Clashes between two groups of government soldiers broke out in Baidoa, Bay region, on Friday, June 9. According to local media sources, the fighting started when soldiers attempted to take food from an aid distribution center. Gunfire broke out when local government forces guarding the center stopped the soldiers. At least 14 people were reportedly killed in the fighting, including civilians. Around 20 other people were wounded.
Somalia is experiencing a severe drought and tens of thousands of people have moved to cities like Baidoa to receive humanitarian aid. It is one of several East African nations, including South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya, that are suffering from two failed rainy seasons, leading to food shortages and livestock deaths across the region. The drought is said to be the worst in five years. Approximately 320,000 children are already classified as malnourished. Overall, around 6.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance according to UN reports.
Due to a major drought, individuals in Somalia are advised to conserve water, stock up on bottled water, monitor the situation via local media outlets, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities (e.g., water rationing measures).
On a separate note, due to the high threat of terrorism, individuals present in Somalia are advised to avoid government and institutional buildings as well as political events due to Al-Shabaab's tendency to target political figures and security forces. Western governments generally advise their citizens against all travel to Somalia due to extremely poor security conditions. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place.
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