October 27 2009

SOS families in Mogadishu return to the SOS Children's Village

Fighting continues in other parts of the city

27/10/2009 - SOS families, evacuated from the SOS Children's Village Mogadishu in Somalia last July, moved back to the children's village on 10 October. They had been staying in a temporary camp for internally displaced persons while insurgents fought with government soldiers in the area around the village. The SOS mothers and children were happy to be back in their homes and to meet up with other co-workers who had remained in the village compound.

Meanwhile heavy fighting took place in other parts of Mogadishu and, according to the director of SOS Children's Villages Somalia, Ahmed Ibrahim, more than 20 civilians were killed and dozens wounded. The fighting erupted, he said, when mortar shells were aimed at the airport as the president of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was boarding a plane which took off safely.

Ahmed continued: "This latest attack seems to be one of the heaviest in weeks as opposition fighters try to overthrow the fragile Somali administration based in the capital. According to the emergency services, most of the civilians died inside the Bakara Main Market at Howlwadag District when people were going about their daily business." The source of shelling could not be determined, he added, as both sides have been accusing each other of indiscriminate firing into residential area.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is a peacekeeping force in Mogadishu that operates under a U.N. mandate to support Somalia's transitional federal government. The AMISOM forces together with government soldiers have been battling armed opposition groups in the capital.

As the combat zone is far from the SOS Children's Village, the SOS families and co-workers remain safe and a team led by the village director is closely monitoring the situation. "We all - mothers, children and co-workers - pray for peace for our country. We know without peace there will be an increase in hunger, disease, drought and poverty", Ahmed Ibrahim concluded.