Monday, August 01, 2011

Rains help the parched land, but add misery to refugees

There has been some rain in Somalia over the last couple of days but it has only added to the misery of those living in the refugee tent camps surrounding Mogadishu. The rain and wind have swept away a lot of the tents, leaving the people who were sleeping under them cold, wet and asking for more help.

From the Guardian, this Associated Press article gives us the latest update on the famine.

Suffering refugees said more aid was vital but agencies have limited reach in Somalia where Islamist militants, including the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, are waging an insurgency against the country's weak UN-backed government.

"We are living in plight, we left our homes, lost our animals and farms so we ask everyone to help us to survive," Abdi Muse Abshir said.

Lul Hussein, a mother of five, said her family had a sleepless night after their makeshift home crumbled.

"We are starved and we don't have enough help," she said. "Who's helping us? No one! So we are already between death and bad life."

Al-Shabab, the most dangerous group among the militants al-Shabab, has barred major relief organisations from operating in the territories it controls.

The UN said tens of thousands of people have died in Somalia in areas held by the Islamist rebels because food aid could not reach them.

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