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As UN Assistance Mission in Somalia is extended, Action Against Hunger voices concerns
LONDON, 26 August 2015 // On July 29, the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until March 30, 2016. Eighteen months after the mission’s establishment, which linked humanitarian activities to military and political objectives, Action Against Hunger is deeply concerned about the negative impact on the humanitarian community and aid delivery.
Despite the strong opposition of humanitarian actors in Somalia, the Security Council established UNSOM as an integrated mission on 6 March 2013, with the adoption of UNSCR 2093. While the difficulties humanitarians face in Somalia can't be attributed solely to UNSOM, the mission has supported harmful practices affecting the way in which humanitarian assistance is provided in the country and has contributed to restrictions on principled humanitarian assistance.
Following integration, the defence and promotion of humanitarian principles has all but disappeared. Humanitarian organisations are unable to negotiate with armed groups in order to get access to vulnerable groups, and humanitarian assistance is being used to support military and political objectives. The consequences for UN agencies and NGOs are numerous, resulting in confusion of military and humanitarian objectives and political imperatives. The people of Somalia – who are among the most vulnerable in the world – have been the primary victims of this confusion, with some surviving with almost no access to humanitarian assistance.
"Consequences of the structurally integrated UN mission in Somalia on humanitarian action and access to populations in need"
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