Friday, August 26, 2011

Flow of Somalis fleeing famine starts to ebb – UN

"Fewer people have been fleeing their homes in famine-wracked Somalia this month, with insecurity, restrictions by Al-Shabaab Islamic militants and delivery of on-site aid all apparently playing a role in the decrease, the United Nations reported today.

There was a significant drop in the number of people arriving in Mogadishu, the capital, which peaked in July, when nearly 28,000 fled to the city in search of aid after fleeing famine, drought and conflict in the countryside of the Horn of Africa nation, where tens of thousands of people have already died and some 3.2 million others are thought to be on the brink of starvation.
“Since the beginning of this month, just over 5,000 displacements into the city have been recorded,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards told a news briefing in Geneva. “The average daily arrival rate in the city dropped from more than 1,000 per day last month to an estimated 200 in August.”
Due to insecurity, almost no movements were recorded in districts of Mogadishu held by Al-Shabaab until earlier this month. African Union (AU) peacekeepers have also imposed restrictions on civilian movement to areas previously controlled by Al Shabaab, which is reportedly restricting movements, particularly of men, in areas still under its control in the south, Mr. Edwards said."

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