Over 100K people displaced due to escalating tensions in central Somalia: UNOCHA

A United Nations agency informed on Friday that over 100,000 people have escaped a town in central Somalia's Galmudug state because of heightened agitation and probable violence between local authorities and a paramilitary organisation. The unrest between the authorities has now expanded to 28 rural communities, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). 

A statement released by UNOCHA in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu revealed that approximately 1,005 unaccompanied children and 2,009 individuals with disabilities and wellbeing issues are among the displaced people who fled from the disputed area. With concerns of a probable war between the Galmudug administration and Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a (ASWJ), a conservative Muslim organisation located in the central area, Somalis evacuated the town of Guriel. 

As the discussions between the regional Galmudug government and ASWJ clan leaders crumbled, the Galmudug administration said on Thursday that its soldiers had encircled Guriel town. Galmudug has stated that its soldiers intend to recover Guriel town from Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a, which ruled the region for almost a month. 

3 new IDP camps established to house 7,300 families 

The UNOCHA has reported that a significant number of internally displaced people (IDPs) are being housed by family members, in overpopulated temporary shelters made of ragged clothes or built under trees. UNOCHA added that three new IDP camps have been formed to house 7,300 families.

According to the UN agency, the responding capacity is limited since the area is mostly staffed by national non-governmental organisations (NGOs), while, the few foreign NGOs which are present there, have restricted their movements because of security issues. 

Furthermore, the United Nations stated that food availability, freshwater, sanitation, and necessary amenities are very much restricted in that area. UN has even highlighted that most IDPs are eating only one meal per day and relying entirely on water trucking as water availability is little due to the drought.  

"Over 700 malnourished children have been identified and cases of diarrhoea, acute respiratory infection, and suspected measles have been reported," UNOCHA was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying. UNOCHA added that nearly 26 schools remained shut, jeopardising the education future of over 9,000 children. 

Meanwhile, on Saturday, October 16, local authorities reported that an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded at a restaurant near the police station in Somalia's central town of Baledweyne, killing two persons and injuring numerous others. The incident happened when key government officials were reportedly staying at the restaurant in central Somalia.  


Source: https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/africa/over-100k-people-displaced-due-to-escalating-tensions-in-central-somalia-unocha.html


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