutin Since then no one has talked to us A farmer from Begene said that no government body came to my village to investigate the number of killings or property destroyed However a farmer from Silsaw said that government investigators came once to speak to communities gathered around Chekorsa village They went around Chekorsa and Silsaw They went to Silsaw to observe where people were buried and property destroyed But they didn t go to other areas where the attacks happened Recommendations All parties to the armed conflict in western Oromia should facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to all populations at risk They should also cooperate and provide full unimpeded access to independent investigators to all conflict affected areas The Ethiopian government should Publicly provide information on the steps it is taking to investigate and appropriately prosecute killings pillage the destruction of property and other abuses by non state armed groups Urgently provide or facilitate humanitarian assistance including food medical care and shelter to Amhara and other communities affected by June 18 violence and other incidents of violence in Oromia Investigate the role of local and regional authorities and national security forces who may have been negligent in their duty to protect civilians and publicly disclose the results of the investigation Ensure credible independent and impartial investigations into reports of security force abuses including arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions of Oromo communities in western Oromia To the OLA and other armed groups operating in western Oromia Immediately end all unlawful attacks on civilians and civilian property Appropriately punish commanders responsible for unlawful attacks and other abuses
    Ethiopia: Civilians in Western Oromia Left Unprotected
    Africa1 month ago

    Ethiopia: Civilians in Western Oromia Left Unprotected

    An armed group killed several hundred Amhara civilians in western Oromia in June 2022 while Ethiopian security forces did little to protect them, Human Rights Watch said today.

    Nearly three months later, the Ethiopian government has failed to provide adequate shelter or meaningfully address the serious health and protection concerns of surviving residents.

    For eight hours on June 18, heavily armed assailants shot and killed about 400 Amhara civilians, including many women and children, in villages in Tole and Sene kebeles (wards).

    The unidentified assailants also burned and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, and looted livestock and other property.

    Satellite imagery analysis corroborated the burning of at least five villages and the destruction of approximately 480 structures.

    Despite warnings, government security forces stationed nearby did not arrive until hours after the attack.

    “Armed attackers destroyed one village after another, killed entire families with unmitigated cruelty, all while nearby government forces appeared to do nothing,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

    “This is just the latest such massacre for which the Ethiopian government needs to do more to ensure credible and independent investigations, identify those responsible, and ensure adequate assistance reaches everyone in need.”Since 2019, government forces and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) armed group have been fighting in western Oromia, resulting in serious abuses against Oromo and minority communities.

    Ethiopian authorities alleged that the OLA was responsible for the June massacre and other attacks.

    The OLA accused a government militia of carrying out the attacks and called for an independent investigation.

    Between June and August, Human Rights Watch interviewed 25 people by phone, including 19 witnesses and relatives of victims from 5 villages: Gutin; Chekorsa; Silsaw; Begene, in Tole kebele in western Oromia; and a village in neighboring Sene kebele in the Benishangul Gumuz region.

    Human Rights Watch obtained lists of those killed from residents and analyzed satellite imagery collected before and after the attack.

    From April to May 2021, Human Rights Watch also interviewed 12 witnesses and family members of a similar attack in Bone kebele, in Babo Gembel district in western Oromia, and conducted follow-up interviews in August 2022.

    On the morning of June 18, as male residents left to tend to their crops on nearby farmland or to go to the market, leaving woman and children in the villages, groups of heavily armed men unexpectedly attacked villages in Tole and Sene kebeles.

    A farmer from Gutin said he first heard gunfire and saw smoke rising from the direction of Silsaw, a village north of the main asphalt road and near Gutin and Chekorsa.

    “I ran toward my house and noticed the area encircled by gunmen,” he said.

    “I took my children to the bush for safety and hid in a tree near the village.

    The gunmen were … fully uniformed and armed … I heard them saying: ‘Finish them.

    Don’t Leave.

    End them.’”A woman from Chekorsa escaped with her five children to nearby maize fields.

