February 18 2009

Families in Mogadishu to move back to the SOS Children's Village

18/02/2009 - After the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from the area around the SOS facilities in Somalia's capital town, the evacuated families are most likely to return back in the coming days.

Photo: Guenay Ulutunçok
Cautious optimism for the children from Mogadishu's SOS Children's Village - Photo: Guenay Ulutunçok
A delegation of SOS co-workers is currently assessing the security situation in Mogadishu after the departure of Ethiopian troops and the installation of a new government in Somalia. According to the village director, Osman Sheikh who is in Mogadishu, "the security situation in the city has improved and there has been no fighting in Mogadishu for a week."

With this in mind, and the fact that many of the family houses have now been renovated after the damage inflicted by cross fire, the team has decided to start moving SOS families back to the village from 21 February. As two houses have not been completely renovated yet, four families will share two houses for the time being.

The area around the SOS Children's Village has, for the last two years, been a scene of heavy fighting as Ethiopian troops based themselves there in their search for insurgents. In December 2007 all the families were moved out of the village after two houses received direct hits and one SOS family assistant was killed. Since then the children and mothers have been living in safer parts of the city. Osman Sheikh is hopeful that Mogadishu is slowly returning to the relative peace that had been achieved before the Ethiopians moved into Mogadishu. "We pray to keep this city and the whole country peaceful," he said.