Sunday, 28 September 2008

SOMALIA: Hospitals "swamped" as clashes continue

NAIROBI, 24 September 2008 (IRIN) - The main hospital in Mogadishu is overwhelmed by the number of injured people seeking treatment since fighting in the capital intensified, medical sources told IRIN. "We are receiving more injured people than we can reasonably handle; we are completely swamped," Abdi Mohamed Hangul, a doctor at Medina Hospital, said on 24 September. He said the numbers of people seeking treatment was growing daily. "Last night alone we had 30 people within an hour. I worked as a doctor throughout the civil war and I have to say this is one of the worst times for the population. It is a disaster," Hangul said. The hospital's beds, he added, were filled and people were being treated in the corridors or under trees. "We have more people outside than inside." He said the hospital had sufficient drugs to deal with the influx "but manpower is increasingly becoming a problem". Some of the staff had been unable to come to work due to the violence, while those who did make it had been working for over 48 hours with little or no rest, he said. Hospitals across the city also reported receiving a high number of wounded. Pedram Yazdi, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said: "For the time being, the capital's two hospitals [Keysaney and Medina] have enough medical supplies to cope with the influx of wounded, and we will re-supply them if more is needed." Another medical source told IRIN the death toll had risen to more than 100 with at least 300 wounded across the city since 22 September. "Last night [23 September] many more people were killed and injured in the fighting and shelling," the source added. A civil society activist, who declined to be named, said: "There are many more people than those in hospitals who are being cared for in their neighbourhoods; this is because there is no way to take them to hospital due to the insecurity on the roads."
We are receiving more injured people than we can reasonably handle; we are completely swamped A local journalist said the fighting was as intense on the night of 23 September as on 22 September, a day after the clashes began. However, Mogadishu was calm on 24 September after a night of intense shelling. "It has been very quiet since 1am local time," said the journalist, adding: "No one expects it to last." Since fighting between Ethiopian-backed Somali forces and insurgents began in early 2007, about one million Somalis have fled their homes. Some 8,000 civilians have been killed. The UN estimates that 3.2 million Somalis need assistance.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

No Ethiopia-Eritrea border deal

A deadline for long-time foes Ethiopia and Eritrea to demarcate their shared border has expired without agreement.

The date was set a year ago by the Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission, which was created following a bloody border war between the two countries.

The commission said it now considered the line it had drawn as the official border and its own mandate fulfilled.

Both sides say they accept the ruling, but neither has made any move towards implementing the recommendation.

Some 80,000 people died during the 1998-2000 war.

The commission has now dissolved itself but a small United Nations peacekeeping force (UNMEE) of 1,700 troops will remain in the border area until early 2008.

A UNMEE spokesman told the BBC it would do as much as it could to prevent hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea but said it would be unable to intervene should a new war break out.

The BBC's Elizabeth Blunt in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, says the commission can hardly be said to have succeeded, but its imminent disappearance leaves the two armies glaring at each other across a still unresolved border.

Dec 2000: Peace agreement
Apr 2002: Border ruling
Mar 2003: Ethiopian complaint over Badme rejected
Sep 2003: Ethiopia asks for new ruling
Feb 2005: UN concern at military build-up
Oct 2005: Eritrea restricts peacekeepers' activities
Nov 2005: UN sanctions threat if no compliance with 2000 deal

What was meant to be a demilitarised border is now thick with troops and bristling with weapons and representatives of the commission have not been able to get in to set up border markers, our correspondent says.

The two sides will not talk to each other and there is no obvious way to move the issue towards a more satisfactory conclusion, she says.

In the past few weeks there has been talk of UN involvement and perhaps the appointment of a facilitator to work with the two sides.

But so far no such initiative has been announced.

Ogaden denial

The Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders, Meles Zenawi and Isaias Afewerki respectively, were allies until after Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993.

Their rebel movements had fought together to overthrow long-time Ethiopian ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam.

The 1998-2000 war was ostensibly fought over the dusty town of Badme, which was subsequently awarded to Eritrea by the border commission.

But to this day the settlement remains under Ethiopian administration.

Meanwhile, Mr Meles has denied accusations made by separatist rebels in the south-east of Ethiopia that his troops have committed massive human rights abuses against civilians.

The rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front accused government forces of executing local residents during counter-insurgency operations in the region.

Mr Meles said such violations would not take place because his government respected human rights.

He said that given his own experience as a former rebel leader he knew that harassing civilians was the gravest mistake a government fighting an insurgency could make.


Ethiopia Troops Pull Out of Key Town

Ethiopian troops withdrew from the central Somali town of Beletwein overnight Friday, after controlling the key town since July 24, Radio Garowe reported.

Hundreds of locals took to the streets and walked by areas where Ethiopian soldiers used to patrol, including the main administration building and the police station.

It was not clear why the Ethiopian army pulled out of Beletwein, which has the third-largest concentration of Ethiopian forces deployed in Somalia after Mogadishu and Baidoa.

