Post image for A battle for food in Mogadishu, Somalia

A battle for food in Mogadishu, Somalia

by Jorge Hernandez on August 5, 2011

The southern part of war-torn Somalia has been wracked by a drought and famine for weeks now, leaving more than 25,000 children dead from malnutrition and people desperate for some form of relief, according to The Associated Press

A recent attempt at aid by U.N. agency WFP highlighted the growing chaos. As workers transported 290 tons of dry rations to the biggest camp for famine refugees in the capital city of Mogadishu, government soldiers struck, killing seven people in the attack.

"It was carnage. They ruthlessly shot everyone," Abdi Awale Nor, who has been living at the camp, told the news provider. "Even dead bodies were left on the ground and other wounded bled to death."

The soldiers were trying to steal the food as well.

"They fired on us as if we were their enemy," said famine refugee Abidyo Geddi of the recent encounter. "When people started to take the food then the gunfire started and everyone was being shot. We cannot stay here much longer. We don't get much food and the rare food they bring causes death and torture."

The news source reports that more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa need immediate food aid. The U.N. has designed five different famine zones. But distributing rations has been a complex issue. Some Somali groups deny there is a famine at all and refuse aid, while others will loot aid trucks.

The International Red Cross is asking for $86 million in order to meet the needs of the hungry Somali people, according to CBS News. The largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab, is located across the border in Kenya and currently holds around 420,000 people, despite the fact that it was designed for fewer than 100,000. 

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