MOGADISHU OCTOBER 25, 2016 (CISA) – Over 75,000 people have fled their homes and 18 have been killed during three weeks of clashes in Somalia, the United Nations has said.
“The fear that the conflict may last longer than anticipated is driving more people out of their homes,” said the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in a statement on October 24.
Clashes erupted on Saturday and Monday between forces loyal to the two semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Galmudug in the town of Galkayo, reported Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Galkayo, which is the capital of the north-central Mudug region of Somalia, is divided between clan militias loyal to the two regions.
According to the UN, most of the displaced are women, children and the elderly who were already living in camps and have now fled for a second time to the outskirts of town.
the situation has forced them to sleep in the open making them venerable to extreme weather as the rainy season looms.
“The onset of the rainy season is likely to affect the displaced especially those spending nights in the open,” read the statement.
Somalis hope that the Dehr rains, which fall between October and January, will alleviate drought which has left five million people short of food.
Somalia has been at civil war for 25 years and clashes between the clan-based militias who control much of the country are common.
In the south of the country, forces loyal to the UN-backed government are also battling Islamist insurgents.
There are 1.1 million displaced people in Somalia, around one in ten people, often living in dire conditions, according to the UN.