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Violence displaces 88,000 people in Somali

By Ryan Prescher

After three days of fighting in the Somali capital Mogadishu, more than 88,000 people are displaced from their homes, the Reuters article on ABCnews.com “Mogadishy violence displaced 88,000 people: U.N.? said. “You see groups of people spontaneously protesting, crying for help from the international community and wondering how long Mogadishu will keep on being destroyed,? the ABCnews.com article reported from the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR. With the g rowing violence, 39 agencies said this week they could not respond “effectively? to the “humanitarian catastrophe,? the article said. The country of Somalia has been in turmoil since 1991. There is great fear that since many large correspondents are staying out of Somalia for safety reasons, the civil war is not getting the attention it deserves, the article said.

The ABCnews.com article that was provided by Reuters was very informative. The article contained the most important information at the beginning of the article; however, the article included several anecdotal descriptions of the scene. The article uses reputable sources such as the U.N. in order to shed light on this important and gruesome issue. While the article’s main purpose is to present the news about the increased fighting and displacement of thousands of people, it expresses the concern of many humanitarians. Is Somalia receiving the attention it deserves? While this gives the article a biased and opinionated feel, the article attributes these comments to aid workers in Somalia.

Another source that contained a similar article was MSNBC.com. The article “UN: Thousands Fleeing Somali Capital? by the Associated Press contained much more information about the increase in violence. While many of the same facts are included, the article contains more quotes and additional facts about the effects of the war in Somalia. For example, one additional source included is Christian Balslev-Olesen, a top humanitarian coordinator for Somalia. The article states that the almost 90,000 people displaced in the last three days is nearly quadruple the normal 20,000 that are displaced monthly. More than 3,400 people have been wounded since January, the article said. The most important addition to the article is the fact from the U.N., “some 1.5 million Somalis are now in need of food aid and protection _ 50 percent more than at the start of the year _ because of inadequate rains, continuing internal displacement and a potential cholera epidemic.?

It is unfortunate that I had to click on several links on both news pages in order to find any mentioning of Somalia. While it may be dangerous for journalists to be in Somalia, the unfortunate news that takes place everyday does not disappear. It should still be covered and presented to the masses, regardless if eyewitness accounts are available.