    The attackers pursued them:“My 8-month-old child started crying.

    I heard an attacker say, ‘Look there, look there …’ before they shot in our direction.

    They shot my baby dead.

    I wrapped the dead body with some clothes I was wearing.

    My other child was shot in her back; the bullet came out around her neck … I then pressed my injured child against my chest, and I prayed to Allah to save her life.”Her older child survived but required two weeks of hospital treatment.

    The attacks lasted several hours in some villages, including until 2 p.m. in Gutin and longer in others.

    Five residents said they made numerous frantic calls to district authorities for help, and to federal and regional government security forces stationed in Jogir, about 17 kilometers from Tole, as well as to a military camp in Didessa.

    A small contingent of Ethiopian military forces arrived only at 4 p.m., after the attackers had left.

    Residents then began returning home, where they witnessed the aftermath of the onslaught, and began burying those killed in mass graves.

    In Silsaw, residents found bodies throughout the village, including about 29 in the mosque compound.

    “From a single family, five, six people were killed,” said a 20-year-old woman.

    “In other cases, families lost 20 people.” In Gutin, residents found 12 charred bodies among the remains of a burned grass house.

    Three residents involved in burying victims believed that over 400 people had been killed in at least 6 villages.

    Community leaders, who gathered lists of those killed and property destruction, estimated that at least 112 were killed in Silsaw, 105 in Chekorsa, 37 in Gutin, 72 in Begene, 16 in Hayaw, and 50 in Sene kebele.

    At a June 30 media briefing, a spokesperson of the Office of the Prime Minister said that the bodies of 338 people had been identified.

    The attacks in Tole and Sene mirror other killings of Amhara civilians in western Oromia.

    Less than two weeks later, the media reported that armed groups attacked predominantly Amhara civilians in Hawa Gelan district, Kellem Wellega Zone, killing scores.

    A March 2021 attack on Amhara civilians in Bone kebele, West Wellega Zone, similarly left scores dead.

    Survivors from Tole and Sene said that fear of continued attacks in the area, and insufficient protection and humanitarian support was forcing many residents to leave Oromia.

    The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that at least 4,800 people were displaced from Tole, and that more than 500,000 had been displaced in western Oromia due to the conflict there.

    OCHA also reported that it was hard for aid groups to get access to the region because of access restrictions, inadequate funding, and a lack of humanitarian presence.

    Ethiopian authorities need to create a conducive environment for aid delivery, Human Rights Watch said.

    The Ethiopian authorities’ immediate response to the attack was to announce that they would intensify “law enforcement measures” against armed groups.

    On July 6, Ethiopia’s parliament authorized the establishment of a special committee to investigate violence against civilians in several regions in Ethiopia, including Oromia, and to make recommendations.

    But people in Tole, Sene, and Bone kebeles said there have been little signs of investigations so far.

    The government should provide regular public updates on its investigations, and its steps to curtail abuses by armed groups as well as federal and regional security forces and militias, Human Rights Watch said.

    Both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and the African Union Chairman Moussa Faki called for independent investigations into the attacks in western Oromia.

    In a June 30 Oral Update before the UN Human Rights Council, the chairperson of the UN International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia expressed alarm at atrocities against civilians in Ethiopia, including western Oromia, and urged member states to provide the commission with experienced investigators and other support.

    “Communities in western Oromia have been left reeling from repeated attacks and are living in fear of the next attack,” Bader said.

    “Ethiopian authorities should urgently move beyond promises to act and provide urgent and adequate humanitarian assistance to affected communities, and support for credible independent investigations.”Conflict in Western OromiaSince 2019, Ethiopian government forces and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) armed group have engaged in an armed conflict in western Oromia.

    The OLA was previously the military wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a once-banned political opposition group, that fought a low-level insurgency for the self-determination of Oromos for decades.

