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UN Urges Protection for Civilians in Somalia.

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Somali Faction leaders.

JEDDAH, 2 May 2003 — The United Nations has urged Somali faction leaders to ensure that civilians are not displaced. Maxwell Gaylard, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, has expressed concern over the predicament of internally displaced people throughout Somalia.

According to a UN humanitarian website, Gaylard expressed his concern in an open letter last week, which he had sent to Somali leaders participating in the ongoing peace talks in Kenya, about the often disgusting conditions in which internally displaced people in Somalia live.

“Throughout Somalia, displaced people often do not have access to even the most basic of social services, and many suffer violations of their human rights, including denial of access to basic services, and sexual violence against women and girls,” he said. The UN estimates that there are 350,000 displaced people throughout Somalia, most of them women and children. Of them, about 150,000 live in the capital Mogadishu, with another 15,000 in the southern port city of Kismayo, while the rest are scattered around the country.

Gaylard appealed to the Somali leaders to urgently reaffirm publicly their commitment and accountability for the protection of displaced people who are located in areas under their control. The letter stressed that the displaced persons’ rights must not be violated. He warned that those committing such violations could, in future, be prosecuted by the International Criminal Tribunal.

Hassan Abshir,the PM of dying TNG deneis the division between him and TNG president.

Nairobi,Somalia May 02, 2003 -The prime minister of Somalia’s Transitional National Government (TNG), Hassan Abshir Farah, has denied that there is division within the TNG, newspaper reports said. However, he admitted that there are minor differences between himself and TNG President Abdi Qassim Salad Hassan.

It was reported that differences erupted when the premier decided to dismiss certain Cabinet ministers, and the president refused to accept the move. The ministers in question are reported to be Finance Minister Husain Mahmoud Sheikh Hussein, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdikarim Ahmad Ali and Education Minister Hassan Muhammad Jumbur. All three are seen as loyalists of the TNG president.

“These are differences of opinion on minor issues which we are now in the process of resolving. This is not something that will lead to a split within the TNG at this stage. We are engaged in consultations and will resolve the matter soon,” Abshir was quoted as saying.

High risk at Juba and Shabelle River area to be affected by flooding in the next three days .

Kismayo,Somalia May 02, 2003 -Juba and Shabelle River basins in southern Somalia are likely to be affected by flooding in the next three days following heavy rains in the areas, said a weather advisory for the Greater Horn of Africa (WAGHA) published by the US government’s Famine Early Warning System.

WAGHA said that River Shabelle was already at full level discharge in Lower Shabelle region. It also noted that there was high risk of flooding in the towns of Beled Weyne, Jowhar and Afgoi - all on the banks of the river. The report said that in the short term, the weather forecast indicated abnormally heavy rains over the next three days in the western highlands of Kenya, the eastern lowlands of Ethiopia, and in southern Somalia. “Consequently, sustained and continued rainfall could lead to a greater area being affected by floods,” it warned. It said weather forecasts indicated a decline in rainfall towards mid-May over the eastern sector of the Greater Horn region.



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