News / Africa

Mogadishu Remains Risky Despite Al-Shabab Withdrawal

Women wait for medical care at Camp Seyidka, a camp for displaced people, in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 19, 2011
Women wait for medical care at Camp Seyidka, a camp for displaced people, in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 19, 2011
Joe DeCapua

Although the al-Shabab militant group has withdrawn from Mogadishu, the Somali capital is still a dangerous place, including for aid workers. Despite that, many Somalis are traveling to the city hoping to find food and water in a country hit by drought and famine.

Doctors Without Borders, also known as MSF, is one of the many humanitarian groups caring for the Somalis.

“MSF activities are organized around different hospitals and clinics…where we managed to negotiate access,” said Duncan McLean, programs manager for the group. The children who arrive in the city after traveling for many days by foot are described as being in a very weakened state.

“We’ll very quickly put them under treatment on both the therapeutic foods and appropriate antibiotics and so on. And then depending on the day, the time of day even, it can be quite manageable to being extremely overloaded with the number that will be turning up,” he said.

MSF also has medical teams north of Mogadishu in areas controlled by al-Shabab. Many war wounded and road accident victims are being treated.

“So when you have a major clash, shelling incident, an increase in fighting, a very quiet moment will quickly become the area with major triage and influx of wounded,” said McLean.

Mogadishu

While the withdrawal of al-Shabab has allowed greater access to parts of the city, the Somali capital cannot be called safe.

“In Mogadishu we have access in the sense that we have Somali and international teams on the ground that are working in the various camps, displaced camps around the city,” he said. Those teams carry out vaccination and therapeutic feeding programs, along with basic medical consultations to check for cholera and acute water diarrhea.

While he describes the access as good, he remains cautious since it’s only been a few weeks since al-Shabab left north Mogadishu. The militia is battling the U.N. and AU backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

McLean said, “It has left a security vacuum of sorts. And so, even, say, during the height of the conflict in Mogadishu, as dangerous as that city was, there was a clear front line even if there might be various targeted killings and bombings within TFG areas.”

Now pro-government forces have a much wider area to control without any additional troops. That allows other armed groups to act more freely.

“There are also private militias related to different clans and so on. And working in those circumstances I actually find almost as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than when there was a front line running through the city. Nonetheless, we do have access with extreme caution,” he said.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid