The relief organization OXFAM says nomadic herdsmen have been innocent targets of bombing in the south of the country. Beatrice Karanja, a spokesperson for OXFAM in Nairobi, tells VOA the bombings have affected some of the agency’s humanitarian water and sanitation programs.
“Oxfam has been receiving reports from our partner organizations in Somalia that nomadic herdsmen have been targeted in recent bombing raids. And what this has been is bombs have hit vital water sources, as well as the nomads and their animals, who had been gathering around large fires at night in order to ward off mosquitoes. What OXFAM is concerned about is that under international law there’s a duty to distinguish between military and civilian targets. But this principle isn’t being adhered to and eventually, as we see, innocent people are paying the price,” she says.
Karanja says OXFAM and other humanitarian organizations need greater access in Somalia to help those who’ve been displaced or affected in other ways by the recent fighting.