    After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office in April 2018, the government reached an agreement with various opposition groups, including the exiled leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front in Eritrea, who agreed to lay down arms, reintegrate, and commit to a peaceful political struggle.

    However, negotiations soon broke down.

    By early 2019, the government had established military command posts in western and southern Oromia. 

    Federal and regional security forces began coordinated military operations against the OLA.

    In April 2019, the OLA formally broke its ties with the OLF and continued its armed operations.

    The conflict has resulted in serious human rights abuses.

    Government forces have carried out summary executions, arbitrary arrests, and detentions of Oromos, and have at times cut communications in the area.

    The OLA has killed government officials and attacked non-military government offices.

    Unidentified armed assailants have also been implicated in killings, abductions, destruction of homes, and mass displacements of ethnic Amhara communities.

    Residents of Tole kebele in western Oromia said that OLA fighters in the neighboring hills for the past three years have abducted people and demanded ransom.

    Human Rights Watch documented a March 30, 2021, attack on Babo Gembel district, West Wellega Zone. At around 8 p.m., gunmen surrounded Sedeka village, in Bone kebele, forced the Amhara residents to gather for a meeting, and shot 28 dead.

    A man who had fled the village as residents were being gathered said that the armed men spoke Afaan-Oromo, the Oromo language, and had distinctive long hair, which residents said was common among OLA fighters.

    He climbed a tree and stayed there until 2 a.m., “I later heard gunfire,” he said at the time.

    Residents called for help from the Oromia regional special forces, who were stationed about 30 minutes away, but they didn’t arrive until 2 a.m., long after the attack had ended.

    One village leader lost his brother and his sister-in-law in the attack.

    “We had just celebrated their marriage on Thursday [March 25], and they were then killed on Tuesday evening,” he said.

    “After all the preparations to celebrate their marriage, we began to prepare for their funeral … A mother of a 15-day-old baby was also among the killed.”Attacks in Tole and Sene Kebeles, June 18On June 14, the OLA clashed with government forces in the Gambella region, and in Gimbi town, in western Oromia, 49 kilometers from Tole kebele.

    Around June 17, government security forces stationed in Tole, along with a small number of local militiamen and Oromia police, left the area without explanation, several local residents said.

    In the early hours of June 18, residents in several villages in the adjacent Tole and Sene kebeles saw armed men gathering.

    They said the attackers wore a mix of civilian clothes and uniforms worn by the Oromia regional special forces, militias, and the former Ethiopian national military uniform.

    They later noted that they spoke in Afaan Oromo and some of the armed men had long hair.

    At 7 a.m., a farmer in Silsaw village and a kebele official, among others, called various officials and security forces for protection and support.

    The official said, “When I first called, they said they couldn’t take action, without discussion and reaching an agreement with the zone [an administrative division].”Around 9 a.m., attackers began shooting near Silsaw village in Tole kebele andstarted torching village buildings.

    Residents said scores of men, armed with military assault weapons, then stormed villages around Tole and Sene kebeles and pursued residents who fled into surrounding areas.

    Some farmers around Silsaw and other villages reported that they initially tried to resist the attack, but were outnumbered by the armed men, who carried machine guns, rifles, and Kalashnikov assault weapons.

    “Some of the men among us had our own guns,” said a farmer from Silsaw.

    “When they started shooting, we also tried to defend ourselves.

    Twelve people among us who were trying to defend themselves were also killed.”Many residents began to flee into nearby farmland or river areas.

    An 18-year-old woman from Silsaw village described being captured:“I was fetching water when these forces approached.

    I ran to Chekorsa village, but I was caught and taken away from there to a field.

    Others that were running away were shot.

    They gathered other people as well [and brought them to the field].

    Many were children.

    We were around 60.

    They asked us for money, phones, jewelry, and watches.

    After they took our property, they started shooting.”They were bragging, as they were shooting … saying “We are heroes, and no one can escape from us.

    We will kill you all.

