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Authorities warn Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia over worst drought in decades

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Authorities in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia have warned that higher temperatures and less than normal rainfall were recorded by weather agencies in March and April this year which could result in severe drought.

According to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, rains will likely fail for a fourth consecutive year, triggering fears of increased cases of malnutrition, threats to livelihoods, and severe risks for 29 million people in the region.
The recurring and severe droughts and other natural disasters between 1974 and 1984 caused widespread famine, ecological degradation, and economic hardship in the Eastern Africa region.
Although individual countries made substantial efforts to cope with the situation and received generous support from the international community, the magnitude and extent of the problem argued strongly for a regional approach to supplement national efforts.
“Approximately, we have 29 million people who are facing high levels of food insecurity according to the latest experts’ estimates. Already, 15.5 – 16 million of our sisters and brothers are in need of immediate food assistance due to this drought,” said IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu.
For Dr Mahamed Shafi, Director at Gode Hospital in Ethiopia, this is the worst drought they have witnessed in 20 years.
“This drought is the worst drought that we have seen for the last 20 years. It affected the whole community, especially children, especially the under-five children. So we are getting here a lot of malnourished children, more than the children that we have seen six months ago, you know the number of admissions have increased from five patients per day to 15 patients per day,” he said.
In November 2021, scientists at the Famine Early Warning System Network sent out a warning that an unprecedented drought in the Horn of Africa was imminent if poor seasonal rainfall continued into 2022. Tragically, their prediction is turning out to be prescient.
East Africa is experiencing the driest conditions and hottest temperatures since satellite record-keeping began. As a result, as many as 13 million people are currently experiencing acute food and water shortages and a projected 25 million will face a similar fate by mid-2022.

Metro

Nigeria: Presidency warns against planned nationwide protest, accuses opposition

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The Nigerian Presidency has warned against a planned nationwide protest scheduled to kick off on August 1, saying it could degenerate into anarchy.

Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, who gave the warning on Saturday, said those behind the planned protest want to destabilise the country, urging citizens to be very careful because they may not predict what could be the end of such action.

Onanuga also accused supporters of the Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, popularly called Obidients, of being behind the planned protest.

Onanuga who acknowledged that it is the right of people to protest in a democracy, he however cautioned those behind it to should be careful so that it will not be hijacked by people who would use the opportunity to cause problems.

“My post is just to highlight that the people who are organizing this so-called nationwide protest are members of Labour party, they are Peter Obi supporters, so that’s my own take of it, it’s my own opinion so I am not going to say more than this,” he said.

“That is their problem, I am not interested in what they want to do. I am just trying to say, look these are the people that are saying, we must do Kenya, so these are the people mobilizing, that is my own point.

“So, nobody is saying you must not protest, protest is legitimate in a democracy. The concern of people is that when you start a protest and it is not well managed, the end cannot be predicted just like people could not predict the end of EndSars.

“So, that’s just the concern of people. And again when you are saying revolution now, revolution now, do they know the meaning of revolution now? Revolution means you are calling for a coup d’etat, that’s the meaning of it and that’s the point that I am making, nothing more than that. So anybody can protest, it’s within their rights to protest, nobody says you should not protest.

“Check their handles and see what they are posting, just follow what they have been posting. What I did was to do content analysis of what these people are posting as a journalist,” the Presidential spokesman said.

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Metro

Over 10 million people displaced by Sudan war— IOM

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that as the world’s worst displacement crisis worsens in Sudan, almost 10 million, which is about 20% of the country’s population, have been forced from their homes since the conflict there started.

This is the most recent alarming estimate from the nation in East Africa, which has been destroyed by fighting that started in April 2023. The majority of the nation, around 50 million people, are now in need of humanitarian help and half of them are experiencing starvation as a result of the war.

According to a bimonthly report from the IOM, since the start of the conflict, over 2.2 million people have fled to foreign nations and about 7.8 million have sought safety within the nation. Previous conflicts in the country have already resulted in the displacement of an additional 2.8 million people.

When fighting broke out between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital city of Khartoum last year, it soon spread to the west throughout Darfur, with the RSF seizing control of most of the major cities.

Some UN experts have argued that the main cause of migration from Darfur—where it is impossible to provide aid—is now hunger rather than conflict.

“All refugees I met said the reason why they fled Sudan was hunger,” said World Health Organisation country director Dr. Shible Sahbani to reporters after visiting refugees from Darfur, the source of half of the displaced population, in Chad.

“A woman who just reached Adré reported that all food they used to produce locally in Darfur was taken by the fighters,” he added.

More than 150,000 people were displaced from Sennar state as the RSF extended its reach in the southeast of the nation in recent weeks, according to the IOM. Many of these individuals were relocated for the second or third time following RSF attacks on houses and marketplaces in the state’s minor towns and villages.

The RSF blames the activities of rogue actors and disputes that it has harmed civilians.

RSF forces have conducted incursions in Gedaref state, home to 668,000 people who are facing heavy rains and no shelter. This state is currently hosting a large number of displaced persons.

Human Rights Watch issued a warning last week about the risk of the RSF expanding into the Gedaref for the 40,000 Ethiopian refugees, most of whom are Tigrayans, who are alleged by the RSF to be fighting alongside the army.

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