News in Brief 9 February 2017 (PM)

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The new President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, is sworn in after he was declared the winner of the election held at the Mogadishu Airport hangar. UN Photo/Ilyas Ahmed.

Somali president faces “formidable” set of challenges, international partners say

Somalia’s new president faces a “formidable” set of challenges in meeting the expectations of the Somali people, the country’s international partners have said.

The United Nations, African Union, European Union (EU), the African regional trade bloc, IGAD, Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the US issued the statement on Thursday.

Mohamed Abdullahi, known by the nickname "Farmajo," was declared the winner after two rounds of voting by the Somali Parliament in the capital, Mogadishu.

The new federal government will be expected to respond to the country’s worsening drought crisis and avert another famine, the partners explained.

Improving security is another top priority President Farmajo identified.

However, this will require continued partnership with the African Union and international donors.

A 22,000 strong African Union force funded by the EU is currently in the country to combat an insurgency led by Al-Shabaab.

Other challenges include reconciliation and a peaceful resolution of a number of local conflicts together with resuming the constitutional review process.

The UN Special Envoy for Somalia, Michael Keating, welcomed the “orderly and peaceful transfer of power” as a major achievement for Somalia.

He said the international community was eager to partner with the new President and the country’s federal member states and the people of Somalia, to respond to these challenges.

More funding needed for humanitarian mine action, UN says

The United Nations is calling for a boost in funding for humanitarian mine action because of an increase in the number of casualties around the world due to landmines and other explosive hazards.

The online Portfolio of Mine Action Projects presents an overall requirement for US$ 511 million, a 50 per cent increase from last year’s consolidated appeal.

The highest funding requirements are for active conflict zones like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

The Portfolio shows a sharp increase in the need for mine clearance, risk-education and victims assistance in conflict and post-conflict settings globally.

In addition, needs remain in countries which have extensive residual contamination, such as Cambodia and the Lao’s People’s Democratic Republic.

UN official in CAR decries “forceful entry” into health facility with arms

The forceful entry into a health facility by armed elements has been strongly condemned by the Acting Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Michel Yao who is also the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative warned it was a violation of international humanitarian law.

The intention of the militia members was to kill some of the injured.

The incident followed clashes in Bangui’s PK5 neighborhood between Muslim and Christian fighters on Thursday.

A military operation ensued resulting in 26 people injured and another three dead.

These figures include civilians and combatants.

This is the second incident in the same health facility within four days.

Dr Yao urged all stakeholders to respect health facilities and ensure the civilian character of these health installations to enable free and unhindered access to patients and medical staff.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 3’26”

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