The top UN humanitarian official in the Somalia signals a new effort to work with Somali insurgents to promote humanitarian access.
Kampala, Uganda became the target of twin bombings as crowds gathered to watch the World Cup earlier today. Details are still emerging, but the bombs seemed to target crowds gathered at an Ethiopian restaurant and a rugby club, both of which were places where soccer fans gathered to watch the Spain-Netherlands World Cup final. The death toll seems to be upwards of 50 people, and the government seems to blaming the Somali insurgent group, al-Shabaab.
With the security climate in Somalia showing no signs of improvement, hundreds of thousands of Somali citizens have been displaced since early 2010. The UNHCR estimates there are currently 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia, and this trend is on the increase. The ongoing fighting in Mogadishu and other locations has caused nearly 170,000 residents to flee since the beginning of the year, according to the UNHCR.
The New York Times gets his hands on a UN memo that is sharply critical of the World Food Programs operations in Somalia. The report, which will be presented to the Security Council next week, accuses the WFP aid of channeling its food aid through a host of seemingly nefarious actors:
Steve Clemons lands a really great interview with Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo "Steven" Musyoka, who was in Washington, D.C. this week for the National Prayer Breakfast. Anyone interested in Somalia and the politics of East Africa should spend the next 8 minutes watching this video.
Somalia has long been one of the most dangerous places in the world for UN-affiliated aid workers. Beyond the general lawlessness of the place is the fact that one of the main insurgent groups, al Shabaab, has specificily targeted aid workers and UN agencies as enemies.