    Even those who escape, we will come after you wherever you are.”The woman said she was shot in the arm, around her back, and in her leg, but managed to survive, along with seven other people.

    A man, 48, said: “We hid in the bushes.

    Two people were killed near me.

    One was my wife’s relative.

    He left behind three young children.”A woman, 20, fled Silsaw village along with her aunt and her aunt’s 6-month-old twins.

    “I was carrying one of the babies … It was such a difficult moment,” she said.

    “Bullets were going over our heads.

    I thought we were doomed.

    We survived by God’s mercy.”Retrieval of Bodies, BurialsAt about 4 p.m., a small contingent of Ethiopian military forces arrived in Tole kebele.

    Residents began returning home that evening.

    A farmer, 48, from Gutin lost four family members, including his 22-year-old in daughter-in-law and his 4-year-old granddaughter.

    He found their charred bodies along with 10 other people, in a burned grass-thatched house in the village.

    He said that 5 of those killed were children under age 8.

    In Sene kebele, a man from Sene village returned to find 21 people in his compound dead, including his wife and daughter, 8 other relatives, and several neighbors.

    His 11-year-old son survived but had been shot 4 times.

    A man from Chekorsa said he had desperately searched for his family:I tried to go check on the house where I took my family members [for safety], but they weren’t there.

    I looked for them in the maize fields but couldn’t find them.

    I heard that many people were collected and killed in Silsaw [a neighboring village].

    I saw people injured and dead on the way.

    He said he found the bodies of his wife, who was 8-months’ pregnant, and their three young children in the mosque compound, where the assailants had gathered and executed 29 people:My wife and three children, ages 2, 6 and 10, were killed with others in the compound of the mosque.

    Everyone was rushing to identify the dead bodies.

    I tried to help gather those killed.

    It was raining heavily at the time.

    It’s difficult to explain what I felt after what happened.

    I can’t say that human beings did this.

    It is the maximum cruelty I have seen.

    We couldn’t bury them all that day.

    Residents said that 112 people were killed in Silsaw alone and that they buried about 60 people in the mosque compound.

    Community leaders said that over 400 people were killed in Tole and Sene areas, during the June 18 attack, and had made lists of the dead.

    “The majority of the victims were women and children,” a kebele official from Gutin village said.

    “The village was filled with dead bodies … We started collecting them and burying them in different areas, some in mass graves.”Some of the survivors had been displaced from other areas.

    “We previously lived in Arjo [East Wellega Zone],” said a 38-year-old woman from Tole. “We were forced to leave the area after our houses were burned and property looted.

    That was eight months ago, and we fled to Tole, now [this] happened again.”Looting and Destruction of PropertyThe assailants looted property and livestock and destroyed civilian structures during the attack.

    Satellite imagery recorded on June 18, at about 10 a.m., shows smoke plumes emanating from Gutin, Chekorsa, and Silsaw villages.

    Additional smoke plumes were visible over Gutin 45 minutes later. 

    Thermal anomaly data collected by an environmental sensor, and reviewed by Human Rights Watch, also confirms the time of those attacks, showing several fires in Tole kebele.

    Human Rights Watch was able to estimate the scale of the destruction by analyzing satellite imagery recorded on July 25.

    Damage signatures detected on satellite imagery are consistent with arson and confirm the destruction of approximately 480 structures across 5 villages in Tole kebele, including Gutin, Chekorsa, Silsaw and Begene, but were unable to identify the fifth village with visible destruction.

    Most of the damaged structures seen on imagery are tukuls (huts).

    Silsaw and Begene recorded the highest number of structures affected.

    These numbers might be an underestimate, as it only included the area covered by the satellite imagery.

    A man from Chekorsa said that his house had bullet holes and several other houses in the village were burned, and stores destroyed.

    “I had so many properties back there,” said a man from Silsaw.

    “I had a farm, I just brought fertilizer.

