Thousands of Muslims Refuge as Conflict in Northeast Somalia Arise

Thousands of residents fled after the conflict broke out in the city of Bossaso, northeast of Somalia. This conflict is expected to add to the long list of humanitarian crises that hit Somalia.

Somalian Muslim families
Illustration. Muslim families in Somalia evacuate. (Reuters/Feisal Omar)

ACTNews, BOSASO – Clashes between two rival factions of the security forces in a port city in northeast Somalia have forced hundreds of families to flee their homes, says a local official.

Quoted from AFP News on Saturday (12/25/2021), the fighting has for several days rocked Bosaso, the commercial capital of the semi-autonomous state of Puntland in the country’s northeast.

“Thousands of the residents in the Bosaso town fled … as sporadic fighting was going on in some parts of the town,” said official Abdirizak Mohamed.

Mohamed said it was not clear exactly how many people had quit the town on the shores of the Gulf of Aden but estimated it was “hundreds of families”.

On Thursday (12/23/2021), the United Nations’ humanitarian agency OCHA said it was “extremely concerned” about the escalation in violence that had led thousands to flee in search of safety.

“With the fighting in Bosaso town continuing … more than half of the city’s population has reportedly been displaced from their homes,” OCHA representative for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said in a statement.

Adam added that the conflict affected internally displaced people. Around 40% of the 70,000 internally displaced people housed in Bosaso were also reported to have had to flee a second time.

This conflict adds to the long list of humanitarian crises that have afflicted Somalia. Previously, food and water shortages had worsened and become extremely concerning in recent months. []