UN Secretary General Visits Somalia as Famine Threatens

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is seen on a TV screen while addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 27, 2017 in Geneva. The United Nations Human Rights Council opens its main annual session, with the US taking its seat for the first time under President Donald Trump’s leadeships. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI

Somalia is currently facing hunger crisis, this led the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterresto visit the country to discuss possible solutions.

He arrived Somalia on Tuesday and told journalists during the flight to Mogadishu that,“The combination of conflict, drought, climate change, diseases and cholera is a nightmare,” Guterres told journalists during the flight to Mogadishu.

“It’s essentially a visit of solidarity with Somalia. We are trying to put in place a response mechanism… for trying to prevent the worst”.

Guterres will also meet the newly elected president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed better known by his nickname Farmajo, in the highly secured airport zone, which is protected by African Union peacekeepers and which houses the offices of the UN and humanitarian organisations.

This is the third visit by a UN secretary general to Somalia since 1993 — two years after then president Siad Barre was overthrown, plunging the country into civil war. Before Guterres, his predecessor Ban Ki-moon visited in 2011 just months after the country’s last famine which was Africa’s worst in 20 years and left 260,000 people dead. He returned in 2014.

Guardian reports that, a fierce drought has left some three million people in Somalia facing severe hunger and placed the country on famine alert. Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire on Saturday said that at least 110 people had died in 48 hours from “droughts and acute watery diarrhoea” caused by lack of food, medicine and access to safe drinking water.





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