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Although the al-Shabab militant group has withdrawn from Mogadishu, the Somali capital is still a dangerous place, including for aid workers.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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid