Somalia / by Alistair Galloway

The United States (US) took responsibility for the deaths of Somali allied local militia, killed by US air strikes. The Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, consisting mainly of Somali refugees, is soon to be closed. The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund allocated $3 million to a repatriation project in order to integrate refugees back into Somali communities. The new federal government was sworn in; however, the presidential election has been delayed for a fourth time. After disagreements and conflict regarding the nullification of seats, the election is now set to take place in January 2017. Burundi threatened to withdraw approximately 5,000 soldiers from its peacekeeping forces in AMISOM after failing to receive payment from the European Union (EU). The African Union investigated two separate cases where civilians were killed by African Union troops. The African Union also condemned an attack on civilians in Mogadishu when a vehicle detonated near the entrance of the seaport. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for this attack, as well as the assassination of a senior official in Puntland. The deputy commander of the presidential commander was also killed, although no group has yet taken responsibility for this attack. With troops being withdrawn from the AMISOM mission, AMISOM plans for the Somalia Police Force to be fully operational and standing on its own by 2017. As of now, their troops lack resources and numbers. The newly elected federal government rejected the proposed budget for the new year as it failed to make allocations for the salaries of MPs and other officials. The government aimed to review any spending that is inconsistent with revenue generated. The Somali President appealed to the international community for a speedy response to the problems of drought and famine in Somalia. A National Drought Committee has been appointed to deal with the crisis. The Swedish government donated $2.2 million to drought response, which will be used towards food, water, and medical supplies.

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