Fighting drives displaced Somalis back to war torn Mogadishu

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A WFP food distribution centre for displaced people near Mogadishu

Thousands of internally displaced Somali are on the move fleeing an escalation of violence and conflict near the Afgooye corridor, just north-west of the Somali capital Mogadishu, according to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.

The Afgooye corridor which is a forty kilometre stretch of road with sprawling settlements and makeshift camps is home to almost 410,000 internally displaced Somalis.

UNHCR says more than 5,200 IDPs have fled in the past three days following new clashes that erupted on Tuesday.

Melissa Fleming from UNHCR says those fleeing the violence are returning to the war torn capital Mogadishu where they escaped from previously.

"We are really fearing for the safety of the displaced and we urge all armed groups and forces to make the protection of civilians a priority. Mogadishu is perhaps more safe than when they fled, but they are going to be facing a situation where they do not have homes to return to. They are walking and are squeezing themselves into existing and over crowded IDP camps or they are trying to find family and friends and perhaps their former places of residence. UNHCR and other agencies operating in Mogadishu are going to be scaling up our assistance in trying to meet the needs of these people."

Duration 44"

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