At a time of good harvests the political and security situation is poor and the prospects for the future bleak.
In September the UN Security Council extended the mandate of UNOSOM for just one month indicating a general dissatisfaction with UNOSOM’s efforts to patch together a new government and a frustration at the continued wrangling between faction leaders.
What if anything will replace UNOSOM and its 17,000 peacekeeping soldiers and 700 civilian expatriates after October is unclear. Attacks on UNOSOM troops (9 Indian soldiers were killed in one attack) and increased insecurity (three Indian doctors were killed by a grenade attack in Baidoa at the end of August) have resulted in the evacuation of international agency personnel from Bardera, Bossasso and Kismayo and limited rehabilitation and development activities in Baidoa and Mogadishu itself.
The cholera outbreak earlier in the year has been contained. Out of a total population of 7.7 million, 0.5 million remain as refugees in neighbouring countries and 400,000 are internally displaced – the majority of these in and around Mogadishu.