The African Union Permanent Representative Sub-Committee (AUPRC) on Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) led by Ambassador Adenkule J.M. King has concluded a five-day assessment mission in Somalia, with a commitment to scale up interventions in the current humanitarian situation in the country.
The team held discussions with the Senior Leadership of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), led by the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia and Head of (ATMIS), Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, Southwest State President, Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed ‘Laftagareen’, Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, Ahmed Moallim Fiqi, Ambassadors of troop contributing countries (TTCs), and representatives of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
In a media address at the ATMIS Mission Headquarters in Mogadishu, Amb. King expressed the African Union’s solidarity with the ongoing efforts to restore peace and stability in Somalia.
“Somalia needs all the support from the African Union, the international community, and the regional bloc in the Horn of Africa because transforming a post-conflict country is not an easy task. War destroys the entire fabric of any country,” said Amb. King.
The delegation visited an IDP camp in Baidoa, one of the most affected regions in the Southwest state, where an estimated 330 000 people have been displaced by the effects of drought and conflict.
The region has the highest number of internally displaced persons confronting acute humanitarian situations with few interventions.
“There is still a need for humanitarian support. We observed the challenges the IDPs are facing ranging from poor shelter, lack of water, unemployment, and missing children who take the risky journey along the Indian Ocean in search of survival. It is a difficult situation,” added Amb. King.
While in Somalia, the sub-committee also held discussions with representatives of United Nations Agencies including the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The visit was part of an African Union assessment mission in response to the effects of the long drought, which has left over 1.5 million people in Southwest State’s Bay, Bakool, and Lower Shabelle regions facing extreme food insecurity and lost livelihoods.