Thousands flee Mogadishu fighting

UN says recent clashes in the Somali capital have triggered mass exodus.

    Residents have fled with minimal
    belongings [AFP]
    Several dozens were killed and hundreds wounded in the recent gun battles in Mogadishu.
     
    In an unprecedented statement, 39 aid agencies also said they were unable to effectivly respond to the growing "humanitarian catastrophe" in Somalia, caused by insecurity in the country.
     
    The UN said: "Of the people who have left the capital since Saturday, about 46,000 have settled along the road linking Mogadishu to Afgooye, some 30km west of Mogadishu."
     
    "Another 42,000 have either fled Mogadishu for areas outside the city or moved to safer neighbourhoods within the capital", the UN said.
     
    Failed security
     
    Somalia has been in crisis since 1991. An interim government, backed by the UN, has failed to establish security thoughout the country.
     
    Nearly half a million people were displaced from Mogadishu after fighting earlier in the year.
     
    Hundreds of thousends of refugees are now living in tiny huts and on roadsides.
     
    Catherine Weibel, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commission for Refugees in Somalia, told Al Jazeera: "It remains very difficult for humanitarian agencies to access Mogadishu because of insecurity and even because of the numerous checkpoints along the roads."
     
    "We still have the possibility of accessing Afgooye. We have already helped about 80,000 people earlier this year in Afgooye and we are preparing to do another distribution to the new arrivals," Wirbel said.
     
    "The only solution to really help people efficiently would be an understanding between the political parties."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?