Monday, October 31, 2011

AFRICA: SOMALIA: CIVILIAN VICTIMS FROM AIRCRAFT BOMBING

Agenzia Fides report – The military operations of the Kenyan army in southern Somalia against the Shabab militia continues, even with the use of aircraft bombing as reported by Doctors Without Borders. According to Ong, on Sunday, October 30, Kenyan aircraft hit a refugee camp near the town of Jilib in southern Somalia, killing five civilians and wounding 45 other people, including women and children.
Despite the Kenyan offensive was presented as aiming to secure the border between the two countries, the situation remains precarious in Dadaab (locality in northern Kenya on the border with Somalia, where the largest refugee community in the world, over 400,000 people resides). In Dadaab on October 12 two aid operators were kidnapped. For this reason, the various NGOs present have reduced their activities pending the re-established full security conditions.
"The UNHCR can only guarantee minimum security for basic staff who are able to continue life support activities, such as the distribution of food and essential medical care. Humanitarian operations must also cope with the torrential rains which continue to fall in the area", says to Fides, Suzanna Tkalec, operator of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), head of Caritas Somalia in Dadaab.
Even the military operations are affected by weather conditions, but the Chief of the Kenyan Armed Forces said that his troops will remain in Somalia as long as necessary to ensure the security of the border. "We have no time limits", said Gen. Julius Karang. The recent terrorist attacks in Nairobi and other Kenyan village, attributed to the Shabab, are raising the fear of getting involved in the Somali quagmire, because the leadership of the Shabab has appealed its supporters so that they carry out attacks in Kenya.
The Shabab once again demonstrated their ability to hit with deadly bombings on October 29, when their commandos attacked a government based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 31/10/2011)

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