Monday, May 28, 2012

Thousands Displaced In US-backed Fighting In Somalia

Thousands displaced in Somalia fighting

Abdulaziz Billow Ali, Press TV, Mogadishu Sun May 27, 2012 10:24PM GMT

The UN refuge agency has said that at least 9,200 Somalis have been displaced in the past three days by the ongoing military activity between Al-Shabaab and allied forces in Afgooye town, about 30 kilometers northwest of the bullet riddled capital Mogadishu.

In its report, UN says that since May 22nd to 27th UNHCR Somalia Population Movement Tracking (PMT) system recorded 9,200 displacements from Afgooye due to military activity in the area.

This is Ex-Control Afgooye, the last checkpoint before entry into the capital Mogadishu. Thousands of people continue to stream into the capital from Elasha Biyaha and Afgooye town that were placed recently under the control of the Transitional Federal Government following a major military offensive by the Somali government forces with the backing of AMISOM troops.

However the United Nations Humanitarian agencies in the capital Mogadishu are scaling up new projects to accumulate the thousands of people streaming back to Mogadishu.

UN Humanitarian Agency also add that majority of these people have fled to either Mogadishu while other have fled to Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba regions. However AMISOM calls on the people to remain in their regions and AU forces will beef up security and facilitate the delivery of the badly needed assistance.

Afgooye town is strategically located 30 km from the capital and is among Somalia’s most fertile zones that produce high quality fruits.

On Monday, AMISOM launched a joint military operation with the Somali National Army, code-named 'Operation Free Shabelle' with the objective of securing the Afgooye corridor, home to the world’s largest concentration of internally displaced people.

The loss of Afgoye is another major blow for al-Shabab fighters, who have been on the back foot for several months. However Al-Shabaab has vowed to intensify their war against government and African Union troops despite the latest loses.

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