News / Africa

UN: Civilians in Somalia Increasingly at Risk

The United Nations refugee agency says it is extremely worried about the worsening situation for the civilian population in Somalia.  It says thousands of civilians are once again exposed to relentless and indiscriminate fighting in the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country.

The U.N. refugee agency estimates more than 100,000 Somali civilians have been forced to flee their homes across the country since the beginning of the year.

At least 50 people reportedly have been killed in the last three days of fighting in Mogadishu.  UNHCR spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, says the latest fighting between government forces and the al-Shabab militia is concentrated in Mogadishu's northern suburbs.

"We are especially concerned about the safety and well being of some 8,300 people who, without any means to get out of Mogadishu, remain displaced within the capital," he said.  "As the fighting is raging on, the aid agencies cannot access and assist these people, these extremely vulnerable internally displaced," said Mahecic.

The UNHCR reports since February about 33,0000 Somalis have been driven out of their homes by the continuing conflict in Mogadishu.  It says almost 14,000 of them have fled to Afgooye corridor, about 30 kilometers west of Mogadishu.

Mahecic says the new arrivals are jammed in makeshift settlements, which already are home to over 366,000 internally displaced.  He says aid agencies have limited access to these people because of the dangerous security situation.

"Basically, whenever there is an opportunity to push the aid through, that is what is going on," he explained.  "It is important to ensure that the assistance reaches those for whom it is intended.  In that regard, we have stringent mechanisms in place to monitor and evaluate the distributions, including increased field missions as well as the missions by our partners and UNHCR staff to the distribution sites," said Mahecic.

Meanwhile, the UNHCR reports nearly 10,000 new Somali refugees who have fled to Kenya have been registered over the first nine weeks of this year.  Mahecic says the agency is concerned the ongoing violence in Somalia will prompt many more people to flee across the border.

He says this will put further strain on the overcrowded Dadaab refugee complex in northern Kenya, which already is hosting some 270,000 refugees.

You May Like

Obama Pledges 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace Christmas precisely because of its non-religious glamor and commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid