UN: Fighting in Galkayo displaces 50,000
Mogadishu, Somalia ( DIPLOMAT.SO) – According to a report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – Armed violence broke out in Galkayo on 7 October 2016, leaving 11 people killed and dozens injured, according to local authorities. A peace agreement reached by clan elders and the business community on 9 October failed to hold and fighting erupted less than 24 hours after it was signed. The interim peace agreement had three key points: (1) an immediate cessation of hostilities; (2) an immediate withdrawal of armed personnel from the area of contention; and (3) discussions on peaceful resolutions of the issue to continue. A technical committee established to facilitate further negotiations between the two sides to address the root causes of the conflict is yet to make progress.
Intermittent fighting continues and humanitarian partners in Galkayo estimate that over 50,000 people have been displaced as of 13 October 2016. Local authorities have indicated that the number could be higher as more people continue to flee the violence. In addition, the authorities in south Mudug estimate that 70,000 people have been displaced in south Galkayo alone, with 90 per cent of them being IDPs from the southern part of the town. However, these figures cannot be substantiated as the situation is still fluid and volatile. Humanitarian partners operating in Galkayo are estimating that 60 per cent of the displaced are IDPs facing secondary displacements, raising protection concerns and raising vulnerability. There have also been reports of local authorities attempting to inhibit such movements.
A spot check by humanitarian organizations and local authorities confirmed that some of the IDP settlements and host communities adjacent to the Garsoor area are vacated. In north Galkayo, Al Amin-1, Afartakare, Kulmiye, and New Doonyaale IDP settlements are also vacated. Reports indicate that Qorahay and Midnimo IDP settlements in South Galkayo are also vacated. Partial displacement of IDPs has been reported in north Galkayo, including Al Amin-2, Bulo Kontrol and Warshadda Gallayda and Bulo Jawan, Bulo Noto, Ceel Gaab and Hiiraan-1 in South Galkayo.
Humanitarian impact and needs
Humanitarian partners estimate that 50,000 people have been displaced, 60 per cent of whom are IDPs facing secondary displacement. Humanitarian partners and authorities from south Galkayo have reported that the majority of civilians from south Galkayo have fled to parts of south Mudug and Galgadud, while those from north Galkayo fled to locations of north Mudug and Nugaal. All schools in Galkayo remain closed with over 20,000 learners affected. Commercial activities are also impacted, leading to the disruption of livelihood activities especially for the IDPs, the poor and most vulnerable who are dependent on informal trade and manual labour. Tensions have led to constraints on the humanitarian activities in the town due to staff safety and security concerns. The flow of commercial and humanitarian supplies and services between Galgaduud and Mudug regions has been disrupted. Galkayo provides the access network to central regions such as Hiiraan, Galgadud and South Mudug for commodities from the port of Bossaso. Agricultural products and livestock from southern and central Somalia also pass through Galkayo serving northern towns. The armed violence has exacerbated an already fragile humanitarian situation in Galkayo and its surrounding areas, especially for IDPs who continue to live in deplorable conditions and makeshift structures.
Humanitarian partners are providing life-saving assistance to displaced people in the outskirts of Galkayo. Shelter, WASH, food, protection and health are priority needs. The WASH cluster partners are supplying 10,000 litres of water per day to the displaced persons in Haar- Haarka in South Galkayo. The displaced persons in some parts of north Galkayo are accessing water from boreholes in the host communities. The health cluster partners will deploy mobile clinics to provide primary health care to displaced. In south Galkayo, some health and nutrition cluster partners have relocated their integrated health and nutrition services to Haar-Haarka area to assist the displaced people. WASH and nutrition services will be scaled up in other villages outside south Galkayo where the displaced have arrived. With the rainy season drawing close, there is need to pre-position relief items in Galkayo. OCHA is leading inter-agency coordination meetings and plans are underway for a rapid assessment to establish needs and gaps. In addition, a task force comprising of representatives from humanitarian partners and local authorities has been formed in both north and south Galkayo to monitor and assess the evolving situation and feedback information to ensure timely and appropriate response.