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Humanitarian Agencies Condemn Violence in Somalia

  • Kim Lewis

Violence in Somalia

.....say it shows disregard for civilian lives by armed forces

Humanitarian agencies are condemning this week’s violence in Somalia, which has left at least 15 people dead and more than 50 wounded. They say it shows disregard for civilian lives by armed forces in Mogadishu over recent years.

“This is something that is going on too often in Mogadishu. Civilians get caught in the conflict and violence on a daily basis, says Roberta Russo, UNHCR spokesperson for Somalia.

“In the whole of 2010, we have more than 7,600 people who have been injured and hospitalized following weapons-related injuries. This is an average of 20 people being wounded per day, and one in five people wounded are children.”

The TFG (Transitional Federal Government) Ministry of Defense has launched an investigation, she said.

“The UNHCR is really looking forward to seeing the results of the investigation and we are appealing for justice to be made and the people responsible for the murder of these civilians are brought to justice.”

Russo said Somalia generates more displaced people in the world, after Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost 1.5 million Somalis are internally displaced and over 650,000 live as refugees in neighboring countries.

“There are more than one million people who are in areas of Somalia which are hardly accessible to humanitarians.” She said the agencies try to work with Somali NGOs, but even with their help it is sometimes difficult to access certain areas.

So, said Russo, “There are entire families that are left on their own. They don’t have access to water. People are dying. The situation is unbearable. The civilians are the number one victims of these conflicts and this has to come to an end,” said Russo.