    But my house was burned down, I lost everything.” He had left Silsaw for Wollo, in the Amhara region and had no plans to return.

    Three residents from Silsaw and Begene villages said that a separate group of attackers had looted property, including livestock and personal items.

    A resident of Begene said:There were three groups.

    The first that killed people indiscriminately, a second group that looted cows and properties, and a third that burned houses.

    Sixteen of my cows were taken, and 100 quintals [a unit of weight equal to 112 pounds] of grain destroyed.

    My house was burned down, and I lost over 200,000 Ethiopian birr [US$3,800].

    Inadequate Investigations and Humanitarian AssistanceThe government and the Ethiopian Red Cross reported that they provided humanitarian assistance to residents following the June 18 attack.

    However, remaining residents who spoke to Human Rights Watch said that they only received a one-time distribution of food, and as of August lacked shelter and faced serious health risks.

    A farmer, 48, from Silsaw said: “We are now living with the help of the Ethiopian military who are sharing their own food … We don’t even have enough cooking utensils, so we are sharing one utensil among 10 people.” A man from Chekorsa said a registration of remaining residents took place in early August but added that they still did not receive any additional aid.

    A farmer from Begene said: “There is nowhere to shelter now.

    It’s the rainy season.

    We sometimes use plastic shelter from the rain.

    But we don’t have enough food to sustain our lives ...

    we are worried about malaria.” He added: “It’s time to remove the weeds from the farms, but we can’t because it’s not safe.

    The Ethiopian military can’t protect us there so people are losing hope to live here and are leaving … Many went to Wollo or Debre Birhan [in the Amhara region].”Survivors with serious injuries have also faced obstacles to receiving adequate medical care.

    The man from Sene whose 11-year-old son was shot four times said he had been struggling to get him proper treatment: “I am begging to treat my son and moving from hospital to hospital … My son is not completely healed, but the hospital gave me a discharge letter.

    And I don’t know where to take him now.

    I am standing in the rain.

    I don’t know where to go.

    Right now, I have nothing.”Similarly, more than 18 months after the March 2021 attack on Bone kebele, the survivors were still living at a displacement site in Benishangul-Gumuz.

    “It’s been four months since we received food aid, we are starving,” said the village leader in August.

    “We received a call from the local authorities to return, but still, we are afraid.

    We were informed that it is still insecure …We heard that only four people were punished, and that many residents seeking to flee have been abducted.”Several residents from Tole raised concerns that the government had inadequately investigated the attack.

    “One week after the incident, a wereda (district) official and the vice-president of the Oromia regional state came and talked to us,” said a man from Gutin.

    “Since then, no one has talked to us.” A farmer from Begene said that “no government body came to my village to investigate the number of killings or property destroyed.”However, a farmer from Silsaw said that government investigators came once to speak to communities gathered around Chekorsa village: “They went around Chekorsa and Silsaw.

    They went to Silsaw to observe where people were buried, and property destroyed.

    But they didn’t go to other areas where the attacks happened.”RecommendationsAll parties to the armed conflict in western Oromia should facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to all populations at risk.

    They should also cooperate and provide full, unimpeded access to independent investigators to all conflict-affected areas.

    The Ethiopian government should:Publicly provide information on the steps it is taking to investigate and appropriately prosecute killings, pillage, the destruction of property, and other abuses by non-state armed groups.

    Urgently provide or facilitate humanitarian assistance, including food, medical care, and shelter to Amhara and other communities affected by June 18 violence and other incidents of violence in Oromia.

    Investigate the role of local and regional authorities and national security forces who may have been negligent in their duty to protect civilians, and publicly disclose the results of the investigation.

    Ensure credible, independent, and impartial investigations into reports of security force abuses, including arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions of Oromo communities in western Oromia.

    To the OLA and other armed groups operating in western Oromia:Immediately end all unlawful attacks on civilians and civilian property.

    Appropriately punish commanders responsible for unlawful attacks and other abuses.