Relief SCENE:Food
Recent Fighting Increases Pressure On IDPs
Streets Calm But Al Shabaab Controlled Areas Suffering
02/28/2011
IDPs In Somalia (Sept 2010)
UNHCR
IDPs In Somalia (Sept 2010)
Mogadishu IDP (Sept 2010)
UNHCR
Mogadishu IDP (Sept 2010)

Fighting died down today in Mogadishu but the city is on edge, markets are quiet, transportation is reduced and the worst hit are the Somali's clustered in camps around Mogadishu who rely on the daily delivery of foreign aid. There are estimates that the recent push to control al Shabaab planning and attack points by AMISOM has left 115 dead. Initial deaths include 60 insurgents, 6 AMISOM members and a number of civilians.The border town of Mandera has also seen a lull in fighting were one woman was killed and 17 others were wounded. An estimated 6000 refugees seeking to leave Somalia have arrived in Mandera with the Red Cross having registered 400 by Sunday evening.

Sheik Sharif Sheikh Ahmed took advantage of the lull in the fighting and conducted a media tour in his military outfit of the recent areas of fighting. He met with AMISOM commanders at Gashandgiga, the former military base seized from al Shabaab. Victims of the fighting also used the time to bring in the dead and the wounded to the new clinic built by Saracen International near Villa Somalia. The recently stocked and staffed clinic was put to good use treating wounded TFG soldiers and even one MP who complained of high blood pressure. A number of civilians killed in the fighting were prepared for burial at the clinic as well.

The hardest hit will be the massive number of Somali's who have already fled the fighting and are stuck in ramshackle tent cities around Mogadishu. Drought conditions in the countryside also continue to push pastoralists into the city to find work or food these people have sought out government controlled areas in Hodan, Wadajir (Medina) and Dharkenley districts and further along the coastline of Jazzi. Mogadishu has the highest concentration of Internally displaced people on earth. Across the country there are 2.4 million that rely on aid to survive. Numbers are not exact because IDP's Mogadishu move on average two or three times a year. The UN recently determined that 32% of Somalia's population are in crisis. In Kenya There are currently 430,871 refugees, most in Dadaab’s over-crowded camps. In January al Shabaab forces prevented the delivery of urgently needed food and water. Somali Assistant Minister of Interior Affairs and National Security, Ibrahim Ishaq Yarow said that aid groups were prevented from helping 5,000 families in 13 villages northeast and southeast of the regional capital of Galkayo, located 700km (435 miles) north of Mogadishu due to interference.

That same month in Southern Somalia Al Shabaab gave the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) a list of 11 demands and insisted on being paid $20,000 to provide security to the food convoys. The WFP suspended operations.

The UNHCR estimates a small number of IDPs in the enclosed chart, there most recent figures are a result of research done as of September 23 of 2010 but published in February 2011.

"There have not been any aid agencies providing assistance in the past four to five months, either in the camps on the Afgoye corridor or those in the north of Mogadishu." Abdulkadir Ibrahim Abkow, chairman of the Somali Civil Society Forum (SCSF), told IRIN

In the areas still controlled by Al-Shabab these families are missing the basic requirements of life. Water, food and the ability to even move about to search for it has vanished due to the increase in fighting around Mogadishu. According to UN estimates that in Mogadishu there are 410,000 IDPs in the Afgoye Corridor, 15,200 in the Balad corridor to the north and 55,000 others in Dayniile to the northwest.

Traditional aid groups began to suspend delivery of food when the fighting began and now there is little to no activity.