Urgent calls are made to provide aid to Somalia against a famine that is becoming more and more evident here, given the prolonged severe drought conditions in Baidoa and Burhakaba (Bay) areas in particular. The United Nations say there is an urgent need for relief for some 8 million people, half of the current Somali population (https://allafrica.com/view/group/main/main/id/00083302.html). These figures differ depending on the estimates of each institution, but are alarming nonetheless.
The US Administration also echoes this alarm in response to calls for support from President Mohamud. The latter also reportedly received an invitation from US President Biden to visit Washington shortly (https://www.agenzianova.com/a/631c3a9d72ee80.55703178/4053618/2022-09-07/usa-somalia-fonti-stampa-biden-ha-invitato-mohamud-a-visitare-washington-questo-mese).
Part of the aid effort is also on security and infrastructure, to facilitate the arrival of humanitarian shipments and their distribution in the territory. Puntland in particular is announcing modernisation work in Garad (https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-new-port-and-road-to-unlock-new-trade-route-for-ethiopia) and improving the road connection to Galkayo and Galdogob.
Humanitarian assistance is more extensive now than it was in past emergencies – the last one was in 2010-2011. However, the number of people suffering from the combined consequences of the prolonged lack of rainfall has increased, food supply difficulties arising from the war in Ukraine are acute and the general increase in prices following the end of the most acute phase of the COVID19 pandemic has become wider.
At the international level, there is convergence with Kenya, which appointed a new Ambassador to Somalia, Gen. Thomas Chepkuto. The Somali President was also invited to the inauguration of his counterpart Ruto in Nairobi and – to attend it – Mohamud postponed an official mission to Saudi Arabia (https://somaliguardian.com/news/somalia-news/somalias-president-delays-trip-to-saudi-arabia/) focused on the Red Sea. The bilateral relations, which Ruto intends to develop, are to be evaluated, although he has allowed himself to make comparisons – Somalia has been described as ‘a hard nut to crack’ (https://shabellemedia.com/somalia-is-a-difficult-nut-to-crack-says-ruto/) – which can be interpreted as a compliment to Somali tenacity but may also provoke some jolts in his interlocutors across the border.
Domestically, the replacement of the Mayor of Mogadishu and Governor of Banadir Filish is noteworthy. He had been installed by former President Farmajo three years ago. His replacement is Yussuf Hussein Jima’ale, former Secretary of the Peace and Development Party and close to the current President (https://www.radiodalsan.com/en/76992/2022/09/yussuf-hussein-jimale-appointed-new-mogadishu-mayor-replaces-omar-filish/). The replacements of civil servants decided by Mohamud continue.