Last Updated: Monday, 01 September 2014, 14:30 GMT

UN refugee agency alarmed by resumption of mortar attacks in Somalia

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 20 March 2012
Cite as UN News Service, UN refugee agency alarmed by resumption of mortar attacks in Somalia, 20 March 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f6c643f2.html [accessed 2 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
The United Nations refugee agency today expressed concern over the resumption of mortar attacks in the Somalia capital of Mogadishu, which led to the deaths of at least four internally displaced persons (IDPs), including two children.

Mortars landed in a small IDP settlement in the Wardhigley district on Monday morning, marking the first attack of its kind since August when anti-government forces withdrew from the majority of districts in the capital.

"The target of the attack is believed to have been a hostel housing pro-government forces in the nearby Villa Somalia compound, the presidential palace, but the mortars did not reach their target and instead landed among the IDPs," spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Adrian Edwards told journalists in Geneva.

"UNHCR calls on all parties to the conflict in Somalia to cease attacks targeting civilians and humanitarian agencies or where there is a high risk of harm to civilians located near the intended target. Monday's attack clearly presented an unacceptable risk," Mr. Edwards said.

Currently, there is no international legal obligation for parties to the conflict in Somalia to make amends to civilians that have been affected by military operations.

Last year, UNHCR released a report detailing what Somalis are seeking in response to violence and focusing on assistance for civilians harmed in warfare. The report, entitled "Civilian Harm in Somalia: Creating an Appropriate Response," recommends the establishment of a mechanism to track, analyze, investigate and respond to all incidents of civilian harm, including the loss of property, limb or life.

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