MOGADISHU - Famine is over in war-torn Somalia but the problems are not: Haweyo Ibrahim survives on meagre food aid handouts rather than return to her village, controlled by Shebab rebels who killed her husband.
“Until the Shebab leave, I cannot go back,” 40-year old Ibrahim said, queuing for food aid handouts in the anarchic Somali capital Mogadishu. “I cannot go back to where they murdered my husband,” she added quietly. Ibrahim fled Somalia’s southern Bay region a year ago, after Al-Qaeda allied Shebab fighters murdered her husband, because he “refused to be conscripted” by the rebels to fight against the Western-backed government in Mogadishu.
Already struggling to survive from an extreme drought — with famine zones later declared by the United Nations in July — she trekked into Mogadishu with her 10 children, along with some 185,000 others in desperate search of aid. Tens of thousands are believed to have died during the famine, according to the United Nations. Famine conditions were declared over earlier this month, but one year on since Ibrahim and her children — like so many others — fled into Mogadishu, and despite massive international aid efforts, the conditions remain grim.