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Again, United Nations raises the alarm, says 200,000 face starvation as drought ravages Somalia

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The United Nations has, again, raised the alarm over impending starvation in Somalia with an estimated 200,000 people on the verge of famine after more than four years of drought have devastated livestock that many depend upon.

A top official of UN agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Africa, Abebe Haile-Gabriel, who raised the alarm in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria during a working visit on Tuesday, warned that the :Horn of Africa nation is on the brink of famine for the second time in just over a decade, with 200,000 people in danger of starvation.”

Halle-Gabriel who is Africa regional representative of the FAO, while addressing journalists at a press conference, said Somalia is facing a very alarming situation following decades of droughts and conflicts ravaging the country.

“The situation currently in Somalia is very alarming. The situation in Somalia, like I said, has been very dire. There has been drought for more than four years in a row and this has divesting impact on the livelihood of the people of Somalia.

“At least 200,000 people, including women and children, are on the verge of starvation is nothing urgent is done,” he said.

“There have been some efforts to provide assistance. FAO has been in collaborations with some donor agencies, to procure some fertilisers and make it available to farmers in the affected region

“This is not a sustainable solution. The sustainable solution is to find peace so that normal life can continue.”

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Rwanda accuses US of inflaming crisis in eastern DRC

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The government of Rwanda on Tuesday, accused the United States as well as the international community of ‘exacerbating and inflaming’ the crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The accusation was made by the Foreign Affairs Ministry after the US urged Kigali to stop any support for the M23 rebels who have a base in a Rwandan territory.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, had in a telephone call on Sunday to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, said “it was clear that all external support to non-state armed groups in the DRC must end, including Rwanda’s support for M23.”

But in a press release published on Tuesday, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vincent Biruta, affirmed that Paul Kagame and Anthony Blinken “had had good exchanges but that differences remain on the understanding of the problem.”

“The erroneous approach of the United States and the international community continues to exacerbate the problem in the east DRC.

“Rwanda’s security problems must be taken into account… M23 should not be equated with Rwanda,” Biruta said.

The crisis in eastern DRC between government forces and the M23 rebels which is made up of mainly Tutsi ethnic group, a predominant tribe in Rwanda, has continued to heighten tensions between the two neighbours with the DRC accusing Rwanda of supporting and encouraging the militia, accusations Kigali has always denies.

Rwanda on its part, has often blamed the crisis in eastern DRC on authorities in Kinshasa and accused the international community of turning a blind eye to DRC’s support for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel group made of Rwandan Hutus who were involved in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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Somali forces, local vigilantes, recapture strategic town from Al-Shabaab terrorists

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The Somali National Army (SNA), alongside local vigilantes popularly called Mo’awisley, on Monday, recaptured the strategic city of Adan Yabaal from the al-Shabaab terrorist group, the military said in a bulletin on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the town located near the border between Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions that comprise Hirshabelle State, which is about 220 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu, is one of the five federal member states of the Federal Government of Somalia, and had been a strategic location held by the al-Qaeda-sponsored extremist group.

The SNA said in the bulletin that it met no resistance from the al-Shabaab fighters who left the town without posing resistance on getting information about the approach of the federal troops.

Al-Shabaab have lost most of the towns and settlements in Hirshabelle State, both Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions, after the SNA and Mo’awisley vigilantes waged offensive wars.

“Mo’awisley vigilantes, who are mainly composed of nomadic herders, took up arms and rebelled against the jihadists’ confiscation of their livestock and illegal tax collection known as zakawaat.

“Over the last couple of weeks, the government forces and the vigilantes have been gradually inching towards the town which they seized on Monday. The town had been under the full control of al-Shabaab for over a decade,” the bulletin said.

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