Horn of Africa

Food security alarm for east, central Africa

NAIROBI, 13 August 2014 (IRIN) - Some 20 million people are facing acute food insecurity in eastern and central Africa, with most of them being at “crisis” and “emergency” levels, according to aid agencies. This figure compares unfavorably with 15.8 million people in July 2013. full report

Ethiopia’s game-changing abortion law

ADDIS ABABA, 8 August 2014 (IRIN) - After decades battling high maternal death rates - at least a third of which were due to botched abortions - Ethiopia took a stand: it prioritized newborn and maternal health, and in 2005 it relaxed its abortion law in an effort to save women’s lives. full report

Briefing: Somaliland, oil and security

HARGEISA, 7 August 2014 (IRIN) - The proposed deployment of armed contingents to protect oil installations in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland risks further destabilizing a region rife with disputes over sovereignty, boundaries and oil concessions. full report

Building food security in Ethiopia

AFAR (NORTHEASTERN ETHIOPIA) , 18 July 2014 (IRIN) - Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), set up in 2005, aims to make fully food secure the millions of people still dependent on food aid, provide support to the vulnerable to prevent the depletion of livestock, and create productive assets at community level. But nearly a decade on and over US$3 billion spent, how successful has it been? full report

A deadly Ramadan in Somalia

MOGADISHU/NAIROBI, 15 July 2014 (IRIN) - Militant group Al-Shabab has lived up to its promise to step up attacks in Somalia, mainly against government installations and personnel, during the holy month of Ramadan, which began on 29 June. Over 30 people have been killed in Mogadishu alone. full report

Hundreds of foreigners holed up in South Sudan camps

JUBA, 14 July 2014 (IRIN) - Among the 100,000 civilians holed up in UN bases in South Sudan since fighting broke out in mid-December 2013 between supporters and opponents of President Salva Kiir are several hundred citizens from Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia. full report

New thinking needed on food aid for refugees in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, 7 July 2014 (IRIN) - The World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have launched an urgent appeal to address a funding shortfall that has already resulted in food ration cuts for a third of all African refugees. As of mid-June, nearly 800,000 refugees in 22 African countries have seen their monthly food allocations reduced, most of them by more than half. full report

Kenyan police operation strands 300 children

NAIROBI, 20 June 2014 (IRIN) - As Kenya continues to round up and detain refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers in a controversial anti-terrorism operation, fears are mounting over the fate of around 300 children separated from parents arrested during the sweeps. Some of these children are reported to be held in a Nairobi stadium used as a temporary detention facility, without a parent or guardian. full report

No easy way forward for Al-Shabab defectors

BAIDOA, 12 June 2014 (IRIN) - Anwar Ahmed*, 50, an Al-Shabab defector, was drawn to Somalia's Salafist armed group both by the promise of a wage and a belief in the Islamic ways of “rights and justice for all”. full report

Soldiers in schools - the impact of military occupations on education

BANGKOK, 12 June 2014 (IRIN) - Schools are targeted in conflicts around the world - they might represent ideas viewed as controversial, the destruction of a civilian building that is important to a community inflicts terror, and a school reduced to rubble can rob an entire generation of education. But attacks are only part of the problem, as significant harm can also be done when educational buildings remain intact and armed forces move in. full report