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Internal exiles: voices from Somalia

Fighting in Somalia | Displacement camp

Internal exiles: voices from Somalia

In the past two decades, more than a million people have been forced to flee the fierce fighting and chronic drought that has plagued Somalia. In our special Somalia series, seven Somalis displaced in their country speak candidly of the daily challenges they face in the camps they now call home. 

13 July 2015 // Families living in south-central Somalia have endured political instability, violence and drought for 20 years, struggling to survive while their basic human rights are denied.

Over the past year, Somalia’s humanitarian situation deteriorated rapidly due to the ongoing conflict, which continued between pro-government forces, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Islamist armed group al-Shabaab in southern and central Somalia. Two consecutive seasons of low rainfall and reduced humanitarian access have further compounded the situation.

The international community and Somali authorities have not fulfilled their responsibilities to this desperately vulnerable population – especially women and children, who are bearing the brunt of the fighting.  

We share their stories:


A decade displaced

Fatuma | Somalia | Action Against Hunger
Fatuma | Somalia Displaced

The Musbah camp for Somalia’s displaced, 20 kilometres from Mogadishu, has been Fatuma Guleed’s makeshift home for the past 10 years.

Read Fatuma's story

Displacement and evictions

Ibrahim | Somalia | Action Against Hunger
Ibrahim | Somalia Displaced

When the famine hit Somalia, Ibrahim Ali, now 60, was already living in extreme poverty.

Read Ibrahim's story

20 kilometres on foot every day

Ibrahim | Somalia | Action Against Hunger
Ibrahim | Somalia Displaced

At just 34 years of age, Safia Abdikheir has already been displaced four times within Mogadishu in as many years.

Read Safia's story

We will be launching more stories from our Somalia series soon. Keep up to date using #InternalExiles and @ACF_UK


We call upon the international community and all parties to the conflict to:


1. Stop politicising aid to Somalia


For years, aid has been used as a political lever to favour certain groups and access to basic needs, such as food, has been used as a war tactic. Humanitarian assistance must be de-politicised and the lives of civilians protected.



2. Improve humanitarian access

All parties to the conflict in Somalia must respect the right of populations to basic services and allow humanitarian workers access to communities and facilities.



3. Protect vulnerable families

The safety dignity and basic human rights of the 1.1 million people displaced inside Somalia must be protected.



Our work in Somalia

We have worked in Somalia for more than 20 years, and were one of the few organisations helping families in the hard-hit Bakool and Benadir regions, the epicentre of the devastating 2011 food crisis. 

Find out more


Image © Eric Dessons - Kenya & © Damien Guerchois