Fourteen people killed fighting over food aid after Somali soldiers try to steal parcels

Fourteen people killed fighting over food aid after Somali soldiers try to steal parcels
There has been a big influx of IDPs in the region, putting extra stress on food supplies from relief agencies in the region.
2 min read
10 June, 2017
The number of people receiving aid in Somalia has gone up dramatically in 2017 [AFP]

At least 14 people were killed after fighting broke out over a delivery of emergency food aid parcels in Somalia.

The internally displaced persons (IDPs) were killed after a group of soldiers tried to steal food sacks, causing a fight in the southwestern city, Baidoa.

The local area has been ravaged by drought and fighting, causing tens of thousands of people to move to regional aid centres.

At least 20 people were also injured, Mohamed Ahmed, a nurse at Baidoa's main hospital, told AP.

There has been a massive influx of people into the camps in recent weeks as the country’s drought stretches the country’s aid agencies.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration reports that more than 142,000 IDPs were recorded receiving aid in Baidoa as of mid-May.

Conditions at the camps can be terrible. Figures from local NGOs show at least 54 displaced women have been raped and sexually assaulted in camps in the Baidoa region in 2017.

"Every single person we have seen is a personal story of tremendous suffering. There is no way to describe it," said UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, during a visit to Baidoa in March.

A regional fight with the Islamist rebel group, al-Shabaab, has exacerbated the problem.

Baidoa has exchanged hands a number of times in the past year, with African Union (AMISOM) troops routinely retaking the town from al-Shabaab fighters.

To counter this effect, the Turkish, UK and US' armies are all helping train the Somali force in their fight against the Islamist organisation.