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HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN-HOA Weekly Round-up 355 for 9-15 December 2006

NAIROBI, 15 December 2006 (IRIN) - CONTENTS:

SOMALIA: Aid workers need increased access - UN official
SOMALIA: Bid to avert all-out war
SOMALIA: Diarrhoea kills 40 in Puntland
SUDAN: Darfur polio campaign affected by violence
SUDAN: Rising insecurity affecting relief operations

ALSO SEE:
SUDAN: The long journey home to the south at:
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SOMALIA: Aid workers need increased access - UN official

Somalia is one of the worst places for humanitarian actors but they should strive to negotiate access to help Somalis living in extremely poor and underdeveloped conditions, a senior United Nations official said on Thursday.

"We are not where we should be; even if the environment is not conducive, this should not stop us from negotiating access," Eric Laroche, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said at the launch of an appeal for US$237 million to alleviate the suffering of 1.8 million Somalis.

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SOMALIA: Bid to avert all-out war

The international community is trying to avert an all-out war in Somalia amid reports that forces of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) are massing in the south of the country, in anticipation of a showdown with forces of the Transitional Federal Government, a diplomat said on Wednesday.

"Our aim is to try to avert any escalation of the conflict into an all-out war," Mario Raffaelli, the Italian special envoy to Somalia, said. "We want them at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield."

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SOMALIA: Diarrhoea kills 40 in Puntland

An outbreak of watery diarrhoea in Somalia's northeastern self-declared autonomous region of Puntland has claimed the lives of about 40 people over the past five weeks, medical sources said on Monday.

"At least 39 people, 80 percent of them children under the age of five, have died in the last five weeks of watery diarrhoea," Abdirahman Sa'id Mahamud, the Puntland Minster of Health, said.

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SUDAN: Darfur polio campaign affected by violence

Fighting in the western Sudanese region of Darfur has affected a second round of polio vaccination in parts of North Darfur, aid workers said on Thursday.

"The second round, which was scheduled for 10-12 December, has been partially done in government-controlled areas," Ute Kirch, Darfur project coordinator for the German NGO, Malteser International, said. "In the other areas, NGOs did not implement it.

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SUDAN: Rising insecurity affecting relief operations

Escalating violence in Darfur, which has forced more than 80,000 people to flee their homes in the past six weeks and prompted several relief agencies to relocate staff, is jeopardising humanitarian operations in the western Sudanese region, aid workers said.

"The more violence there is in Darfur, the more difficult it is for the aid community - and even more so for the people who live there," Jessica Barry, spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sudan, said on Monday.

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Theme (s): Other,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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