MOGADISHU, Nov.28,2017-- Intensified fighting between Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeepers and Al-Shabaab militants has forced more than 10,000 people to flee in Somalia's southern region in November, the UN said on Monday.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the displacements were caused by both aerial bombardment and ground fighting which occurred in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.
"Confrontations between government forces and the militant group have also considerably intensified in several other parts of the region. At the same time, tensions remain increasingly high in outlying villages along the Bal'ad/Afgoye axis that connect Middle and Lower Shabelle regions," said the UNHCR in its latest displacement report.
According to UNHCR's Protection & Return Monitoring Network (PRMN), these continuing military operations have heightened insecurity, prompting a wave of new displacements in addition to destruction of livelihood and shelter assets.
"This generalized insecurity, which has led to a sharp increase in the number of road blocks and checkpoints, has also precipitated movement restrictions, extortion, torture and sexual abuse by all parties," the UNHCR said.
According to the UN, over 1 million people have been internally displaced in Somalia since January, mainly due to drought, but also because of conflict, insecurity and flooding.