Somalia and severe drought amid an Islamist insurgency
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
According to the United Nations (UN), over 4 million Somalis are blighted by the latest drought to hit this country. The drought is being declared the worse seen for several decades. At the same time, the never-ending Islamist insurgency continues to set off countless internal convulsions.
Thus the ongoing Islamist insurgency by al-Shabaab is further adding to the crisis. For example, vast numbers of internally displaced people exist because of the ongoing conflict in Somalia. Therefore, with approximately 400,000 internally displaced people already in Baidoa, new people fleeing the drought are threatening to further strain the economy, food, and health care angle of a city already in crisis.
The Guardian reports, “According to the UN, more than a quarter of Somalia’s population urgently needs food aid. About 1.4 million children under five are likely to be acutely malnourished. Conditions are expected to get worse, with no rains due until April.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council reports, “Luglow is now home to more than 21,000 drought-stricken people, many of them impoverished families, who have fled their rural homes. Across Somalia as a whole, more than 550,000 people have already been displaced.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council also highlights how ordinary Somalians have to pass through areas blighted by the conflict between government forces and the Islamist al-Shabaab. Hence, vast numbers of people are in search of food and security.
UN News reports, “In the security arena, the Al-Shabaab militant group continues to pose a major security threat to Somalia, with Banadir region and South West states, serving as its center of operations.”
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