Annual Report: Somalia 2011

Report
May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Somalia 2011

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Indiscriminate attacks

All parties to the conflict continued to use mortars and heavy weapons in areas populated or frequented by civilians, killing and injuring thousands of people. In Mogadishu, armed groups launched attacks from residential areas, and AMISOM and the TFG reportedly fired indiscriminately in response. From 4 January to 19 November, two hospitals in Mogadishu received 4,030 war-related casualties, 18 per cent of them children under five. Medical records from another hospital in Mogadishu between January and June showed that almost half of its patients were suffering war-related injuries and of these, 38 per cent were women and children under 14.

  • On 29 January, as a result of fighting between armed groups and the TFG and AMISOM, 19 civilians were killed and more than 100 injured. One hospital in Mogadishu supported by Médecins Sans Frontières admitted 89 people injured by shelling between 29 January and 2 February, including 52 women and children.
  • In July, some 170 people were killed and 700 injured by fighting in Mogadishu, according to ambulance services. Between 18 and 21 July, more than 50 people were reportedly killed, including 10 children, and dozens more injured by shelling between armed Islamist groups and TFG and AMISOM troops in districts of Mogadishu such as Hamar Weyne and Bakara market.
  • An offensive launched during Ramadan by al-Shabab against the TFG and AMISOM triggered intense fighting in Mogadishu between late August and early September. Some 230 civilians were killed and another 400 wounded, according to the UN. On 24 August, two al-Shabab suicide bombers wearing government uniforms stormed the Muna hotel in TFG-controlled Mogadishu, killing at least 33 people, including hotel staff and guests, members of parliament and TFG security forces.

Displacement

Fighting, insecurity and poverty displaced some 300,000 people during the year. According to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, 1.5 million Somalis were internally displaced in the country at the end of the year.

In January, fighting between al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam on the one hand, and Ahlu Sunna Waal Jamaa on the other, in the city of Dhusamareb in central Somalia and the city of Beletweyne in the Hiran region caused the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians.

In Mogadishu, some 23,000 people were displaced within two weeks as a result of the Ramadan offensive. Many joined settlements for displaced people along the Afgoye corridor outside Mogadishu, which hosted about 410,000 people with little or no access to humanitarian aid. From September onwards, thousands of displaced people in Afgoye were reported to have been forcibly evicted following acquisition of land by businessmen.

On 19 and 20 July, the Puntland authorities forcibly removed some 900 internally displaced people mainly from southern and central Somalia to the Galgadud region.

Civilians continued to flee to neighbouring countries. Despite the risks related to conflict and violence, Somalis were deported back to southern and central Somalia by Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and European countries, including the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. In October, fighting between pro-TFG forces and al-Shabab in Belet Hawo, on the border with Kenya, displaced some 60,000 people. Between 1 and 2 November, 8,000 civilians who had fled into Kenya near the town of Mandera were ordered to return to Somalia by the Kenyan authorities. On 4 November, Kenyan police moved them further inside Somalia.

Restrictions on humanitarian aid

Some 2 million people were in need of humanitarian support by the end of 2010 because of armed conflict and displacement, despite good harvests during the year. Humanitarian operations were impeded by fighting and insecurity, killings and abductions of humanitarian workers and restrictions on aid agencies' access to populations in need. At least two humanitarian workers were killed. In March, the UN Monitoring Group on the arms embargo on Somalia stated that a large part of World Food Programme (WFP) aid to Somalia was diverted to contractors and armed groups. The UN Security Council requested the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Somalia to report to it every 120 days.