Somalia, Médecins Sans Frontières staff is forced to interrupt activities in Las Anod due to the increase in violence

Somalia, Médecins Sans Frontières staff is forced to interrupt activities in Las Anod due to the increase in violence


ROME – Doctors Without Borders suspends his work at the General Hospital of Las Anod, in the Sool region, a territory formerly part of the former British Somaliland and then, until 1991, of the former united Somalia; today region disputed and claimed by the two states of Somaliland. A complex area that we will discuss shortly. Due to the increase in general insecurity and the continuous episodes of violence, even against those who provide medical and life-saving services, the Humanitarian Organization, Nobel Peace Prize winner, is no longer able to guarantee the minimum safety conditions for patients, their companions and for healthcare workers.

The latest episodes of violence. In the latest incident on July 8, the general hospital of Las Anod was hit during the fighting: medical personnel and health workers were injured. The guerrillas also damaged an ambulance and forced the closure of the maternity ward of the hospital. It was the fifth clash since violence flared up again on February 6 this year. In other previous attacks in Las Anod have some health workers and volunteers have already lost their lives. “We regret being forced to interrupt our medical support, knowing that this will impact people’s access to vital medical care, already compromised by the ongoing conflict – says Dana Krause, MSF national representative – but we must be able to work in an environment where minimum safety standards are guaranteed for both patients and healthcare professionals”.

The work of Doctors Without Borders. Since May 2019, the Organization has been supporting Las Anod General Hospital with medical supplies and technical expertise for the emergency room and operating room, as well as financial aid for staff providing sexual and reproductive health care services, diagnosis and treatment of children suffering from acute malnutrition and other diseases. In 2022 alone, medical teams performed more than 7,200 emergency visits and assisted over 2,000 deliveries. While the organization suspends its activities in Las Anod, it remains present in the Sool region, in Kalabaydh, about 40 kilometers south of Las Anod. This is where people displaced by the ongoing conflict most need help.

The context. Somaliland declared its independence from Mogadishu in 1991 and, although it has not been recognized as a sovereign state, it operates independently from the Somali government. The explosion of violence in Las Anod stems from the dispute for control of the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn, located on the disputed border. At the moment there are efforts by neighboring countries, first of all Ethiopia, to mediate between the parties and push for an interruption of the guerrilla warfare.

What you should know about Somalia. Both Somaliland and Somalia are an integral part of a much broader context, that of the Somali territories, in fact, which include the dry plains between the Ethiopian plateaus and the sea of ​​the Indian Ocean. In addition to Somaliland and Somalia, these territories include eastern Ethiopia, the northwestern regions of Kenya and the southern part of Djibouti. These are spaces that have always been inhabited by Somalis, a homogeneous ethnic group that speaks the same language (apart from some dialectal differentiation) and practices a single religious faith, the Islamic one. But Somalia as a whole has, perhaps like few other African cases, the characteristic of extreme fragmentation into clans and sub-clans, despite these basic common characteristics. A social, cultural and even political-institutional structure typical of Somali society.


Source link