Council of Foreign Relations on Africa
CFR is at it again. They are using their “all-African” news organization to inform us that 88,000 people have been displaced in “weekend” violence in Somalia. Not many news organizations are picking up mid-week releases from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. CFR is on the spot. My first thought: that was some weekend! Excerpts from allAfrica.com:
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today that up to 88,000 people have fled Mogadishu this past weekend due to increased fighting – which is more than have left the Somali capital in the past four months.
The UN estimates that more than 400,000 civilians left the volatile capital after fighting earlier in the year. Including the latest waves of displacement and the some 350,000 long-term displaced, the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia now numbers more than 800,000. Overall, 1.5 million people in Somalia are in need of assistance and protection, marking a 50 per cent increase since the beginning of the year.
“Respect for international humanitarian law in some parts of Somalia is negligible,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes. “I am very concerned that national and international NGOs are now saying that they cannot respond effectively to the crisis because access and security are deteriorating dramatically even as needs are increasing.
There isn’t much more information in the press report. Still, I will need to look for more. When 10 percent of the entire displacement occurs within a single three day time, there is something going that warrants a closer look.