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Insecurity Hinders Flood Relief in Somalia


While much attention is being paid to the fighting in Somalia, the country has other problems as well. Recent flooding has displaced many thousands of people and it’s been difficult getting them emergency supplies.

One of the relief organizations in Somalia is Doctors Without Borders, also known as MSF. In Nairobi, Rupert Miller, the group’s logistics officer, told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua that as far as the group’s Somalia operations go, “the journey and the saga continue.”

He says, “We’re now entering into a very interesting phase because we now have good boat support in the area, which at least means we can start to get around and do some outreach work and also distribute medical supplies. But we’re hitting a horrible point where the waters are going down so much that moving around in a boat here is becoming difficult. Plus it is a long way off being able to get any sort of tractor and trailer, let alone four-wheel drive vehicles in the area. And we predict we’re going to have this period for a good four or five weeks where our ability to access and move around is going to be really challenged again.”

Doctors Without Borders is operating in two areas in Somalia. One is a very remote area in the southern part of the country, about 600 kilometers from the coast. The other is in central Somalia by the Puntland border. Insecurity in parts of the country has affected Doctors Without Borders programs.

“Yes, definitely. We’ve had confirmed skirmishes around the Baidoa area, southern central Somalia in the last 24 hours. And continuing tensions are arising by the day whether there is going to be all out war between Ethiopian troops that are supporting the Transitional federal Government and the Islamic Courts. So everyday the tensions become higher and higher,” Miller says.

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