Intensified fighting between Al-Shabab insurgents and troops from the Somali army in the southwestern Gedo region have caused nearly 5,000 residents to flee from their homes. IRIN
reports that the warfare has cut off thousands of people from trading with the capital, Mogadishu, leaving many without food security or other basic necessities. At least 10 local health centers have also been closed due to increased violence in the region.
"[Families have been] forced to move from one town to another and from one village to another, because of Al-Shabab activity, Mohamed Abdi Kaliil, Governor of Gedo, told the publication. "Their main aim is to hide from the violence, the people desperately need help with shelter, health, water and food."
Aside from a lack of shelter and food, many are still afraid of what is to come, leaving them uncertain about if and when they can return home.
"This [the continued violence] has forced many people to flee any area they think is close to Al-Shabab," a local journalist who asked to remain anonymous told the news organization. "It is a confused and continuous movement of people."
AllAfrica.com reports that most recently, attacks were launched in the village of Tarak, which resulted in at least six casualties.