News / Africa

Wounded in Southern Somalia Have Difficulty Reaching Medical Facilities

The International Committee of the Red Cross reports that ongoing fighting in Somalia's Middle Juba region is preventing many wounded people from reaching medical facilities.

The International Committee of the Red Cross reports more than 100 wounded people, mainly civilians, did manage to get to medical facilities during the latest round of fighting in Middle Juba.  

An ICRC spokesman, Marcal Izard, tells VOA the Red Cross fears that others in need of care are not able to reach local hospitals.

“There are not many clinics in the area for a start, and second of all, it is very dangerous now at this moment to actually go out of a home and to make all the way to a hospital because we do not know if you will be trapped in the fighting," he said. "The greatest needs are of course access, to make sure that all these patients who might be scattered around in different locations of this big country, of this huge area, that they might be able to reach a hospital in time so their lives can be saved.”  

Izard says Somali hospitals are often overwhelmed by a heavy influx of patients. Besides being understaffed, he says hospitals and clinics are almost chronically short of medical materials to treat the wounded.  

He says the ICRC recently sent urgently needed supplies to various medical facilities on both sides of the front line in Kismayo, Afmadow and Dhobley, where Kenyan soldiers are battling Somali militants.  

Middle Juba is in southern Somalia, near the Kenyan border. The Kenyan forces crossed into Somalia on October 16, following the kidnapping of several foreigners on Kenyan territory, allegedly by al-Shabab fighters. Kenya has vowed to wipe out the militant Islamist group. But this has not proven to be easy to do.

The Kenyan presence is complicating an already complex situation in an area where different armed groups and Somali government troops have been fighting for years.

Red Cross spokesman Izard says it is civilians who are bearing the brunt of this unstable situation. He says it also is affecting the ability of aid agencies to work in the region.

“Over the past month, there has been a new wave of fighting. I would say since the last two or three months," he said. "It has also particularly become dangerous for aid agencies to be in the south because of this renewed fighting and because of all the banditry. Actually, it is not all armed group[s], but also bandits who [are] rampant. But actually, it is a dangerous area and it is difficult for aid agencies, at this moment, to operate there.”  

Izard says the ICRC is able to operate freely in the area. He says the agency is in dialogue with all the armed groups, as well as government and Kenyan troops. He says all the warring factions accept the ICRC because of its neutral position.  

The Red Cross is calling on all warring parties to comply with international humanitarian law by sparing those who are not part of the hostilities, including civilians and the wounded.


You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More