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Stop bombing hospitals, UN urges Guriel warring sides

MOGADISHU (SD) – United Nations (UN) has condemned the bombardment of hospitals in Guriel town amid fierce fighting between Somali forces and Ahlusunna Waljamaa fighters entered its fourth day.

The fighting which started last Saturday has claimed lives of more than 150 people including combatants and civilians.

In a statement, UN OCHA has confirmed that the clashes displaced over 100,000 people, many of whom are women and children, to flee their homes and seek shelter in nearby villages which are affected by drought conditions and water shortages.

“I am extremely concerned about the impact on civilians of ongoing hostilities in Guri Ceel, Galmudug State,” Adam Abdelmoula, the humanitarian coordinator for Somalia said. ” They are in urgent need of humanitarian and protection assistance; yet scaling up response is impeded by access and funding challenges.”

UN condemned “the actions that reportedly led to two hospitals have been hit, causing significant damage and cutting off lifesaving health services, as well as the fact that the office of a nongovernmental organization has reportedly been affected”.

He urged all parties to respected international laws said ‘sides’ have obligations under international humanitarian law; the principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality in the use of force must be adhered to, including protection of civilians and treatment of wounded hors de combat.

“I urge them to uphold these obligations.

I ask humanitarian actors to expedite emergency assistance and to work with authorities towards durable solutions. Parties to the conflict must ensure that humanitarian workers have unfettered access to all people in need of assistance” Adam said.

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