But the region's traditional elders have been negotiating with Ethiopian commanders to leave Beletwein during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Islamic Courts officials claimed victory, saying the Ethiopian troops withdrew after loosing many soldiers in insurgent attacks.

Beletwein residents told Radio Garowe that Islamist fighters had entered the town and took control of strategic areas, including two key bridges.

Officials appointed by the Somali interim government reportedly left Beletwein a day earlier, but it remains unclear whether or not the Ethiopian soldiers who withdrew to a military base in the outskirts of the town will return.


Saturday, 20 September 2008

Hunger levels soar in East Africa

Rising food prices have hit Ethiopia hard

Nearly 17 million people in the Horn of Africa are in urgent need of food and other aid - almost twice as many as earlier this year, the UN has said.
Some $700m (£382m) in emergency aid is needed to prevent the region descending into full-scale famine, it said.

Top UN humanitarian official John Holmes said food stocks were critically low in parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, northern Kenya and Uganda.
The area has suffered from drought, conflict and rocketing food prices.
The number of those at risk could rise still further "as the drought deepens and the hunger season continues", Mr Holmes said.

What we need essentially is more funds, and more funds now, otherwise the situation is going to become even more catastrophic than it is today."
The estimated total for the rest of this year for those in need is $1.4bn. Almost half of that has been raised, Mr Holmes said, but there remains a shortfall of $716m.
"We may need significant funds after that period - this is not the end of the story," he said.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation blames worldwide rises in food prices for helping to push 75 million more people into the ranks of the world's hungry last year - bringing the total to 925 million.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Ethiopia and Eritrea war

dear All

you my be familiar with the news from my attachments or other international medias, Ethiopia's soldiers are still in Somalia and ethiopia and Eritea started waar in 1998

Sunday, 7 September 2008



Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The ccontinued war "The Ethiopia-Somalia War" that coused death and hunger in the country

Hi All

the war between Ethiopia and Somalia still continues and more people are getting hungry i just want to give you information i collected from international medias about the current situation i will try not to bias before sending the current situation please have a look how the war started 2 years back between ethiopia and somail after that i will send you more


The Ethiopia-Somalia War—In the latest phase of the long Somali Civil War, Ethiopia intervened in late 2006 to aid the internationally- recognized Somali government based in the city of Baidoa. The Transitional Government of Somalia (TGS) is opposed by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an Islamist group which seized control of the national capital of Mogadushu earlier in 2006 from a coalition of warlords.

Ethiopia intervened largely to prevent Islamist forces from gaining full control of Somalia. The ICU received support from foreign Islamist groups as well as from Eritrea, Ethiopia's long-time enemy. The Baidoa government and Ethiopia are supported by the United States.

Ethiopian troops first entered Somalia in small numbers in July, 2006, and by November, were engaged in minor clashes with Somali ICU forces. Major combat between the allied TGS and Ethiopian forces and the ICU forces began on December 20, 2006, with combat around the town of Baidoa. Fighting raged for the rest of the week, with a major escalation coming on December 24, when Ethiopian forces bombed Mogadishu airport and Baledogle Airport, about 35 miles outside Mogadishu, while troops seized Belet Weyne, an important border town. Ethiopian troops also took over the towns of Bandiradley, Adadow and Galinsor. The Ethiopian government reported on television that the goal of the offensive was Jowhar, a town not far from Mogadishu.

Later reports cited 1,000 dead and 3,000 wounded as Ethiopian and TGS forces advanced through central Somalia toward the capital.

Ethiopian and government forces entered Mogadishu on Dec. 29, as Islamist forces retreated toward the south, where fighting continued into early January, 2007. The United States Navy patrolled the Somali coastline to prevent the escape by sea of any Islamists. Also, three members of al-Qaida who are wanted for the 1998 Embassy Bombins are reportedly with the Islamists, and the United States is searching for them and seeking their capture.

As the government and Ethiopian forces attempted to bring order to the capital, Islamist forces began guerrilla attacks against them. By the end of 2007, many experts described the ongoing Islamic resistance as an "Iraq-style insurgency," featuring ambushes, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and an influx of foreign fighters from the Muslim world waging a Jihad against an occupying army.

Though the new Somali government is beginning to function, it still depends on Ethiopia for significant military backing, as combat continues with the Islamic militants.

It should also be noted that inside Ethiopia, the Oromo National Liberation Front (ONLF), which has conducted a guerrilla war against the Addis Abbaba government for decades, is launching attacks against Ethiopian troops headed toward Somalia. The Oromo people are ethnically related to the Somali people.

According to Somalia's Elman Human Rights group, 5,960 civilian fatalities occurred in the capital of Mogadishu in 2007. Also, the group claims that 7,980 civilians were wounded and over 700,000 displaced from their homes due to the continuing war between the Somali government and the Islamic insurgency. Ethiopia is aiding the Somali government; providing troops and air power to fight the insurgents. In December of 2006, Ethiopian forces, with American aid, invaded Islamic forces-held Somali territory and overthrew the extremist Islamic regime and helped install a pro-Western government in its place.


Somali group: 5,960 killed this year--Associated Press, December 2, 2007