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28-11-2022 | Latest News , Africa

Somalia: Conflict intensifies amid unrelenting drought


Violence has flared up in Somalia while the country is deep in the throes of a punishing drought.

The number of mass casualty incidents related to the armed conflict have increased by 30 % as recorded by four major hospitals supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 57 conflict-related mass casualty incidents have been registered between January and October this year compared to 43 during the same period in 2021.  

Dr. Abdikadir Haji Maalim, a surgeon at Madina hospital is having to continue life-saving surgery despite the dangers. “We were finishing a surgery when we heard a huge explosion, Maalim states. “The entire operating room shook. We knew we would receive a high number of casualties.” This happened just days after twin bombings went off at a busy junction in Mogadishu, killing 121 people one month ago.

“We received so many wounded from the explosion in Zobe [the junction]. Most of them had severe injuries. Some with multiple injuries. But we did our best to try and manage them.”

Madina hospital, located in the heart of Somalia’s capital, handles a considerable share of the reported emergencies. The facility is also a referral centre and the country’s de facto war hospital.

So far this year the four hospitals, Madina and Keysaney in Mogadishu, Bay Regional Hospital in Baidoa, and Kismayo General Hospital, have treated 2,113 patients with conflict-related injuries between January and October this year, 197 more than during the same months last year.

At the same time, the harsh weather conditions have left many children malnourished. Bay Regional Hospital, which runs a stabilization centre that treats critical cases of malnutrition, has seen an almost three-fold increase in the number of children admitted between January and October this year compared to the same period in 2021.

The ICRC provides medicine, salaries to staff, and surgical training to all four hospitals and during emergencies, provides weapon-wounded kits with dressing kits, medicine, surgical tools, gloves, disinfectants, and anesthesia.

Twelve other hospitals in Somalia also receive surgical materials to help them manage mass casualty incidents. ICRC also supports a stabilization centre in Kismayo General Hospital, offering specialized treatment for severely malnourished children under five.


Length: 6:07:21

Location: Mogadishu and Baidoa

Dates of Filming:

00:00 - 00:45 – 01 Nov 2022

00:45 - 04:00 – 02 Nov 2022

04:00 - 06:07 – 08 Nov 2022

Copyright: ICRC access all

On Screen Credit: ICRC written or logo attached to story

00:00 - 00:27 Various shots of Mogadishu busy street where twin explosions damaged buildings.

00:27 - 00:45 Surgeons working in the operation theatre of Madina hospital in Mogadishu.

00:45 - 01:00 Close-up shot of surgeons in the OT.


01:00 - 01:07 We were finishing a surgery when we heard a huge explosion.

01:07 - 01:08 The entire operating room shook.

01:09 - 01:15 We knew it was an explosion and we would receive a high number of casualties.

01:15 - 01:22 So the doctors and nurses in the hospital quickly moved to the emergency centre.

01:22 - 01:27 We needed to triage the casualties to see who needed life-saving surgery and who could be managed there.

01:27 - 01:32 We split into two teams. One team would categorize the patients.

01:33 - 01:36 Another team would handle the surgeries.

01:36 - 01:40 Honestly, what we saw is hard to imagine.

01:40 - 01:47 Long shot of surgeons in the OT.

01:47 - 01:58 Surgical items on a table in the operating room.


01:58 - 02:06 We received so many wounded from the explosion in Zobe.

02:06 - 02:11 Most of them had severe injuries.

02:11 - 02:16 Some had multiple injuries.

02:17 - 02:21 But we did our best to try and manage them.

02:21 - 02:50 Various shots of machines in the operating room.

02:50 - 03:16 Room with surgical supplies next to the operating room.

03:16 - 03:28 Sign at the entrance of Madina hospital.

03:28 - 03:41 The entrance of Madina hospital.

03:41 - 03:49 Sign showing COVID-19 preventive measures at the entrance of the hospital.

03:49 - 04:00 People walking in and out of the hospital

04:00 - 04:12 Shot of the ICU wing of the Bay regional hospital stabilization centre.

04:12 - 04:22 A child at the ICU breathing deeply.

04:22 - 04:52 A nurse measures the mid-upper arm circumference of a patient at the triage of Bay Regional Hospital.

04:52 - 05:00 Height measurements of a patient are taken.

05:00 - 05:08 A baby resting in the arms of the mother at the ICU ward in the stabilization centre.

05:08 - 05:18 A nurse checking in on a mother and her baby.

05:18 - 05:31 One of the staffers at the stabilization centre administers the dose of nutritional supplement milk given to the children.

05:31 - 05:41 Mother and care givers sitting outside the ICU wing of the hospital stabilization centre.

05:41 - 05:58 Tilt shot of the entrance of Bay Regional Hospital.

05:58 - 06:07 Entrance area of the Bay Regional Hospital in Baidoa.


For further information, please contact:

Alyona Synenko (English/French), ICRC Nairobi, +254 716 987 265, 

Sanela Bajrambasic, (English) ICRC Somalia, +254 700 888 131, 

Abdikarim Mohamed (English/Somali), ICRC Somalia, +254 770 171 756, 








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