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Security Update

General

Tension arising out of the Djibouti Peace Process continues to dominate the security scene in most of Somalia.

South Zone

South Zone was generally quiet.

General Mohamed Hersi Morgan continues to train and re-equip his troops in the Wajid/Barre area.

Kismayo Special Zone

Kismayo remains tense in the aftermath of sharp fighting between the sub-clans of the Marehan in early April. "Technical" battlewagons from all sides are frequently observed in the city and its environs.

Central Zone

There has been no fighting on either the Qoreoley or Kurtunwarey fronts this week. Sharia militia continue to clear landmines in the Kurtunwarey area.

Merka Airport was opened to UN air traffic on 17 April, and security clearances for Merka City and immediate environs are being granted. 

On 15 April, the "sharia" court militia in Merka arrested the newly appointed SNA governor of the Lower Shabelle Region, Ahmed Nur Mohamed Jimale. Jimale is the brother of the former SNA governor. He was released following demonstrations by SNA supporters in Merka. However tensions still run high on the political leadership in the region.

On 15 April, a CARE food convoy was attacked at a militia checkpoint on the Brave-Merka road. The checkpoint was allegedly manned by the Biymaal. One person was killed and one wounded in the exchange of fire. However, reports state that no food was looted, and the convoy continued to its destination.

A letter of apology from the sharia has been received by ZSO Central in Merkaregarding the arrest last week of WHO staff member Dr Jeylani.

On 17 April a militia firefight broke out in Jowhar in the vicinity of the CEFA, INTERSOS and UNICEF offices. The fight lasted for an hour. As a result, two UN international staff members were relocated on 18 April (one WHO and one UNICEF). Only UN national staff remain in the town. CEFA and INTERSOS international staff remain in the town, but both organisations have suspended operations for at least two days. Meanwhile, elders are meeting at the invitation of the Governor of the Middle Shabelle Region to discuss the issues surrounding the confrontation. Jowhar will remain closed to UN air and international staff ground travel until the situation has been evaluated.

Mogadishu

On 14 April, at 13 00 hours, a UNDP leased vehicle in Mogadishu was fired upon and struck by militia of Mohamed Qanyare. The vehicle was on a mission to seek compensation for the entry of a UNDP guard dependant by the Qanyare militia. It was fired upon after unsuccessful negotiations. A non-staff member who was a passenger in the vehicle was slightly injured by shattered glass. On 19 April, the Qanyare group apologised to UNDP, and offered to pay for damages.  The delegation from Djibouti visiting the city for the purposes of discussions on the peace process have departed.

The death threat against WFP national staff in Mogadishu remains in effect.

Car-jacking, street hold-ups, armed break-ins and killings continue in the city, but during this past week, at a lower level of intensity.

The seaport and airport remain closed.

Northeast Zone

Unconfirmed reports indicate that tension is high in Galcaiyo, allegedly due to differences over the Djibouti process, and that some INGOs are considering withdrawing from the city.

There are also reports that a Djiboutian delegation will visit Bossaso and Garowe in the near future.

Northwest Zone

The "Somaliland" administration rejection of entry visa applications of the Djibouti delegation to Hargeisa this week resulted in the ejection of the "Somaliland" representative to Djibouti by authorities there. Tension remains high in the region. (UNCT SOmalia Monitor 15-20 April 2000).