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Nov 20,2007
Somali crisis called worst in Africa
by UPI

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- U.N. officials said a 20-mile strip in Somalia has higher malnutrition rates and more bloodshed than even in Darfur in Sudan.

"The situation in Somalia is the worst on the continent," Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the top U.N. official in Somalia told The New York Times.

In recent months, nearly 200,000 displaced people have crammed into camps between Mogadishu and Afgooye. The camps lack food and the people are trapped between the constant combat of an unpopular, and U.S.-backed, transitional government and a well-armed Islamist insurgency, the Times' report said.

The few aid groups willing to work in the area said tens of thousands of people are sick and dying, including thousands of babies, the newspaper reported.

"If this were happening in Darfur, there would be a big fuss," Eric Laroche, the head of U.N. humanitarian operations in Somalia, told the Times. "But Somalia has been a forgotten emergency for years."

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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