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Somalia: UN Official Concerned About Humanitarian Situation in Somalia's Kismayo
Monday, July 08, 2013

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A UN official on Friday expressed his concern about the escalated humanitarian distress in Somalia's key southern port city of Kismayo.

Philippe Lazzarini, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, was concerned about the humanitarian situation in Kismayo which witnessed heavy fighting in June, said UN associate spokesman Farhan Haq.

Battles between rival warlords in Kismayo, which killed at least 71 civilians and injured 300 others last month, has also had serious humanitarian consequences, the spokesman said.

"A polio vaccination campaign targeting 24,000 people of all ages has been temporarily suspended," Haq said. "That's a grave concern in light of a wild polio virus outbreak that has resulted in 41 confirmed cases in southern and central regions of Somalia in May and June."

Somalia has been torn by factional fighting since 1991. On June 2, the UN launched an assistance mission to offer expertise in areas ranging from the political process to disarmament to help Somalia achieve peace, reconciliation and stability.

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