Friday, July 22, 2011

AFRICA: SOMALIA: CHILDREN DYING OF HUNGER- SEEKING SHELTER

Fides Service REPORT - Another tragedy hits the people of Somalia who are dying of hunger and continue to seek shelter and food in Mogadishu. Many families, in desperation, decide to leave the children who are too weak and would not be able to withstand the long journey with the hope of saving the others. Unfortunately there are many people who die along the way, weakened by hunger, thirst or illnesses. The terrible sacrifice of abandoning their most vulnerable children, who would not be able to move, is dictated by the hope of saving the other children. Somalia is the epicenter of a prolonged drought that has, over the past year and a half, ravaged the Horn of Africa. This is the worst humanitarian crisis in 60 years. The country has no effective central government and comes from two decades of civil conflict. The current Somali government is backed by nearly 10 000 African Union peacekeepers, and controls just over half of the capital Mogadishu and the rest is under the Islamic group Al-Shabaab insurgency. The refugees continue to pour in the part of Mogadishu under the control of the government after weeks of walking and dangerous journeys on foot. They arrive in the city bombarded by machine gun bullets, houses are deserted and no one who can help them. Although several organizations are involved in local and international aid, the situation does not improve. Some displaced people are beginning to beg in the streets of the capital, while others are planning to move towards refugee camps which have been set up in neighboring countries where more humanitarian aid arrives, but are just a drop in the ocean. (PA)

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