02/04/07 (B389) Des dizaines de civils somaliens fuient les combats dans Mogadiscio. 47.000 en dix jours selon le HCR (Info lectrice – 2 dépêches français et anglais).


Le HCR affirme que 47.000 civils ont fui Mogadiscio
en 10 jours

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Quelque 47.000 civils somaliens ont fui ces dix derniers
jours Mogadiscio, théâtre d’une violente offensive des forces
somaliennes et éthiopiennes contre les milices islamiques et clans
locaux, annonce le Haut Commissariat de l’Onu pour les réfugiés

Le HCR a précisé par ailleurs que 96.000 personnes avaient quitté
la capitale somalienne en février et mars.

Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR) a décri les
combats qui font rage depuis cinq jours dans la capitale somalienne comme
les plus violents depuis plus de 15 ans.

________________________________ 2 – BBC

Thousands flee Somalia fighting

Tens of thousands of people have fled the Somali capital, Mogadishu, after
days of intense violence said to be the worst in 15 years, the UN has said.

Many used a lull in the fighting to flee the city on Monday, after four days
of Ethiopian troop attacks on Islamist insurgents and local militias.

However, hundreds of extra Ethiopian troops have also arrived in Mogadishu.

Hospitals have reported scores of people killed, while residents have spoken
of indiscriminate shelling.

The UN Refugee Agency said some 56,000 people fled Mogadishu in March, with
most (47,000) leaving the city since 21 March.

A total of 96,000 people left their homes during February and March, the agency

Many set off on long and dangerous journeys through areas controlled by rival
clans rather than stay in the Mogadishu.

Anger at Ethiopia

Mogadishu residents emailed the BBC to express their anger at Ethiopia’s operations
in the city and their sadness at the latest fighting.

The security situation is making it difficult for humanitarian organisations
to reach displaced people

"It is really a horrible place to be, you can hear the sounds of heavy
gunshots and wounded people are in a state of helplessness," Maslax Osman

"Thousands are fleeing carrying their belongings. Some have no money
so they are in the streets crying for urgent help from other Somalis."

African Union (AU) peacekeepers have so far been unable to prevent the fighting.
A Ugandan soldier died and five others were wounded on Saturday – the first
AU casualty since they began deploying.

AU troops are supposed to be replacing Ethiopian soldiers, who stepped in
at the end of 2006 to support a Somali government campaign to oust Islamists
controlling the capital.

Last week Ethiopia said two-thirds of its troops had withdrawn from Somalia,
and the rest would leave in consultation with the African Union.

But reports said that hundreds of Ethiopian reinforcements drove into Mogadishu
on Sunday.

Ethiopian tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships have fought against rebels
and clan militiamen armed with machine guns, missiles and rocket-propelled

‘Dire situation’

The Red Cross has said the fighting is the worst seen in Mogadishu for 15

William Spindler, of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), said on Monday that residents
of Mogadishu were now faced with four-hour queues to leave the city.

Many have moved to the Lower Shabelle region around Mogadishu, he added, but
at least 3,000 arrived in the Somaliland region, some 700km (435 miles) to
the north.

Poor security is also hampering efforts to get help to the refugees.

"Our Somali staff in Mogadishu are trying to make their way to areas
where people have fled. But the problem is that the security situation is
making it difficult for humanitarian organisations to reach displaced people."

"They have little or no access to water, food, medicines or sanitation."

Despite the fighting, Somalia’s interim government says it still plans to
go ahead with a reconciliation meeting of elders, politicians and former warlords
in two weeks’ time.

The government has not been able to impose control over the country, which
has been anarchic and rudderless since 1991, when ruler Mohamed Siad Barre
was overthrown.