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Cablegate: Somalia Humanitarian Update - Protection

VZCZCXRO6709
PP RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2344/01 1570808
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 060808Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0134
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0178
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 NAIROBI 002344

SIPDIS

AIDAC

AID/DCHA FOR MHESS/WGARVELINK
DCHA/OFDA FOR KLUU/GGOTTLIEB/AFERRARA/ACONVERY/
KCHANNELL
DCHA/FFP FOR WHAMMINK/JDWORKEN
AFR/AFR/EA FOR BDUNFORD
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 TMALY
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 HUMANITARIAN UPDATE - PROTECTION
CONCERNS IN MOGADISHU

NAIROBI 00002344 001.2 OF 003


1. SUMMARY: Reports from humanitarian agencies
highlight grave humanitarian protection concerns in
Mogadishu. Key issues include ongoing violent attacks,
unexploded ordnance (UXO), and evictions from public
buildings. While the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Children?s
Fund (UNICEF) are actively monitoring and reporting on
violations, insecurity and limited access is hindering
the implementation of protection programs. USAID?s
Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and
State/PRM, are supporting protection monitoring efforts
through UNHCR and UNICEF. Septel will address
humanitarian access status. End summary.

ONGOING VIOLENCE

2. Despite the cessation of major military operations
in Mogadishu, civilians continue to suffer collateral
damage and injury from insurgent and counterinsurgent
activities. UN?s Department of Safety and Security
reports at least one security incident, ranging from
hand grenade explosions to road side bombs, each day.
Medical facilities continue to receive civilians with
weapon-related wounds.

UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE

3. Heavy fighting between insurgents and TFG and
Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu in March and April left
an unknown quantity of UXO scattered throughout the
city. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) and
UNICEF report an increase in UXO-related injuries at
health facilities as the fighting subsided and people
began transiting through the city again. According to
UNICEF, children are the most at risk of injury as they
are often unaware of the threat. On May 5, two
children were killed and eight others injured when a
UXO that they were playing with exploded. A similar
incident occurred on May 27, injuring seven children.

4. Humanitarian agencies are emphasizing the need for
UXO removal and mine risk education (MRE) activities.
Due to insecurity and limited access, humanitarian
organizations have been unable to carry out a full
assessment of the threat of UXOs. As access improves,
however, the Danish Demining Group (DDG), which has
experience with demining in Somaliland, is planning a
four-week assessment to determine the extent of the
problem in Mogadishu. DDG hopes to begin the survey in
June, security permitting. UNICEF, UNHCR and UNDP will
participate in the assessment and help prepare a plan
of action for a six-month program.

5. In addition, UNICEF has begun broadcasting UXO
awareness radio spots through Horn Afrique in
Mogadishu. UNICEF is also bringing in surplus MRE
materials from a program implemented by Handicap
International in Somaliland.

6. UNHCR and UNICEF reported that discussions are
underway with the African Union Mission to Somalia
(AMISOM) to identify potential UXO clearance and MRE
activities within the mission?s mandate. UNHCR also
said that the UN Mine Action Service has been requested
to assist in UXO clearance and awareness in Somalia.

EVICTIONS FROM PUBLIC BUILDINGS


NAIROBI 00002344 002.2 OF 003


7. According to UNHCR, nearly 250,000 internally
displaced persons (IDPs) were residing in Mogadishu
prior to the recent fighting, some of which have lived
as squatters on government property for the last 15
years. In an effort to re-establish government offices
in Mogadishu, the TFG recently announced that IDPs will
not be allowed to occupy government-owned buildings and
land. Those who are currently in the buildings will be
evicted and those who fled the city during the recent
fighting will not be allowed to return to domicile in
government-owned buildings.

8. The TFG has reportedly established a committee to
address the internal resettlement of people who are
unable to return to their prior residence. However,
UNHCR, which is the lead agency for the Somalia
Protection Cluster, reports no evidence that the
committee is operational. Furthermore, UNHCR noted
that there is currently no clear point of contact
within the TFG on this issue, with four separate
entities demanding to be consulted on IDP issues: the
Mayor of Mogadishu, the National Refugee Committee, the
Office of the Prime Minister, and the newly established
but not yet operational evictions committee. Despite
the four entities claiming to have a role, none have
responded to UNHCR?s requests for a resettlement plan.

PROTECTION MONITORING EFFORTS

9. Protection is an important component of OFDA?s
mandate and Somalia strategy. OFDA-funded programs
mainstream protection into traditional sector
activities to reduce the risk and extent of harm to
civilians. In addition, OFDA ? along with State/PRM -
supports stand-alone protection programs like UNHCR and
UNICEF?s protection monitoring systems in Somalia. So
far in FY 2007, USAID?s Office of US Foreign Disaster
Assistance (OFDA) has provided $575,000 to UNICEF for
child protection activities and plans to provide
approximately $300,000 to UNHCR for IDP protection
programs.

10. Insecurity remains a key impediment for UNICEF and
UNHCR in Somalia. While active in monitoring and
advocacy through implementing partners, UNICEF and
UNHCR hope to become more operational in the protection
sector as security and access improve. Both agencies
note that monitoring provides a clearer picture of the
protection environment; however, insecurity continues
to hinder prevention of abuses.

UNICEF CHILD PROTECTION MONITORING

11. UNICEF is mandated by UN Security Council
Resolution 1612 to monitor and report on child rights
violations in Somalia. UNICEF has trained nearly 40
child protection monitors from 20 non-governmental
organizations to assist in this effort. These monitors
utilize a standard method for reporting violations to
UNICEF which inputs the information into a database.
The information is analyzed and presented to the UN
Security Council on a regular basis.

12. In addition, UNICEF supports a network of child
protection advocates throughout the country. The
network is comprised of 32 two-person teams trained by
UNICEF. Teams visit a community for two to three weeks
during which time the team conducts a protection

NAIROBI 00002344 003.2 OF 003


survey, carries out child rights education, and assists
in setting up community-based protection programs. The
team returns to the community on a bi-annual basis to
provide follow-up support.

UNHCR PROTECTION MONITORING NETWORK

13. As the lead agency for protection issues under the
UN Cluster System, UNHCR leads monthly protection
cluster meetings in Nairobi and manages the Protection
Monitoring Network (PMN), which tracks protection
incidents through partners on the ground. UNHCR
obtains information regarding human rights violations
and the humanitarian condition of populations of
concern, such as IDPs and refugees, through various
sources, including local media, hospitals, and local
partners. Currently, 32 partner organizations provide
information to UNHCR for the weekly PMN reports that
coincide with the agency?s Population Movement Tracking
reports. These reports have provided essential
information to the humanitarian community for
programming and advocacy activities.

14. UNHCR has trained 18 local NGOs to increase
awareness of human rights issues and to inform victims
of violations of the various response mechanisms that
are available to them. UNHCR is also training Somalis
to become trainers on protection concerns in an effort
to expand awareness and mobilize government officials,
and traditional and religious leaders on human rights.

CONCLUSION

15. Protection remains a major concern in the fragile
political/military context of Mogadishu. UN and other
efforts to monitor protection violations are
increasing, but efforts to prevent them are in the
early stages. They will depend on continuing
improvement in the security situation and increased
access by humanitarian agencies.

RANNEBERGER

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