Caught in the crossfire
Amin was hit in the neck by a stray bullet in Mogadishu’s Waberi district, forty-three days ago. He hasn’t been able to eat since then, and so is taking fluids through a pipe in his nose. At nine years old, Amin has spent his whole youth surrounded by war.
Amin’s case is far from unique in Mogadishu’s Madina hospital. Nearly everyone I spoke to there had been injured by a stray bullet, as the Islamic militia group Al-Shabab battles the Transitional Federal Government forces and pro-government militia.
“Ninety-five percent of our patients are from combat” says Mohamed Yousef Hassan, the director of the hospital and chief surgeon. “Day by day, the situation in Mogadishu is worsening.”
The hospital is under-staffed and under-equipped. Patients line the corridors, attended to by family members. Just a few kilometres away, the front-line stands, breeding more casualties and dead.