SOS Schools in Mogadishu forced to close
Following an incident in Mogadishu on Tuesday 7 October, in which four SOS teachers and an SOS administrator were held captive for over six hours and had their lives threatened, it has been decided to close both the SOS Secondary School and the SOS Nursing School for an indefinite period.
The teachers, Kenyans of Somali origin, are severely traumatised and will be returning to Kenya as soon as possible.
The incident was triggered by an earlier attack by insurgents on the police post which is located next to the temporary school facilities. It is thought that, in retribution, the police entered the compound, killing two people (who were not SOS staff but acting as caretakers on behalf of the owner) and capturing the SOS staff members, although none were involved in the earlier attack.
The SOS Children's Villages Regional Director East Africa, Wilhelm Huber, who lived in Mogadishu before and during the civil war, made the decision to close the schools, saying that the lives of SOS staff and students could no longer be placed at risk. They will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.
Meanwhile, the SOS Mother and Child Hospital and the SOS Satellite Clinic at Afgoye, 22 km outside Mogadishu, are still operating.
The SOS Children's Village itself was evacuated in December 2007 and curently the children and mothers are living safely in other parts of Mogadishu. Today, nowhere in Mogadishu is safe and the situation of the children, mothers and staff is being constantly monitored.
Relevant Countries: Somalia.