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Reference : V-P-SO-E-01027
Date : 01/09/2023
Country/Region : SOMALIA
Caption : Gojacade. The ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent Society collect dead bodies. In total, 42 dead bodies were found after clashes erupted in the region.
Photographer : MOHAMED, Abdikarim
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : "The number of people wounded by conflict in Somalia has increased dramatically this year. As hostilities have flared in different parts of the country, ambulance teams from the Somali Red Crescent Society have reported a more than three-fold rise in the number of people requiring treatment for weapon wounds.
"The ongoing military offensive by the government against Al Shabaab has intensified in recent months while a new conflict in the northern part of the country between the Somaliland army and SSC Khatumo forces has seen a sharp spike in the number of people wounded. The three Red Crescent emergency response teams in Mogadishu, Galkacyo and Las Anod report that close to 1,900 people required treatment for weapon wounds in the past eight months of the year – an increase of over 300% per cent compared with the entirety of 2022.
"Another indication of worsening conflict across the country is that the number of people uprooted from their homes has more than tripled this year. According to data from the Protection and Return Monitoring Network, 569,000 people were displaced due to conflict or insecurity between January and July, compared to 168,000 over the same period last year. Conflict is the main factor in forcing people to leave their homes this year, followed by climate shocks like droughts and floods.
"Las Anod, the capital of Sool region, has been the main battleground of the fighting in the northern part of the country, resulting in a significant number of casualties and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. The Red Crescent ambulance team in the town has treated and transported to hospital more than 1,700 people with conflict-related injuries this year.
"Shortly after the shelling started there was a lot of loss. The Red Crescent got involved immediately with the emergency and the ambulance teams. They were attending to the wounded and the dead," said Amal Hassan, who is part of the Red Crescent team in Las Anod.
"The team has collected close to 80 dead bodies this year, the majority of them following the latest round of fighting in August. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been supporting the Red Crescent’s three emergency response centres and recently trained the Las Anod team on how to handle and collect human remains in a safe and dignified way. In December last year, the ICRC also trained Red Crescent ambulance response teams and Aamin Ambulances staff, as well as medical personnel from hospitals in Mogadishu, on dead body management.
"We trained a team from the Somali Red Crescent on management of the dead. We are planning to also train the soldiers from both sides. They have a responsibility to handle the dead in a respectful manner. To properly document them. So later, it will be easier to identify the deceased and inform their families," said Mohamed Abdi Wadi, a protection delegate who covers northern Somalia for the ICRC.
"Between January and June this year, the ICRC has supported close to 97,000 people who were displaced by either conflict, drought or floods. The ICRC also supports four main hospitals located in Kismayo, Mogadishu and Baidoa."

Source: ICRC multimedia newsroom, article 18/09/23
Original material : digital
Resolution : 6000x4002
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour