The clinic reopened following the resolution of the dispute at the Islamic Court in Mogadishu. Earlier this week, the court announced its ruling, which cleared the doctor of any wrongdoing and stated that the action taken was ethically and professionally correct. The hospital is also absolved of any blame. Dr Bashir Sheikh Omar was, however, fined for failing to communicate the full details of the operation to the family. The family has accepted the ruling.
According to Willy Huber, responsible for SOS Children's Villages in East Africa, the standoff would have been resolved much earlier had it not coincided with the recent outbreak of intensive fighting in Mogadishu, which was particularly severe last week and uncomfortably close to the location of the SOS Children's Village and hospital.
With most of Somalia's leaders and warlords out of the country attending peace talks in Kenya, and with the local residents either fleeing the city to find shelter or suffering under a barrage of gunfire and looting, it was extremely difficult to address the matter, which normally would have been resolved by the community leaders in a matter of days.
Last week fighting was so intense that people were not even able to go to the SOS Children's Village facilities, and the SOS Kindergarten and Hermann Gmeiner schools were virtually empty. In the context of Somalia such incidents are a matter of normal routine.
Please see news of 18 May 2004.