Somalia: Mogadishu - Insecurity leaves thousands out of school

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Over 30,000 students in Mogadishu are deprived of their right to education by the conflict and lack of security in schools, said Mohamed Said Farah, a spokesman for Mogadishu Education Umbrella, which groups six non- governmental educational organizations that run most of the schools in the capital. Schools and teachers have become targets of attacks, causing most parents to keep their children home, explained Farah. Many schools went on strike last month against the insecurity, after they were targeted by armed attacks that left eight teachers wounded. Local authorities called on the government to individuate and punish those responsible, and called on the sides in conflict to guarantee the safety of the schools. After days of heavy fighting between armed insurgents and Somali and Ethiopian troops, in which at least 80 people were killed, including numerous civilians, local sources refer that calm has returned in the capital in the past two days. "We are catching our breath, but we are living in fear, without knowing when we will plummet back into violence", said a MISNA source contacted in the city.