Somalia: Humanitarian situation in besieged town getting worse

Published: March 12, 2015

Somalia: Humanitarian situation in besieged town getting worseThe humanitarian situation in a besieged town located in Southern Somalia is getting worse, as residents and local administration express deep concerns over an imminent disaster.
Bulo-burte, which is some 200 km north of the capital Mogadishu, has been under siege for more than six months after al-Shabaab militants who were pushed out from the town last year blocked the roads leading into the towns and refusing transportation of goods.
Al-Shabab warned businessmen not to supply food and other essential needs to the town, otherwise they will face punishment.
A local elder called the situation “desperate” and said all of the town’s residents were living in alarming conditions, without electricity or access to food and medicine
“There is now a severe shortage of medicine and food here… the essential basic needs are becoming expensive,’’ said the elder.
Somali government forces and African Union troops who control the town have successfully foiled several attempts by Al Shabaab to retake the town.But the militants have, in turn, cut off the town, leaving thousands without access to food, water and medicine, despite recent supply of aid.
Authorities on ground have failed to address the situation though calling for International aid organisations to intervene. But there has been little attention from the humanitarian agencies.
In January, the mayor of the town was arrested alongside with several businessmen who were accused of diverting humanitarian aid.
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