Archived page: may contain outdated information!
  • Send page
  • Print page

Somaliland: ICRC action in a complex patchwork of clans

22-02-1995 News Release 8

Since November 1994 a rebellion has been brewing in Somaliland, pitting the government forces of President Egal against the armed militia of the Idegale, one of the region's clans. Renewed tension has recently been observed around the town of Burao, stronghold of the Habar Yonis, who are allied with the Idegale, while the Arab clan has been drawn into the fighting on the government side. This conflict, as deadly as the one that has been raging in the south of the country, has caused the displacement of nearly 150,000 people. The ICRC went into action in December, distributing some 20,000 blankets and 1,000 rolls of plastic sheeting to build temporary shelters.

In recent weeks, however, the fighting has moved away from Hargeisa and according to an ICRC field-survey team tens of thousands of people have been able to return home. To ensure their survival as the rainy season approaches, delegates will soon be providing 25,000 more blankets and 1,500 further rolls of plastic sheeting to the displaced people in the Idegale area, where the ICRC is the only humanitarian organization present. In addition, 5.2 tonnes of medical supplies have been furnished to health posts and hospitals on both sides.

ICRC delegates have also been able to visit and register the 235 rebels captured by government forces and, following an agreement in principle concluded with the Idegale leaders, the ICRC should soon have access to the several dozen government prisoners they are holding.