Somalia: thousands flee fighting in Mogadishu

Thousands fled their homes in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on May 11 after at least 35 people were killed over the weekend, while masked Islamist fighters were seen heading toward the city. People fled in taxis and pickup trucks stacked with suitcases, mattresses, furniture and other belongings. The local Elman Human Rights Organization said 17,200 people had fled the capital since Saturday May 9. (AP, May 11)

Somalia’s crisis is being compounded by the worst drought in a decade, pushing growing numbers of children into near-famine conditions, the United Nations warned May 12.

Some 3.2 million Somalis are among an estimated 19 million people in the Horn of Africa in urgent need of food assistance. Mark Bowden, UN humanitarian coordinator for the country facing its fourth straight year of drought, told a news briefing in Geneva that some 45% of the Somali population is suffering from moderate malnutrition. (Reuters, May 12)

See our last post on Somalia.

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