Hundreds of persons displaced internally by the conflict in Somali shuffle between the more than one thousand camps for displaced persons in the volatile country in search of food, the gender focal person of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Inspector Rachel Malambo has said
This came to light when journalists from Ghana and Nigeria on a field visit to AMISON sites in
Ms Malambo who led a team of AMISOM officials to the camp said the internally displaced persons “usually move from one IDP camp to the other if they stay for a while and find out they cannot get food and other things as they had expected.”
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Interacting with the IDPs she said incidents of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), in
She said women and children were mostly the victims in the camps and urged the clan head and religious leaders in the camp to protect women and children by preventing sexual gender-based abuse and child exploitation.
Although she could not give the official statistics for the total number of internally displaced persons (IDP) in Somalia which has been in a civil war for close to three decades Ms Malambo said as at the end of 2017 there were 1349 IDP camps in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, alone.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in its report on the Somalia situation in 2017 indicated that there
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), an arm of the Norwegian Refugee Council which specialises in data and analysis on internal displacement indicate that as at the first half of 2018, about 341,000 new displacements were recorded in Somalia between January to June.
It attributed the situation to the conflict and draught and indicated that Somalia was also heavily impacted by disasters, with flash flooding in nine regions which led to 167,000 new displacements in the first half of 2018.
Alrahma IDP camp
The Alrahma IDP
During the visit to the camp which had more women and children than men, the journalists could not hide their empathy when they saw malnourished children some as young as a two months old sitting helpless with flies having a field day on their lips and noses.
While some of them sat with scanty clothes such as pants or only a blouse others were carried loosely by their mothers who looked weak themselves.
The only thing they had for accommodation were tents made of
As if by design most of the tents had the same colour -orange-for the piece of cloth used but the IDPs could not explain how they had the same colour of tents.
The tents served as their kitchen and sometimes bathroom even though they rarely had a bath.
“We have no food, no proper shelter and water. Once in a while we get
A 42 -year -old mother of eight, Abiba Nuru Alle who was with had her children sitting around her said she lost the farm which was her only source of livelihood during a clash between clans in her community.
“I lost everything including my husband. He was killed and our home and farms destroyed. I had to flee with my children,
Another internally displaced woman, Jamila Ali Mohammed, 37, said she was only about 10 years old when the civil conflict started in her community.
She said she has had to move from one IDP camp to the other as her family was wiped out during the conflict.
“All I have is the piece of cloth I wearing now and the four children l have had without a husband. I have nothing,” she said.
Insecurity and Al Shabaab presence in Somalia has been blamed for the increasing number of IPDs in Somalia.
The situation has resulted in limited livelihood opportunities, lack of basic services such as health and education; poor infrastructure and has further exacerbated the plights of the thousands of people who are forced to flee their homes and communities.