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Somalia Update: fighting creates more chaos


Renewed fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu has erupted once more, with over 200 people killed in the conflict between the Ethiopian-backed transitional government and Islamic groups in the last five days.

Civilians account for many of the dead and wounded and many hundreds of thousands have fled Mogadishu since the fighting began in February. Clan warfare in the capital seems to be signalling the beginnings of a guerrilla war.

Dailylife despite the fighting in Mogadishu

At the end of last week, the SOS Children's Village Mogadishu was directly affected by the fighting for the first time, when four missile shells exploded in the project grounds during heavy fighting around the village. Two of the shells landed on the deserted football pitch, a third destroyed part of the wall between the school and the football pitch and a fourth landed in the teachers' houses. Fortunately the school is closed for the holidays and no one was injured in the blasts.

A formerly disused building, now heavily reinforced with concrete, has been organised as a safe haven for children and staff of the village to retreat to during the fighting.

The clans that have been the source of much of the recent fighting are largely based in the area surrounding the SOS Children’s Village. According to Claudio Croce, SOS Children’s Project Director in Mogadishu, stray bullets from nearby gunfire have been landing in the SOS compound. Many of the SOS staff have been unable to come to work because of the fighting, which has particularly affected the nearby SOS hospital, which is still open, but due to a shortage of medical personnel, is not fully functional.

Relevant Countries: Somalia.

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