Archives for posts with tag: IDP

Multiple Emergencies Pose Great Test for Global Humanitarian System

Excellent summary from Valerie Amos, Humanitarian Affairs & Emergency Relief Coordinator covering Syria, Philippines, CAR, South Sudan, Sudan, DRC, Somalia, Sahel, Afghanistan, Haiti, & Myanmar.

UNHCR is lead agency for shelter, camp coordination, management & protection in humanitarian response in Rakhine state, Myanmar. Current priority is to provide temporary relief for displaced during rainy season.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45614&Cr=myanmar&Cr1=#.UguXItWnapg

Somali Violence

Despite Exit of Militants, Violence Continues to Grip Somali City and Raise Concerns
The fighting in Kismayu, according to the health organization, has had “a profound impact on civilians and humanitarian aid work,” displacing civilians, raising the risk of a cholera outbreak and delaying a polio campaign.

IDP’s in Myanmar State

“Joint efforts by the Government, community leaders and humanitarian actors are also needed to dispel rumours about the rights of displaced people to return to their places of origin in Kyein Ni Pyin and other villages where these sentiments have been emerging,” said Mr. Adrian Edwards, UNHCR spokesperson.

In measuring the impact of Syria’s devastating, ongoing conflict, the month of March presents the world with some very grim statistics, The uprising against President Bashar al-Assad is Two Years in the making, causing 70,000 Deaths, 2 Million Internally Displaced People (IDP’s), and 1 Million Refugees to neighboring countries.  The $521 Million Syrian Humanitarian Response Plan is only 21.5% funded, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA.) And this figure INCLUDES the $200 Million pledged in Kuwait at January’s donor conference.

03-13-2013princecharles

However, it was welcome news that Britain’s Prince Charles of Wales and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, visited the Prince Abdullah refugee camp in Jordan. The strain of so many refugees has been an added burden to host countries, and Jordan has been a model for its health facilities, distribution logistics, and shelter for so many arrivals. The Prince and Duchess commended Jordan’s herculean humanitarian response, and the Royal Couple also listened to tragic stories directly from the refugees at the camp.

UN News Centre Source

Prince Charles of Wales and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, today met with United Nations staff assisting Syrian refugees in a camp in Jordan during a visit that coincided with urgent calls from the head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) for emergency funding to aid more than one million Syrian refugees and another two million people displaced inside Syria.

Accompanied by Jordan’s Prince Ghazi bin Mohammad, Prince Charles and his wife paid an hour-long visit to the Prince Abdullah Park, where they toured the camp’s health clinic and aid distribution points, and examined pre-fabricated shelters provided by UNHCR to Syrian refugees.

The heir to the British throne praised the relief efforts and expressed “enormous respect for what Jordan and the humanitarian community have done for refugees … The Jordanian people are truly remarkable in what they manage to cope with.” “It’s remarkable what UNHCR and others are doing to try and deal with this unbelievably difficult and heart-breaking situation,” he added.

In a conversation with one of the families taking refuge in the camp, 55-year-old Musa told the royal couple that he decided to flee Syria with his wife and five children last September after he was arrested and tortured.

Also today in Jordan, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, called for additional financial aid, warning that a lack of funding could destabilize the entire region. “This is not just any crisis. It requires a special mechanism of support,” Mr. Guterres told journalists in Amman, following meetings with Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

“There is no way this can be funded by normal humanitarian aid budgets,” he noted, warning that “the consequences could be devastating for the Syrian people and for regional stability” if significant new funding was not forthcoming.

A final, probing question: “How much longer will this war last as the rest of the World watches and counts the numbers?” ,,,

By, Susan Sacirbey

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12-04-2012somalihelp-1

Throughout history, women have been used as tools of war, propaganda, and injustice.  Tragically, in contemporary time we have seen history repeat in war and conflict zones from Bosnia & Herzegovina, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the comfort women of Japan. But war is not the only excuse for this depravity and abuse of human rights.  Rape is perpetrated in all cosmopolitan cities and rural areas throughout the world and will continue until a cultural and societal mind-set changes and the victim is not blamed or stigmatized, and the perpetrator is brought to accountability and justice.

 

An IDP (internally displaced camp) in Somalia is the recent scene of an alleged rape by men she claimed wearing government uniforms who were members of Somali security forces.  Both she and the journalist who interviewed her were both sentenced to one year in prison by Mogadishu.

 

Both the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and the UN Human Rights Chief, Navi Pillay, have decried the sentencing and called for the government to re-open its case. “The Secretary-General urges the Government of Somalia to ensure that all allegations of sexual violence are investigated fully and perpetrators are brought to justice. Above all, it is essential that the rights of the alleged victim and the journalist to a fair and transparent judicial process, including the right of appeal, are fully respected.”

 

From reports, IDP camps in and around Mogadishu have experienced pervasive sexual violence. Despite the courage this woman undertook to report her alleged abuse, the festering results of rape including stigmatization and shame haunt her and her family members. If rape survivors come forward, will justice be their double-edged sword?

 

UN News Centre Source

“Sexual abuse in the camps for displaced people in Somalia is a real issue, and any effort to expose, denounce and deter these crimes should be supported,” said the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. “It is deeply disturbing that a woman alleging rape can be penalized for reporting such a crime, and a journalist jailed for investigating it.”

 

Last month, Somali authorities arrested the woman – who claimed she was raped in September by armed men in government uniforms while living in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) – and the journalist who interviewed her, as well as the person who introduced them. Two other individuals have also been charged in connection with the case.

 

The journalist, Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, was charged for offending the honour of a State institution and for filing a false report in spite of never having published his interview, while the alleged victim was charged for offending the honour of a State institution.

 

“I raised this case 10 days ago directly with the Government of Somalia,” Ms. Pillay said. “I am now calling on the Government to urgently re-open this case and launch a full inquiry to clearly establish what happened and, if any allegations of abuses against the victim and the journalist are confirmed, to hold those responsible accountable.”

 

Ms. Pillay underlined that the incident also puts at risk freedom of expression in a country where independent journalists have been regularly targeted and killed. “Sexual violence is a perfectly valid subject for any journalist to investigate. No journalist should be arrested and sentenced by a court to one year in jail for doing his work.”

 

She also condemned the statements made by some public authorities, including Police Commissioner General Sharif Shekuna Maye at a press conference last month, which exposed the alleged victim to public stigmatization, and undermined her right to presumption of innocence.

 

“I am very concerned about the impact the penalization of the woman alleging rape could have in the fight against impunity in sexual violence cases, especially given the reports of increasing sexual violence in Somalia,” the High Commissioner said. “And I am particularly shocked by the exposure of the victim of the alleged rape to public stigmatization,” she added.

 

The UN Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) as well as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, had also spoken out in recent weeks about the case, calling for alleged crimes to be investigated and for a fair judicial process to be ensured.

 

By, Susan Sacirbey

 

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PHOTO:  Courtesy WFP / David Orr  (Women and children wait for assistance from the drought/famine in Dolo, southern Somalia.)

 

Blog Report: “SUMMARY KILLINGS, RAPE, SEXUAL ABUSE & TORTURE” By Ambassador Mo
After around 4 months of fighting in the most recent cycle in the DRC presumably ignited by a military rebellion (M23) but also suspected of involving outside forces/neighboring countries, almost half a million persons have been displaced & both a human rights & humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding, with minimal political response. –MORE–
http://diplomaticallyincorrect.org/blog_post/drc-summary-killings-rape-sexual-abuse-torture/55176Image