About 124,000 people have fled the Somali capital of Mogadishu since February due to the recent fighting between Ethiopian-backed transitional government and insurgents and the number of displaced continues to increase daily, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.
According to an update from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 11,000 people have so far left since the beginning of this month.
It decried that the lack of access to the city and its surroundings due to the bloodshed has severely hampered humanitarian agencies from scaling up responses to meet vast needs.
"So far, among them over 11,000 have left since April 1, nearly 73,000 have left in March and 40,000 have left in February,"the
UNHCR said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
Most of the displaced civilians have been heading for neighboring provinces of Shabelle Hoose (Lower Shabelle) and Shabelle Dhexe (Middle Shabelle).
Violence in the bullet-scarred Mogadishu has increased since the Transitional Federal Government backed by Ethiopian forces dislodged the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts from Mogadishu and much of the rest of the country at the end of last year.
There are currently an estimated 400,000 internal displaced people in Somalia, which has been torn apart by factional fighting and has not a functioning central government since 1991.
Thousands of others have fled to neighboring countries.