Thousands back in Mogadishu despite violence

At least 40,000 displaced Somalis have returned to Mogadishu despite continuing violence over the past six weeks, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The returnees, who have lost everything, are coming back to ruined homes and livelihoods. Most had fled to Hiiraan, Mudug, Galgadud, Lower and Middle Shabelle in the southern and central regions. These areas are experiencing renewed conflict and severe drought.

Back in Mogadishu, they have mostly returned to Hodan, Wardhiigleey, Yaaqshid and Haleiwa neighbourhoods in the north - areas devastated by two years of war and now virtually empty.

At least 1.3 million Somalis are displaced within their own country, according to UNHCR. In 2008, some 100,000 sought refuge in neighbouring Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen.