Get AfricaFocus Bulletin by e-mail!
Print this page
This document is from the archive of the Africa Policy E-Journal, published
by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) from 1995 to 2001 and by Africa Action
from 2001 to 2003. APIC was merged into Africa Action in 2001. Please note that many outdated links in this archived
document may not work.
Somalia: Recent Documents
Somalia: Recent Documents
Date distributed (ymd): 990319
Document reposted by APIC
Region: East Africa
Issue Areas: +security/peace+ +gender/women+
This posting contains two recent documents on Somalia, the
first an update from the UN'S Integrated Regional Information
Network (IRIN) and the second a press release concerning a
monthly women's vigil for peace held in Nairobi, Kenya.
For more current news, see
Africa News (http://www.africanews.org/east/somalia), and
IRIN's country pages (http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN).
For additional data and links on Somalia, see the APIC country
tables for East Africa
For more information on the women's vigil for peace, see the
contact information in the posting below.
SOMALIA: Humanitarian crisis "very worrying"
[Contact: UN IRIN-CEA Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or free
subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this
item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or
extracts should include attribution to the original sources.
Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]
NAIROBI, 9 March (IRIN) - The humanitarian crisis in central
and southern Somalia remains serious after more crop failures
and a severe water shortage, according to the latest update
from the UN country team.
The UNCT 'Somalia Monitor', covering the period 23 February-5
March, said the situation in southern Somalia was "very
worrying" following the failure of the February secondary Deyr
harvest and a widespread lack of water for human consumption.
WFP distributed some 2,572 mt of food aid to affected people
in Somalia during the month of February, according to the
latest WFP weekly emergency report. It said that close to 70
percent of the food was distributed in the worst-hit Bay and
Bakool regions. WFP planned to distribute a total of 3,200 mt
of food in southern Somalia in March, it added.
In a statement last week, US-based Refugees International
urged donors to immediately make funds available for the
purchase and distribution of seed to vulnerable populations.
Some 1,600 mt of seed, including 50 mt to help displaced
persons to go home, is needed before the onset of the planting
season at the end of March. Some 34,000 people, most from Bay
and Bakool, had been displaced while another 12,000 people had
crossed into Ethiopia, the statement said.
Refugees International said although the response to the
November 1998 appeal from the Somalia Aid Coordination Body
(SACB) was good for food aid, "the appeal for money to buy
seed has gone begging." It said a large emergency food
assistance programme would be needed to prevent a widespread
starvation if seed were not provided. "The cost-benefit
analysis is self evident," the statement said.
Meanwhile, a total of 4,678 cholera cases were reported in
central and southern Somalia between November and 25 February,
with 157 deaths attributed to the disease. According to WHO
figures cited in the UNCT 'Somalia Monitor', the most affected
regions were Benadir, Bay, Gedo, Lower Juba and Lower
Shabelle. Available cholera treatment supplies had covered
needs so far, but more supplies may be required if the
epidemic continues to spread, the 'Monitor' said.
A Mogadishu hospital had reported 257 cases of whooping cough
since December, it added.
[This item is delivered in the "irin-english" service of the
UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For
further information or free subscriptions, or to change your
keywords, contact e-mail: email@example.com or fax: +254 2
622129 or Web: http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN . If you
re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain
this credit and disclaimer.]
Women's Vigil for Peace
International Press Centre
Chester House, Nairobi, Kenya
11 a.m. Monday 8 March 1999
Media contact: Pamela Collett
Home: <<firstname.lastname@example.org>>, fax and tel +254 2 763893
office: fax +254 2 444718 Direct mailing address: P. O. Box
39341, Nairobi, Kenya. Australian Address, Nairobi Bag, Locked
Bag 40, Kingston ACT 2604
International Women's Day
Topic: Stories of the Effects of War on everyday peoples'
lives Organization: Women's Vigil for Peace
A vigil is the act of keeping awake when sleep is customary.
We are a group of women who are staying awake, watching for
peace. We are sharing stories of how war in Somalia, in Sudan,
in Sierra Leone has effected the lives of everyday people and
their families. On the 16th of every month, peace loving
people of all countries and backgrounds, gather in a vigil for
peace here in Nairobi.
On the last International Women's Day of the 20th century,
women around the world are working for peace and human rights
for everyone in the 21st century.
During the Media Conference, we will share with the media the
stories of the effects of war and what women are doing for
Plan to attend. We hope to see you there. Contact person:
Pamela Collett tel/fax 763893 email email@example.com
Women's Vigil for Peace
Join us in a monthly Vigil for Peace
Tuesday 16 MARCH 1999 5:30 p.m.
Pan Afric Hotel, Kenyatta Avenue
* Appeal for Peace in Sudan, Somalia
* Plan for next vigil
All peace loving people are welcome. Please join our monthly
Women's Vigil for Peace
Women's Vigil for Peace
16 February, 1999
Cry for Peace in Somalia: A personal appeal
On 16th January 1999, a couple of days before the end of the
Muslim month of Ramadan, nine unarmed people were brutally
murdered in Goobweyn village. The nine people included
intellectuals, elders, traders and a young boy of eleven
years. The group was part of twelve people abducted two weeks
earlier from Kismayo town, a coastal town in southern Somalia
by militias and taken as prisoners of war (POWs) to Goobweyn,
a village that lies 15 km north of Kismayo town.
The twelve people were kept imprisoned inside a hut. On the
morning of 16th January, the militias attempted to kill all
twelve people in the most savage and brutal way. A truck was
driven several times over the hut where the POWs were kept. A
barrage of artillery was fired on top of the crushed hut to
finish the twelve people off. Nine people died immediately and
three survived this ordeal with injuries. The survivors are
now in Kismayo after they have been released by some militia
who were displeased with the act.
This savagery may have gone unreported beyond the close
relatives and family members who mourn the continuous bleeding
of their communities in the senseless civil war of Southern
Somalia. But I will not let it pass unnoticed and unreported
this time as yet another faceless death. My uncle Abdirizak
Hirsi Dheere, the younger brother of my mother, was among
those who were brutally murdered.
What were the sins of my uncle to face such a horrible death?
The only crime my uncle has committed is that he was an
inhabitant of Kismayo. No one deserves this senseless and
cruel death. My uncle as a student was a political activist,
before Somalia's independence. Later, he worked at the Somali
National Bank and was an active trade unionist. He opposed the
dictatorship of Siyad Barre as early as 1974, among the first
Somalis who understood the savagery of the regime. From that
time, he disassociated himself from the government, but
remained a strong opposition to the regime. While working at
the bank he was never promoted because of his views against
the military regime of Barre. He was so honest and strict that
he did not own a car, because he could not afford one. I
remember him walking almost all the time to his office, some
three km from the residence of the banking staff.
His children were resentful at times because they saw some of
his counterparts abusing their power and owning the latest
cars as well enjoying other perks. In 1989, I asked him one
day, "Uncle, why don't you buy a car and a new furniture to
change the old one in your house". His response was, "walking
is good for the health and as for buying these material things
I can not afford them and I do not want to obtain them through
corruption". I was impressed by his honesty. He believed that
when a genuine and democratic government comes to Somalia
there would be justice for all. Unfortunately, Somalia has not
yet seen the democracy my uncle was hoping for and no checks
and balances have yet been made. Worse than that, my uncle had
to flee Mogadishu in 1991 because he was suddenly lumped with
the regime he had fought against for all his life. He then
settled in Kismayo, in Southern Somalia. Until the day he was
captured, my uncle fought against the corrupt and the
His wife and children did not have the consolation of giving
him a decent burial, as his body was never recovered, only his
clothes were brought back to his family as another form of
torture. Like many other Somali families, most of my uncle's
children are out of Somalia, and therefore the family could
not even mourn the death together.
I have very vivid memories of the good times I spent with my
uncle. As a teenager, he introduced me to my first serious
reading and he made me aware of famous freedom fighters,
writers of the time and philosophers. His love for books was
strong up to the end of his days. In the course of the civil
war, he made a small library in his home in Kismayo. He always
asked me to bring or send books and old magazines to keep him
informed. He hardly asked for money that he surely needed
more. He shaped my upbringing and moral value and ethics.
I never felt I have learned enough from the wisdom of my
uncle. I was hoping that one day I will sit with him under the
shade of a tree somewhere in Somalia where I will listen with
earnest, as I always did, to his enormous knowledge about
Somalia and the rest of the world. But now this is not going
to happen because brutal killers have crushed him to his death
in Goobweyn, outside Kismayo town.
In Kismayo there are more than fifty POWs belonging to the
same groups who committed the atrocities of 16 January, that
are being kept by the police and the community elders. Some
people in Kismayo want revenge, but the elders and the
community in general have so far opposed this stance as being
I am very angry about this atrocious and inhuman killing of my
uncle and his fellow townsmen. My emotional side calls for
revenge similar to those of the angry crowds in Kismayo, but
my rational side knows that violence breeds only violence. I
like to have faith in humanity that one day the killers will
be brought to justice. In honour of my uncle, I thus want to
turn my anger into a constructive action to promote peace,
respect for human dignity and life.
I urge all of those who receive this appeal to condemn whoever
committed unnecessary crimes towards Somali civilians wherever
and whoever they are through your radios, electronic media,
prayers, vigils and other gatherings. My uncle will not be
resurrected, but I want other uncles, brothers, sons,
husbands, wives, sisters, daughters, fathers and mothers never
to face such horrendous death. The perpetrators of such crimes
should not find refuge in our homes, tribal lands, or anywhere
in the world. We need your support to promote peace and end
the war in Somalia.
Today we are launching a monthly vigil for peace here in
Nairobi on the 16th of each month to remember all of those who
died in the senseless war of Somalia. The Women's Vigil for
Peace would like all peace loving men, women, of all ages, all
backgrounds, all nationalities to join us in our vigil. We are
contacting women all over Somalia and around the world to
organize peace vigils. On the 16th of each month we will share
one or two stories of the atrocities committed against Somali
civilians and will support each other by condemning these
inhuman acts and making a vigil for peace.
Here are the names of the nine people brutally killed in
- Abdirizak Hersi Dheere 58 years
- Abdirahman Mohamed Isse 43 years
- Nabadoon Yusuf Hassan Baadari 80 years
- Abdinuur Musse 33 years
- Ahmed Xiirey Kulan 20 years
- Sanweyne Salah Gamuure 30 years
- Abdirizak Jiis Jumbur 11 years
- Mohamud Moallin 45 years
- Jaama Mahdi 40 years
You can contact the Women's Vigil for Peace at:
firstname.lastname@example.org- OR at tel: 254-2-712885
email@example.com, OR at tel: 254-2-724193
P.O. Box 70331
Thank you for your support.
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the
Africa Policy Information Center (APIC). APIC's primary
objective is to widen the policy debate in the United States
around African issues and the U.S. role in Africa, by
concentrating on providing accessible policy-relevant
information and analysis usable by a wide range of groups and