WASHINGTON – The United States called Monday on Sudan to agree to an emergency aid plan in its southern war zone as officials voiced growing alarm over imminent food shortages and a rising flow of refugees.
The United Nations, Arab League and African Union have proposed to Sudan a mission to deliver aid to its states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where fighting broke out last year despite the independence of nearby South Sudan.
“We’ve pressed very, very hard for that,” Princeton Lyman, the US special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, said of the aid plan.
“There are ways to get food in — other ways — but they are not sufficient to the scope of the problem,” he told reporters on a conference call. “We think it’s vital and we think it’s a very high priority.”
The conflict made international headlines last month when actor George Clooney was arrested outside Sudan’s embassy in Washington as he demanded an end to the offensive. The US Senate last week passed a resolution calling on Sudan to allow immediate humanitarian access to the restive states.
Christa Capozzola, a senior official at the US Agency for International Development, said Monday that the situation was “very serious” with 200,000 to 250,000 people close to running short of food in South Kordofan and similar shortages expected by August in Blue Nile.
Some 140,000 refugees have fled the two states, mostly to South Sudan which is putting a major burden on the young and impoverished nation, said Catherine Wiesner, a State Department official.
Some 4.7 million people in South Sudan are already facing hunger this year of which at least one million are projected to be “severely food insecure,” Wiesner told the conference call.
“Humanitarian conditions are understood to be deteriorating in both conflict zones and so additional arrivals are expected in the coming months,” she said.
“With these numbers, obviously the (humanitarian) agencies remain in a race against time,” she said.
Iranian diplomats review Islamic Awakening in Arab states – Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdullahian, chaired the diplomats annual meeting and referred to impacts of Islamic Awakening on Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain as well as people’s uprisings in the region (on Iranian foreign policy). Abdullahian said that the Islamic Awakening raised the expectations of people from Iran as a harbinger of the Islamic movement over the past decades. Iran’s role in regional development cooperation, maintaining security and stability of the region and vindicating the legitimate rights of people is clear to all. He said that role of media in demonstrating recent developments is of prime importance, adding that Iran seeks to broaden cooperation with regional countries in a bid to persuade them to meet their people’s demands.
FM stresses Syrian efforts for release of Iranian abductees – Ali Akbar Salehi and his Syrian counterpart stressed the Syrian government’s efforts to obtain the release of the Iranian abductees. Salehi expressed his concern over the fate of the Iranian abductees in Syria.
Iranian Red Crescent Society (RC) plans to open a third polyclinic in Kenya as part of Tehran’s medical and social aid program for improving the health care system of the African nation – According to a statement issued by the RC, Iran’s third polyclinic in Kenya will be opened in Mombasa in the near future. Iran has already set up two polyclinics in the capital city of Nairobi. The clinic will have different sections, including maternity and delivery wards, a drugstore and laboratory. Iran is an observing member of the African Union and has shown an active presence in previous AU summit meetings.
Defense Minister: NATO’s plan to deploy a missile shield in Turkey demonstrates the US and European states’ military and political weakness – Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said, “The NATO missile shield is a show of power on the surface but, in fact, shows the enemy’s weak position and helplessness […] On the other hand, if Europeans see themselves in need of such a missile shield against Iran, why don’t they take any action in this regard, and it is just the U.S. that talks about this plan and advertises it.” Earlier IRGC Aerospace Commander, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, warned that Tehran will target the NATO missile shield in Turkey should it come under attack. “We have prepared ourselves, if any threat is staged against Iran, we will target NATO’s missile shield in Turkey and will then attack other targets.”
Banner headline in the ultra-conservative daily Kayhan: Maneuvers near the Strait of Hormuz Scare the West –
Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy: Western chopper shooed away from naval drill zone – Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi said, “A chopper which belonged to the trans-regional countries tried to approach the region of the Velayat 90 war games, but it left the area when it received a serious warning after it ignored two other warning signals of our units.” Admiral Moussavi declined to provide any further details about the alleged incident. Continue reading
Monday, November 14, 2011
A top official in Kenya’s Foreign Ministry, Lindsay Kiptiness, says Kenya is trying to gain support from the Arab League and predominantly Muslim nations such as Turkey and Iran that have backed Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government.
Kenya’s military says it is working with TFG forces to eliminate Somalia-based al-Shabab terrorists near the Kenyan border.
Kenya recently launched its military operation in what it deemed an act of self-defense, following several cross-border attacks blamed on Somali militants.
The military says hundreds of al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab terrorists have been killed or wounded since the military incursion began. Five Kenyan soldiers have died.
Kiptiness also says Kenya will be approaching the U.N. Security Council to seek an expansion of the African Union peacekeeping mission, or AMISOM, to cover all of Somalia, not just the capital, Mogadishu.
Kenyan officials have said they will ask AMISOM and forces from Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government to help maintain the peace in southern Somalia when Kenyan troops eventually withdrawal. VoA
- Kenya: 8 Soldiers Killed Since Somalia Incursion (abcnews.go.com)
- Somali boys escape militia for poverty in Nairobi (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Kenya Asks Arab World for Support in Somalia – Voice of America (voanews.com)
- Kenya: 30 Somalia Insurgency Recruits Take Amnesty (abcnews.go.com)
- Kenya: 30 members of Somali al Shabab accept amnesty (ctv.ca)
- Kenya: 30 Somalia insurgency recruits take amnesty (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Ahmed Mohamed Egal
July 22, 2009
During the last six months we have witnessed the effective collapse of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) lead by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, as Al-Shabaab and its allies have seized control of nearly all of Somalia, including Mogadishu, where Sheikh Sharif and his ministers cower in the Presidential Palace (Villa Somalia) under the protection of the AMISOM forces. The Western Powers and the UN Security Council persist in deluding themselves that the TFG remains the “government” of Somalia and that it is capable of mounting an effective fight against the extremists of Al-Shabaab and its allies, notably the Hizb-al-Islam of Hassan Dahir Aweys. This delusion has lead the US to send some US$ 10 million of military aid to the TFG last week, while the TFG, for its part, has clearly enunciated its abject helplessness by declaring a state of emergency and appealing for foreign troops to be urgently sent to Mogadishu to save it from being overrun by the jihadists. Indeed, in what would be a cruel irony, it is likely that most of the arms and munitions sent to the TFG by the US will fall into the hands of the very extremists that they were to be used against. Continue reading