War is Boring: Somali Islamists Escalate War with Clinic Attack

War is Boring: Somali Islamists Escalate War with Clinic Attack

It was a rare refuge in a country that had known only war for 19 years: In Afgooye, a town just a few miles outside Mogadishu, the staff of the Dr. Hawa Abdi camp offered food, medical care and protection to as many as 6,000 Somali families at a time. Through two decades of war and occupation, the staff and its charismatic director carefully maintained their neutrality -- and managed to preserve the camp's delicate infrastructure despite the chaos that raged just beyond the walls.

On May 5, all that changed. A faction of Islamic fighters occupied the camp, killed some staffers and captured others, and disrupted food handouts and medical care for thousands of refugees. The attack represented a dangerous escalation of the Somali conflict. At the time of writing, four days after the takeover, the camp's future is uncertain.

The Dr. Hawa Abdi camp is named for its founder and director, a once-wealthy, Soviet-trained gynecologist. Abdi first began offering medical care at her clinic -- situated on a patch of packed earth and low trees owned by her family -- in the early days of the Somali civil war.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review