Somali Troops Kill Ten in Mogadishu Food Riot

Witnesses Say Soldiers Were Stealing Famine Rations

At least ten people were killed today when Somali troops opened fire on civilians at a famine refugee camp in Mogadishu. Witnesses say that rioting began when the troops, loyal to the self-proclaimed Somali government, attempted to steal the food rations.

The move to steal the corn rations provided by the WFP sparked a rush by the refugees to get some of the food, at which point refugees say “they fired on us as if we were their enemy.” The troops then took the food aid and left the camp.

The Somali government defended the actions, saying that they were simply protecting the food from looting by removing it from the refugee camp. The refugees, however, say they are seeing precious little of the food being airlifted into the country and that the rare occasions when food arrives in the camp just end in violence, like today.

The growing famine has many Somalis attempting to flee the country, but even those that make it to the border are not safe, with reports that a militia backed by the Kenyan government has been attacking and robbing refugees attempting to flee into Kenya.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.