Somalia

Somalia: Cautious return to SOS Children's Village in Mogadishu

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Even though fighting has stopped in northern Mogadishu in the area of the SOS Children's Village, people are still feeling nervous.

It had been hoped that all the SOS families would be back at the village by now, having been moved to safety ten days ago. However, return is voluntary at the moment and as the village is still in close proximity to government forces, some of the SOS mothers would prefer to wait a little longer. Currently five families have returned and Ahmed Ibrahim, director of SOS Children's Villages in Somalia, hopes that all the families will be back by the end of the week.

While it is illegal for non-military or non-police personnel to carry weapons SOS Children's Villages cannot fully protect the facilities and the occupants. But Ibrahim expects that the village authorities will soon have that permission, thus making everyone in the village feel more secure.

Public transport around the SOS Children's Village is still not functioning, and many road blocks make it difficult for drivers and especially pedestrians. At the moment the SOS vehicle has to make a long detour when going anywhere, to avoid troops still based in the area. Until all the road blocks are removed, said Ibrahim, people will be reluctant to go anywhere near the village.

The SOS hospital, located opposite the village, is not yet fully functioning for the same reason.