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Cablegate: Somalia Dart Situation Report 20 -

VZCZCXRO8741
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #1248/01 0780839
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 190839Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8347
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0134
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 001248

SIPDIS

AIDAC

USAID/DCHA FOR MHESS, WGARVELINK, LROGERS
DCHA/OFDA FOR KLUU, GGOTTLIEB, AFERRARA, ACONVERY,
KCHANNELL
DCHA/FFP FOR WHAMMINK, JDWORKEN
AFR/AFR/EA FOR JBORNS
STATE FOR AF/E, AF/F AND PRM
STATE/AF/E FOR NGARY
STATE/F FOR ASISSON
STATE/PRM FOR AWENDT, MMCKELVEY
NSC FOR TSHORTLEY
USUN FOR AMAHONEY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
USMISSION UN ROME FOR RNEWBERG

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PHUM PREL PREF SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA DART SITUATION REPORT 20 -
DISPLACEMENT FROM MOGADISHU

NAIROBI 00001248 001.2 OF 002


SUMMARY

1. By March 8, the Office of the UN High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) had received reports of more than
40,000 people leaving Mogadishu over the past month.
The majority are new internally displaced persons
(IDPs) fleeing escalating insecurity in the capital,
however, up to 10,000 of the IDPs were originally from
Bay or Gedo regions and are now returning to their
areas of origin. Approximately 20,000 of the newly
displaced are currently gathered along the road from
Mogadishu to Afgoye in Lower Shabelle Region. Relief
agencies are working to identify additional needs and
to coordinate assistance efforts for the IDPs and host
communities. End summary.

BACKGROUND

2. Deteriorating security in Mogadishu has led more
than 40,000 people to leave the capital in the last
month for areas in southern and central Somalia where
they have clan support, according to reports received
by UNHCR as of March 8. General insecurity, targeted
attacks against Transitional Federal Government (TFG),
Ethiopian, and African Union Mission in Somalia
(AMISOM) troops, and retaliatory strikes against the
suspected attackers have increased in recent weeks and
are now occurring almost nightly, according to relief
agencies on the ground. UNHCR has reported that
civilians, and particularly IDPs, are often wounded or
killed in the attacks as many housing settlements are
located near military and other government facilities.

SETTLEMENTS NEAR MOGADISHU

3. As many as 20,000 people have settled in several
locations along the road from Mogadishu to Afgoye, and
near Qoryooley town, in Lower Shabelle Region.
Ceelasha, Xaawo Cabdi, and Lafoole towns have all
reported large numbers of IDPs arriving since early
February. UNHCR explains the high concentration of
IDPs in the area by the proximity to Mogadishu and the
relative availability of water and sanitation
facilities. In addition, approximately 4,500 people
have moved to nearby Jowhar town and Balcad District,
north of Mogadishu in Middle Shabelle Region.

DISPLACED IN BAY, GEDO, and HIRAN REGIONS

4. Of the 40,000 persons to leave Mogadishu in
February and early March, up to 10,000 of these were
originally displaced from Baidoa and nearby villages in
Bay Region, and from several locations in Gedo Region.
These IDPs are now returning to their places of origin
following a worsening security environment in
Mogadishu.

5. Approximately 3,000 individuals have arrived in
Hiran Region since early February, with most settling
in or near Belet Weyne town. Relief agencies in
Galgadud and Mudug regions report the arrival of 1,650
households from Mogadishu, including approximately
1,200 new IDPs in Galkayo town. The remainder of the
newly displaced are dispersed throughout Somalia.

HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND RESPONSE EFFORTS

6. In general, the vast majority of people uprooted

NAIROBI 00001248 002.2 OF 002


from insecurity in Mogadishu have sought out areas
inhabited by related clans, and many are receiving some
assistance from relatives and clan members. However,
UNHCR reports that resources and support mechanisms are
already stretched thin in most areas, and humanitarian
organizations are indicating that food, shelter, and
health care are urgent needs among new IDPs.

7. The UN World Food Program (WFP) reported that
assessments to determine the number, condition, and
needs of IDPs in Afgoye, Lower Juba Region, Balad in
Middle Juba Region, and Baidoa in Bay Region, are
ongoing as of March 15. The USAID-funded NGO World
Vision is scheduled to deliver a one-time food aid
distribution provided by WFP for approximately 1,900
IDPs in Tieglo town, Bakol Region, following an
assessment the week of March 5.

8. WFP noted that food aid for displaced populations
throughout southern and central regions will likely be
provided as one-off distributions based on the
expectation that IDPs will return to places of origin,
and to avoid creating a draw for additional population
displacement. UNHCR has recognized the need for
greater communication and coordination among relief
agencies in identifying and meeting the needs of new
IDPs.

COMMENTS

9. Although the TFG has pledged to improve security in
Mogadishu within 30 days following the upcoming
deployment of recently trained security forces, mortar
attacks and targeted killings of businessmen and TFG
supporters have increased in recent weeks. The
recently-arrived AMISOM troops have also met violent
resistance. In light of such resistance, and the
currently limited TFG capacity to prevent such attacks,
the humanitarian community is concerned that additional
displacement from Mogadishu will occur, and is bound to
strain the resources of host communities throughout
southern and central Somalia. The USG Disaster
Assistance Response Team (DART) based in Nairobi is
working with partner agencies to identify emerging
needs and coordinate appropriate response efforts.

RANNEBERGER

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