Somalia: UN reports continuing tensions in north after clashes

21 January 2008
Many people fled their homes in Mogadishu due to ongoing fighting

Tensions remain high in Somalia’s disputed northern Sool region after violent clashes last week between troops from the self-declared autonomous Puntland and Somaliland provinces, according to United Nations humanitarian workers in the fractured Horn of Africa country.

While there is no confirmation of internal displacement of civilians due to the latest fighting, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered some 1,240 people from Sool in Yemen since the start of this year.

UNHCR also reports that some 20,000 have been newly displaced from Mogadishu, Somalia’s battle-wracked capital, in recent weeks due to ongoing violence.

Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has resumed distribution for some 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at camps along the Afgooye-Mogadishu road.

With some 7,400 children attending classes in 30 makeshift schools, UN humanitarian agencies are concerned that the constant movement of families on the run from the violence has left 4,000 remaining on waiting lists. The agencies have appealed for additional emergency educational structures in the Afgooye area.

Somalia has not had a functioning national government and has been riven by factional fighting since Muhammad Siad Barre’s regime was toppled in 1991.

 

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