MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) --
Intensified fighting between Somali government forces
backed by African Union peacekeepers and Al-Shabaab militants has
forced more than 10,000 people to flee in Somalia’s southern region
in November, the UN said on Monday.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the displacements
were caused by both aerial bombardment and ground fighting which
occurred in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.
“Confrontations between government forces and the militant group
have also considerably intensified in several other parts of the
region. At the same time, tensions remain increasingly high in
outlying villages along the Bal’ad/Afgoye axis that connect Middle
and Lower Shabelle regions,” said the UNHCR in its latest
According to UNHCR’s Protection & Return Monitoring Network (PRMN),
these continuing military operations have heightened insecurity,
prompting a wave of new displacements in addition to destruction of
livelihood and shelter assets.
“This generalized insecurity, which has led to a sharp increase in
the number of road blocks and checkpoints, has also precipitated
movement restrictions, extortion, torture and sexual abuse by all
parties,” the UNHCR said.
According to the UN, over 1 million people have been internally
displaced in Somalia since January, mainly due to drought, but also
because of conflict, insecurity and flooding.