(Xinhua) -- The African Union peacekeeping
mission in Somalia AMISOM on Saturday denied Al-Shabaab claims that
its militants killed five Ugandan soldiers in a roadside bomb attack
AMISOM however confirmed the attack on its
troops near Afgoye town, about 30 km south of Mogadishu, but did not
mention if there were casualties.
The AU mission that has stepped up its onslaught against the
al-Qaida allied militants dismissed claims as false.
"Al-Shabaab targeted our convoy traveling about 9 km from Afgoye
on the road to Ceel Jaale in an improvised explosive device (IED)
attack," the mission said in a statement.
It said the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team has safely
removed and destroyed two IEDs in the past two days.
"AMISOM and Somalia National Army will continue to ensure
clearance of the main supply routes for easy access of humanitarian
activities," it said.
The extremist militants had claimed to have killed five Ugandan
soldiers in a roadside bomb attack in Afgoye on Friday afternoon.
Aid agencies say the poor state of main supply routes in
south-central Somalia had provided conditions for Al-Shabaab to
continue laying ambushes and using explosive devices against AMISOM
convoys and Somali national security forces.
UN decries plight of pregnant
women as famine looms in Somalia
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The United Nations Fund for Population
Activities (UNFPA) on Friday expressed concern about the fate of
607,000 pregnant women across Somalia who need maternal health
services to ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery amid severe
UNFPA’s Chief of Humanitarian and Fragile Contexts Branch, Ugochi
Daniels said of the 6.2 million people affected by the drought
ravaging Somalia, more than 1.5 million are women of childbearing
Daniels, who visited drought-affected areas in Somalia this week
called for an equally immense response to provide direct medical
services and support to the pregnant women in the Horn of Aftica
"I was struck by the fact that the face of displacement is a
woman with her child.
"The men have stayed behind to tend their farms and livestock
while it is the women who have made the arduous and risky trek often
for many days to get some relief," she said in a statement issued in
UNFPA is scaling up its emergency response to help more than
130,000 pregnant women who may require urgent care.
Somalia already has one of the highest maternal mortality rates
in the world, with over nearly 1 of every 22 mothers dying from
pregnancy related causes.
Over 350,000 Somalis are refugees and a further 400,000 are
UNFPA is appealing to international donors for funding of 24
million U.S. dollars for the Somalia humanitarian response for
reproductive health and to protect women and girls from gender-based
"The toll of displacement, drought, and the lack of services on
women and girls is immense," said Daniels.
UNFPA provides life-saving reproductive health services across
Somalia including referral of complicated cases during pregnancy and
delivery, emergency reproductive health kits and medical and
psychosocial support to survivors of gender-based violence.