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Clashes force 40,000 people out of homes in Somalia: UN relief agency

Tuesday December 1, 2015

UNITED NATIONS, -- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported that Saturday's renewed fighting between Galmudug and Puntland armed forces in Somalia had forced about 40,000 people to flee their homes.

OCHA made the statement based on the information provided by the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Gaalkacyo, Somalia's Mudug region, where the clashes had happened, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing held here Monday.

"More than 30 people are estimated to have been killed," said the spokesman. "Local NGOs are providing mobile health care, water and sanitation services."

Renewed clashes between a militia affiliated to Galmudug and Puntland forces have been reported from Galkayo on Saturday morning, news reports said, adding that the fighting broke out after the militia attacked the base of the Puntland forces in the northern parts of Galkayo.

The standoff, which began a week ago, has seen many residents flee the town's affected areas for fear of being caught in the crossfires, the reports said.

"UN agencies and international NGOs have temporarily relocated because of the fighting," Dujarric said. "This has left a gap in provision of basic services for vulnerable communities in Mudug, Galgaduud and Hiraan regions."

OCHA continues to warn that the humanitarian needs in Somalia remain immense, with an estimated 4.9 million people in need of assistance and 1.1 million people displaced around the country, according to the spokesman.



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