2023 a gory year for civilians in Somalia


al-Shabab, Somalia. Photo by Reuters

from SAAD MUSE in Mogadishu, Somalia
Somalia Bureau
MOGADISHU, (CAJ News) – WITH 386 people killed and 871 injured across 132 incidents this year, 2023 is already the third-worst year for civilian casualties of explosive violence in Somalia since 2010.

This is according to the Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), following the death of up to 30 people on Sunday when a suicide truck bomb exploded at a checkpoint in Beledweyne city’s Nur Hawaad neighbourhood.

At least 50 people were injured.

Ten security personnel were among the fatalities.

“This toll is expected to rise, as many people are missing and many are in critical condition,” said Chiara Torelli, Explosive Violence Researcher at AOAV.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although al-Shabaab is the primary suspect so far.

AOAV reports that 90 percent (1 126) of civilians harmed in explosive violence incidents in Somalia this year were killed and injured by non-state actors, who are responsible for 77 percent (102) of incidents.

A quarter (25) of those incidents were suicide attacks, which killed and injured 286 civilians.

Al-Shabaab are the reported perpetrators of 24 of the 25 suicide attacks recorded in Somalia this year, resulting in the death and injury of 226 civilians.

Overall, 11 005 civilians have been killed and injured across 1 209 incidents recorded in Somalia since AOAV began recording in 2010.

AOAV stated its casualty figures represented the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use.

In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media.

AOAV condemned the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

“All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians,” Torelli said.

– CAJ News

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