Somalia: thousands of civilians flee Puntland’s commercial capital after fighting


Thousands of inhabitants of Bossasso, in the Somali region of Puntland (north-east), fled the city after several days of fighting, AFP learned from local authorities on Saturday, confirming information published by the Office of the Affairs. Humanitarian Aid (Ocha) in Somalia.

This port located on the Gulf of Aden, commercial capital of Puntland, has seen fighting erupt since Tuesday between two opposing fringes within the security forces in the region. « Thousands of Bossasso town residents have fled in recent days as sporadic fighting erupted in different parts of the townLocal government official Abdirizak Mohamed told AFP on Saturday, reached by phone.

«Most people decided to leave their homes after both warring sides used heavy weapons and mortars« , he added. This official added that the number « exactNumber of displaced people was not known. It was difficult on Saturday to establish how many people had died, some sources citing « eight » Where « dix»Dead, mostly civilians.

On Friday, Ocha’s representation in Somalia said « extremely concernedBy the impact on civilians of this local violence. « As fighting continues in the town of Bossaso for the third day in a row, more than half of the town’s population has reportedly been displaced« , Wrote in a statement Adam Abdelmoula, coordinator of the humanitarian affairs of the United Nations in Somalia, without giving precise figure.

In addition, according to Ocha’s information, “around 40% of the 70,000 internally displaced« Already present in Bossasso would currently experience a »second tripBecause of this violence. Located in the far north of the country, Puntland is one of the five semi-autonomous states that make up Somalia, a deeply unstable federal country rocked by violence for decades.

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