Sat Apr 28 2007 (Updated 04/29/07) Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Somalia
Clashes between U.S. backed-Ethiopian forces and fighters aligned with the Islamic Courts Union in the capital Mogadishu are being described as some of the heaviest fighting in the city's history. Human rights workers report over three hundred people have been killed over the past two weeks. This comes just three weeks after another series of battles claimed at least a thousand lives. This latest round of fighting has pitted the US-backed Ethiopian forces and, in a lesser role, forces loyal to the so-called Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of former warlord Abdullahi Yusuf against supporters of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), which had administered the city and much of southern Somalia before the US-backed Ethiopian invasion last December. The United Nations says more people have been displaced in Somalia in the past three months than anywhere else in the world. Some 350,000 have fled fighting in Mogadishu since February, more than one-third of its population. Many of the those displaced are camped on the outskirts of Mogadishu and lack food, medicine and clean water. Hundreds trapped inside the capital have also died from acute diarrhea and cholera. Over 1,200 patients have reached a cholera treatment centre in the city - but MSF say this is the "tip of the iceberg". In response to the fighting in Somalia, Eritrea has pulled out of the East African seven-member Inter-Governmental Authority on Development. Ethiopia and Eritrea have each accused the other of stirring the conflict in Somalia. Ethiopia has accused Eritrea of sending arms and men to support the Islamic fighters, while Asmara says that Addis Ababa is occupying Somalia illegally at the behest of the United States. Massacre in Mogadishu—war crime made in the USA | The Most Lawless War of Our Generation | Somalia is 'worst refugee crisis' | Somalia crisis deepens as new fighting erupts | Iran Calls for Immediate Cessation of Hostilities in Somalia | Somalia fighting spreads to Kismayu | Mogadishu fighting intensifies | Eritrea pulls out of African bloc | Week's toll may hit 1,000 as bombs pound Somali capital | Dysfunctional Arab statehood anchored in complicit leadership | Somali Leaders Form Anti-Ethiopia Front | War crimes investigation after Ethiopia shells civilians in Somali capital | Somali Battles Bring Charges of War Crimes | EU warned over 'Somalia war crimes'
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