SOMALIA.— Al-Shabab, the Somali armed Islamist group has lost control of the town of Dobley. The fight to take control of Dobley however, has killed hundreds of people and destroyed much of the town’s infrastructure.
Clan militia men now patrol the area, with the implicit support of the Kenyan government and operating on behalf of the Somali transitional government.
Somali government forces claim they are in total control of the area near the town of Dobley, and the area is now safe for aid groups to operate in. The commander says he is confident Al-Shabab fighters will not return, Kenya’s backing makes a counter attack unlikely.
The people in Dobley support the Somali government. A resident explained, ” Security is much better now, when Al-Shabab was here there was tension.” “Al-Shabab used to extort money from us, that doesn’t happen anymore. We are much safer now,” one woman said.
Despite assurances of the area’s safety there is still no humanitarian agencies in Dobley.
Antonio Guttierrez, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, made the statement, “I appeal to the actors of the conflict and the international community as a whole to consider that as something that needs to be done… to overcome the obstacles and difficulties, the security concerns to make sure that these people can find relief where they are.”