Somalia: Civilians killed as soldiers clash over food aid
At least 14 people have been killed in the Somali town of Baidoa after soldiers clashed over food aid.
Most of those killed in the clash were civilians waiting for emergency food supplies and a further 20 people were injured – some of whom are in critical condition, according to reports.
Clash over food aid
Fighting broke out at a distribution site in the drought-stricken city on Friday when a group of soldiers allegedly tried to steal food sacks meant for refugees. However, they clashed with another group of soldiers, who were there to protect the humanitarian process – and many civilians got caught up in the fighting.
The incident was announced by Colonel Isaq Hassan late on Friday but there are no details on who was involved in the clash or how many of the 14 killed were soldiers. Reports suggest the majority of those killed were civilians.
Somalia’s food crisis
Somalia is one of four countries in Africa and the Middle East experiencing one of the worst droughts in almost a century. The UN is calling this the worst humanitarian disaster it has faced in more than 70 years, appealing to the international community for a $4.4 billion aid program to bring emergency supplies to Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.
In Somalia, thousands of people flocked to Baidoa in the southwest in search of food and support – most of whom are women and children. The same goes for various other cities in the country where humanitarian assistance is being set up. More than half a million people across the country have been displaced while 6.2 million are believed to be affected by food and water shortages.
Somalia’s total population is less than 11 million people.
Featured image: By AMISOM Public Information – Flickr, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41438178
Somalia’s total population is less than 11 million