Posts Tagged ‘Islamist Groups’

As reported on IRIN News: NAIROBI, 4 January 2010 (IRIN) – Thousands of families have fled Somalia’s central town of Dusamareb, the regional capital of Galgadud, after a weekend of fighting between Islamist groups killed dozens and left many others injured, locals told IRIN.

On 2 January, Al-Shabab attacked Dusamareb, 500km north of the capital Mogadishu, and captured it from Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a – a traditional Sufi group – for a short while before being forced out again.

“Our estimate is that between 6,000 and 7,000 families [32,000 to 42,000 people] have fled and are now displaced,” Sheikh Abdirahman Gedoqorow, a religious leader, told IRIN on 4 January.

Most of the displaced are scattered across rural villages and towns in the region, he said.

Gedoqorow said those displaced were facing difficult conditions due to insufficient assistance in the areas to which they had fled. “There is no one out there helping them and the area has been ravaged by drought.”

He said the displaced “desperately” needed shelter material, food and water, the most urgent requirement.

Rising death toll

A local leader estimated that 50 people had so far died in the fighting and at least 80 had been injured. However, a journalist, who requested anonymity, said the death toll was likely to be higher.

“The majority of those who died were from the invading [Al-Shabab] group,” the journalist said.

The two groups have been battling for control of the country’s central regions since Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a routed Al-Shabab from the area in December 2008.

The journalist added that Al-Shabab had since been reported to have left the area. “They are nowhere near Dusamareb. They took a beating on Saturday [2 January].”

Dusamareb, a town of about 40,000, has in the past three years hosted thousands of displaced people from Mogadishu. “Whether residents or IDPs, almost 80 percent are now displaced,” the journalist added.

Read the full report via IRIN Africa | SOMALIA: Thousands displaced by clashes in Galgadud | Horn of Africa | Somalia | Conflict Refugees/IDPs | News Item.