Mogadishu, 25 October 2021- I am extremely concerned about the impact on civilians of ongoing hostilities in Guri Ceel, Galmudug State.

The situation has forced over 100,000 people, many of whom are women and children, to flee their homes and seek shelter in nearby villages which are affected by drought conditions and water shortages. They are in urgent need of humanitarian and protection assistance; yet scaling up response is impeded by access and funding challenges.

I condemn in the strongest terms the actions that reportedly led to two hospitals have been hit, causing significant damage and cutting off lifesaving health services, as well as the fact that the office of a nongovernmental organization has reportedly been affected.

All parties have obligations under international humanitarian law; the principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality in the use of force must be adhered to, including protection of civilians and treatment of wounded hors de combat. I urge them to uphold these obligations.

I ask humanitarian actors to expedite emergency assistance and to work with authorities towards durable solutions. Parties to the conflict must ensure that humanitarian workers have unfettered access to all people in need of assistance.

For further information, please contact:

Ogoso, Erich Opolot, Head of Communications, OCHA Somalia. Tel: +252 616854007/+254 720766587, Email: ogoso@un.org

Mursal Ali, Public Information Officer, OCHA Somalia. Tel: +252615679998, Email: mursalali@un.org

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